Meet the Candidates 2014

Candidates for the ACUA Board of Directors

The ACUA is composed of twelve men and women elected on a rotating basis for four-year terms by the membership of the Society for Historical Archaeology. The board includes professionals from state and federal archaeology programs, museums, non-profit institutes, private industry CRM firms, and avocational societies involved in underwater archaeology. It also includes professionals in the fields of conservation and education. Each year the board strives to include candidates that represent diverse interests and global perspectives.

The six colleagues who have graciously agreed to stand for election for the three positions spanning the 2015-2018 term are:

Dave Conlin: Chief of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center

Kelly Gleason:Maritime Heritage Program Coordinator for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM)

Sorna Khakzad: Ph.D. Candidate at East Carolina University and University of Leuven, Belgium

Massimiliano Secci: Research Fellow at Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione – Università degli Studi di Sassari

James Spirek: State Underwater Archaeologist, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina Columbia

James Smailes: Secretary, Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS)


Dave Conlin

Dave ConlinEducation
B.A. Anthropology Reed College Portland OR; M.A. Aegean and Classical Archeology, Oxford University; A.M Anthropology and Archeology, Brown University; Ph.D. Anthropology and Archeology, Brown University

Current Position
Chief of the National Park Service’s Submerged Resources Center

Recent publications
Joint study with John Bright and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management (BOEM) to modify and add to existing capabilities for marine magnetometer survey.  This included software development for ArcGIS
Bright, John C., Conlin D.L. and Whall S.  (in press 2014) Marine Magnetic Survey Modeling: Custom Geospatial Processing Tools for Visualizing and Assessing Marine Magnetic Surveys for Archeological Resources NPS SRC Technical Report 34.  Lakewood Colorado, National Park Service.

I have served one term with the ACUA and have been interested and active on a number of issues- I am very interested in student affairs and junior colleagues, and their path into a professional career.  I am also, as are most of us, interested and dedicated to preservation worldwide, as well as countering treasure hunting where we can.  Most recently this has involved providing a public alternative to treasure hunting in Mozambique, a country that this year revoked the treasure hunting permit of the Portuguese treasure hunting firm Arqueonautas.

Research Interests
My professional interests include anthropological approaches to underwater archeology, site formation processes in underwater archeology, the combination of terrestrial and underwater archeology to answer broad questions of human processes such as the global slave trade, as well as core-periphery interactions.  Lately I have been very interested in contributing to the method and practice of marine magnetometer survey.  On a more basic level I have been interested in trying to attract more minorities into the field and have used my position in the National Park Service to build on an existing partnership between the National Association of Black Scuba Divers and Biscayne National Park to create Youth Diving With a Purpose, a program the exposes underserved minorities to the science technology engineering and math (STEM) of underwater archeology.

Given the qualifications and experience outlines in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute if elected to ACUA?

I believe that the majority of jobs that will be available in underwater archeology in the foreseeable future will not be in academia but will be in either the government or private sector.  Having said that, I see absolutely no reason why interesting questions drawn from and based in academic inquiry cannot be explored and addressed within a management framework.  i.e. there is no reason that just because it is governmental archeology it has to be boring.  Given the interrelated nature of governmental regulations and requirements and the work done in the private sector to address these needs, I think it is vital to maintain a balance between academic, private sector and governmental representation on the ACUA and I believe that I can work within all three of these areas in spite of the fact that I work for the National Park Service.

If elected to serve the ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, on-going committee activities and the management and financial challenges of the Society?

My goals for my term in the ACUA, if re-elected, include contributing more to the student section of our organization and trying to make the ACUA and SHA more useful and friendly for our younger colleagues.  If our organization is to grow and thrive, we need to offer more than just an annual forum for the exchange of ideas.  Some of the other members of the ACUA have done wonderful things for ethics, outreach and international involvement, and I would like to see us spend some of our energy networking on behalf of, and mentoring our younger members.  Also I would like to see more minority involvement in underwater archeology by highlighting some research domains like the global study of slavery that will create a more immediate attraction to the field than we have traditionally had.

Kelly Gleason

Kelly GleasonEducation
B.A. University of Notre Dame, M.A. St. Andrews University, Scotland, Ph.D. East Carolina University

Present Position
Maritime Heritage Program Coordinator for Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument (PMNM)

Gleason has been a member of SHA for over ten years and elected to the ACUA board in 2011. While on the ACUA board she was involved several committees including abstracts review, education, social media and membership. She also assisted with the 2013 SHA underwater archaeology workshop. Gleason seeks reelection in 2014 to continue her service on the ACUA board.

