Erve Chambers

2004 Sol Tax Distinguished Service Award

sol_chambers.jpgErve Chambers is Chair and Professor of the Anthropology Department at the University of Maryland, College Park, where he has taught since 1981.  he has also been employed with the University of South Florida (1977-1981), Mississippi State University (1976-1977), the University of Oregon (1974-1976), and Abt Associates (1973-1974).  Erve served as a Special Fulbright Scholar in Appropriate Tourism Development at Kasetsart University, Bangkok, Thailand (1991), as Visiting Professor with the Johns Hopkins University Program in Atlantic Culture and History (1987-1988), and is currently an Affiliate Professor with the International Graduate Course in Tourism Management, Associazione Instituzione Libera Universita Nuorese, Sardinia, Italy, as well as a member of the Executive Committee of the Center for Heritage Resource Studies at the University of Maryland..

Over the years, Erve’s research has evolved from a general interest in regional and urban development to more specific work in tourism and environmental and heritage resource management.  He currently has a strong interest in community-based tourism initiatives and in the public delineation, appropriation, and use of heritage resources.  He is also collaborating with his colleague Michael Paolisso on research related to cultural models of the environmental and natural resource regulation on Maryland’s Eastern Shore.  His publications include Places in Mind: Public Archaeology as Applied Anthropology (with Paul Shackel), 2004; Native Tours: The Anthropology of Tourism, 2000; Tourism and Culture: An Applied Perspective, 1997; Housing, Culture, and Design: A Comparative Perspective (with Setha M. Low),1989; and Applied Anthropology: A Practical Guide, 1985.

Erve is a Sustaining Fellow of the Society for Applied Anthropology.  He has served as the Society’s President (1987-1989), on the Executive Committee (1975-1985), and the Nominations and Elections & Elections Committee (1980-1982).  He is currently Program Chair for the Society’s 2005 meetings, to be held in Santa Fe, New Mexico.  Erve helped found the SfAA’s publication Practicing Anthropology in 1978, and served as its Editor in Chief for the first eight years of its existence.  Over a period of nearly three decades, he has served as Chair or member of more than twenty other SfAA committees.  He has also been elected as Secretary of the Society for Urban Anthropology (1983-1985), and has served on several committees of the American Anthropological Association and the Washington Association of Professional Anthropologists.

Throughout his career, Erve has devoted considerable time and attention to increasing our understanding of the nature of anthropological practice outside of academic settings.  He has been a strong advocate for the view that practice needs to serve as the core of any applied discipline, with scholarly endeavor devoted to helping improve the effectiveness of specific anthropological practices and employments.  Erve also has a long abiding interest in the Master’s degree as a particularly appropriate level of training for many nonacademic careers in anthropology.  To both these ends, he has been actively involved in the development of training programs in applied anthropology, first at the University of South Florida, and later at the University of Maryland, where he helped found the Master of Applied Anthropology (MAA) program.  The MAA is the only program in the world with this specific designation—it is not a Masters of Art or Sciences degree, but a fully professional degree program designed.