2020 COVA Grants for Preservation, Public Education, and Research

For a tenth year we are soliciting members to submit proposals for projects to be considered for funding under the COVA grant program. Project topics must fall within one of the three main categories that traditionally have made up the core of COVA’s mandate: Preservation, Public Education, and Research. Projects that have as broad a reach as possible (ie. are aimed more at state-wide issues rather than focusing on site- specific activities) are strongly encouraged. The membership has authorized the expenditure of up to $1000 total in 2020, with a maximum award of $500 to any individual applicant. The review process is competitive, and COVA reserves the right to award less than the allotted amount.

To apply, submit a 2-3 page prospectus, to include the names and specific qualifications of the project participants, a complete budget, proposed work schedule, and detailed portrayal of the final product and its value to Virginia archaeology. To qualify, the project must be led by a full COVA member in good standing at the time the application is submitted. COVA grant monies need not be the sole source of funding for project.

The deadline for receiving proposals is June 5, 2020. The successful applicant(s) will be announced via the COVA email list shortly thereafter.

After completion of the project, the recipient will present their findings at the next COVA meeting outlining their project, findings, and the impact of the COVA grant on the project.

Attach the proposal to an e-mail addressed to: Derek Wheeler, Chair COVA Budget Committee dwheeler AT monticello.org

COVID-19: Preparing for Effects to Your Business

By Varna Boyd, Health & Safety Committee Chair

ACRA encourages its members to prepare for the possibility of a COVID-19 outbreak in your communities and across the nation and around world where you work.  There are many agencies providing guidance on the best measures to reduce the spread of the virus (see links below). In addition to concern about personal health, ACRA is aware the COVID-19 outbreak may have a significant effect on businesses in our industry.  

Things to consider and plan for to keep your business running:

  • Recognize projects may be cancelled or delayed or travel to project sites may not be allowed.  
  • Communicate frequently with clients and teaming partners about project status to determine if client is potentially shutting down or postponing work.
  • Communicate with staff frequently and clearly about project status changes and updates to plans.  
  • Communicate frequently about company leave and telecommuting policies.
  • Actively encourage frequent hand-washing and disinfecting.  Cover noses and mouths with a tissue when coughing or sneezing (or use an elbow or shoulder if no tissue is available)
  • Develop disinfection routines and use them frequently (e.g., frequently clean doorknobs, countertops, desks, and any common area/use surfaces).
  • Encourage staff to be aware of any early signs of illness before starting work or travel. Actively encourage sick employees to stay home- now is not the time for toughing it out at work.
  • Ensure you check the CDC’s traveler’s health notices (see link below).  If outside the country and sickened or have issues traveling home, encourage staff to reach out to a U.S. consular officer (e.g., US embassies and consulates) to help locate healthcare services. 
  • Identify supply chain partners for ordering Personal Protective Equipment.
  • Instill a sense of calm and security to the degree possible to limit staff panic regarding illness or loss of work.
  • Design an emergency response/continuity of operations plan.  
    • Determine essential business functions, jobs, and roles.
    • Do you have the resources to have people work from home, to the extent possible?
    • As appropriate, consider having staff work in shifts to lessen interpersonal contact.
    • To the degree possible, identify and mitigate stressors.
    • Develop a phone/email tree for continued communication throughout any crisis.
    • Plan for increased employee absences. If possible, identify backup staff for those who may fall ill. 

Welcome to the new COVA website!

Our website is new and improved, with committee updates (coming soon), a helpful calendar, and online publications. Check back often for more improvements and let me know if you have any questions.

Jolene Smith, COVA member and Webmaster

Charley Hodges, 1950 – 2019


A fixture in middle-Atlantic archaeology, Charley Hodges held positions with Southside Historical Sites, the Flowerdew Hundred Foundation (staff archaeologist 1980-1986), the Colonial Williamsburg Foundation, the Virginia Commonwealth University Archaeological Research Center, the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, the James River Institute for Archaeology, and the William and Mary Center for Archaeological Research. His inimitable personality and expertise will be missed.