Research Interests
In her current position as Maritime Heritage Coordinator for PMNM, Gleason’s responsibilities include the exploration, interpretation and protection of maritime heritage resources in the NWHI. These resources include at least 60 potential shipwreck sites and at least 70 potential sunken aircraft sites. To date, 22 of these sites have been discovered and documented by NOAA maritime archaeologists. Gleason leads annual research expeditions to the NWHI which take place over the course of several weeks at several different atolls in the archipelago. Recent discoveries include the Nantucket whaleship Two Brothers and a Brewster F2A-3 Buffalo aircraft at Midway Atoll. Both projects are the subject of ongoing media outreach and academic research.

In addition to field and academic research, Gleason’s work includes education and outreach. To date, she has developed and installed two PMNM maritime heritage themed exhibits (one in Hilo, HI and one in Nantucket, MA), produced two short documentary films on maritime heritage in PMNM, and continues to work with local schools to develop interactive maritime heritage activities with kids. She administratively oversees PMNM’s maritime heritage program including budget tracking, supervision of graduate students conducting maritime heritage research in the Monument and develop and maintain an inventory of equipment for field research. All of these activities (research, outreach and management) aim to protect the maritime heritage resources in PMNM.

Recent Publications
Gleason, K. (2014), A Monumental Distance: Education and Outreach from the Most Remote Archipelago on Earth. In D.A. Scott-Ireton (ed.), Between the Devil and the Deep, When the Land Meets the Sea (pp141-153). New York, NY: Springer Science and Business Media.

Wagner D, Toonen RJ, Papastamatiou YP, Kosaki RK, Gleason KA, McFall GB, Boland RC, & Pyle RL (2013). Mesophotic surveys of the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands with new records of black coral species. Proceedings of the 2013 AAUS/ESDP Curaçao Joint International Scientific Diving Symposium: 341-345.

Kosaki RK, Wagner D, Leonard JC, Hauk, BB & Gleason KA (2013). First report of the table coral Acropora cytherea (Scleractinia: Acroporidae) from Oʻahu Island (Main Hawaiian Islands). Bulletin of Marine Science 89(3): 745-746. Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. 2011. Maritime Heritage Research, Education, and Management Plan: Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Honolulu, Hawai‘i. 97 pages.

Wagner D, Papastamatiou YP, Kosaki RK, Gleason KA, McFall GB, Boland RC, Pyle RL & Toonen RJ (2011). New records of commercially valuable black corals (Cnidaria: Antipatharia) from the Northwestern Hawaiian Islands at mesophotic depths. Pacific Science 65: 249-255.

Delgado, J.P. and K. Gleason. Lighting Strikes Twice. The Explorers Journal. 89:1, Spring 2011.

Raupp, Jason and Kelly Gleason. Submerged whaling heritage in Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument. Bulletin of the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (2010), 34: 66-74.

Kelly Gleason and Jason Raupp. Lost and Found In Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument: The Possible Wreck Site of the Nantucket Whaleship Two Brothers. Historic Nantucket, (Volume 60, No. 3) Fall 2010.

Given the qualifications and experience outlines in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute if elected to ACUA?

With experience in field research, management and education, I have the capacity to understand diverse issues that face the archaeological community today. I am able to contribute perspective from working in culturally diverse part of the world as well as skills gained communicating archaeological research and management to broad audience around the world.

If elected to serve the ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, on-going committee activities and the management and financial challenges of the Society?

If elected to serve the ACUA, my priorities would include an emphasis on new membership and better understanding the ways that SHA and ACUA can serve the archaeological community to inspire new membership and retain current members. Additionally, I would maintain my current focus on education and outreach with an emphasis on encouraging active participation by younger members. I would seek new and creative ways to communicate SHA and ACUA initiatives to current and potential new members.

Sorna Khakzad

Sorna KhakzadEducation
Ph.D. student Coastal Resources Management, East Carolina University, USA, Since Aug. 2011;  Ph.D. researcher Cultural Heritage Management, University of Leuven, Belgium, Since Sept. 2008; Advanced Masters in Conservation of Monuments and Historic Sites, University of Leuven Belgium;Masters in Architecture, Azad University of Tehran, Iran

Present Positions
Maritime Heritage Program Fellow at National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), Since June 2014; Research collaborator to Archaeological Heritage in the North Sea (Belgium SEARCH project), Since Jan. 2013; Teaching assistant at Maritime Studies, East Carolina University, USA, Since August 2012

Born in 1978 in Tehran, Iran, I graduated with master degree in architecture in 2004 from Azad University of Tehran, and advanced master degree in Conservation of Monuments and Historic Sites from University of Leuven (KU Leuven), Belgium, in 2008. I am currently completing my Ph.D. research in KU Leuven under the title of ‘Landscape Issues Involved in Underwater Cultural Heritage Management’. This Ph.D. will contribute to the ongoing project in Belgium: Archaeological Heritage in the North Sea (SEARCH project) which aims at developing an effective assessment methodology and approach towards a sustainable management policy and legal framework in Belgium. Additionally, since 2011 I joined the Ph.D. program of Coastal Resources Management at East Carolina University with the passion of a multidisciplinary approach toward the management of cultural coastlines. Although, doing two Ph.D. programs at the same time is hectic, I had the opportunity to work with many experts in my field and related fields, and it helped me to broaden my knowledge of different issues that affect cultural heritage in general, and underwater archaeology in particular. I have worked in international projects in Iran, Turkey, Afghanistan, Pakistan, England, and Italy, and collaborated with UNESCO as cultural heritage specialist. I received an award from UNESCO-Vocations Patrimoine in 2010 and have several publications and conference presentations in my field. My ultimate career goal is to develop coastal and underwater cultural heritage management plans which will protect and preserve our heritages not only for the sake of heritage values, but also for the enhancement of human’s life quality and benefit.

Given the qualifications and experience outlined in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute if elected to ACUA?

I am honored to be considered as a candidate for ACUA Board for the second time. Following my international and national experiences in the field of cultural heritage in general and underwater cultural heritage particularly, I have broad understanding of factors impacting heritage and archaeology worldwide. Considering the fact that underwater cultural heritage is quite a young field in compare with terrestrial heritage, my knowledge of cultural heritage management and conservation has been an invaluable asset in projects which deal with underwater cultural heritage management. This quality is of importance also for SHA and ACUA for more effective collaboration in achieving their common goals.

During last seven years of my academic and professional experience in the field of underwater cultural heritage, I have applied and adopted methods for studying and managing underwater cultural heritage with regards to internationally recognized standards for cultural heritage. I have had and have close collaboration with UNESCO in project management and promoting the Convention on the Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage. As my latest experience with UNESCO, I acted as a liaison and professional intern, assigned by the Flemish Government to UNESCO. In 2011 I was one of the coordinators from KU Leuven to organize the 10th anniversary of the UNESCO 2001 Convention in Belgium that had positive influence in ratification of the Convention by Belgium.

I was a think-tank member of a European project—Submerged Prehistoric Landscape and Archaeology of Continental Shelf (SPLASHCOST)—, for four years, which made me familiar with the issues that Europe are facing at the moment specifically for the management of submerged historic and prehistoric landscapes. Working at Institute of Nautical Archaeology (Turkey) and White and Hampshire Trust for Maritime Archaeology (England) and Flemish Heritage Agency (Belgium) offered me deep insight to national issues in different countries. These experiences provide me with a deep understanding of the issues which are considered crucial for studying, conservation and management of UCH. However, what I still would like to emphasis is that the legacy of human interaction with the sea and land, which is now we know as cultural heritage—either underwater or terrestrial– needs more attention. As a part of the expert community in underwater cultural heritage, I endeavor to determine and benefit from the potential of underwater cultural heritage as a resource for people’s advantages, education, outreach, and research, develop effective cooperation among stakeholders, and protection for future generation. For this, I see SHA and ACUA as an excellent platform that I can act to promote dialogue and understanding among academia, professional acting bodies, and government and regulatory agencies.

If elected to serve ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, ongoing committee activities, and the management and financial challenges of the Society?

I am determined to follow the ethics of SHA and ACUA, and try to achieve their goals through sharing my international experiences which help bridge multiple disciplines and issues related to underwater and terrestrial cultural heritage. What I, in addition to many scholars, see as priority is education. However, I have several parallel priorities. I set my priority for education in different levels; public education in order to make public aware of the importance of underwater cultural heritage not only as a luxury, but emphasizing on the benefits that it can bring to them; children education which is considered one of the recent challenges and goals in many parts of the world and as a UNESCO mandate; education in higher level at universities and research centers and try to connect the scientific institutes which are developing new technologies for oceanic studies with educational institutes for maritime and underwater archaeology.

In addition, I believe native and traditional populations (such as fishermen, boat builders, native people, etc.) have contributed a lot in formation of maritime and coastal heritage from prehistoric to present time. One of my aims is to recognize these heritage assets and to use them as cultural resources for the benefit of native communities, and also for the broader research and educational purposes. It is crucial for all groups to know about the values of different types of heritage, in different levels, and to allow and empower them to express their views on the current and future situation of their cultural heritage and environment. Furthermore, I believe that better policies for management of underwater cultural heritage can be effective in protection and conservation of this heritage.

One of my aims is to follow good examples, such as UNESCO Convention on Protection of Underwater Cultural Heritage and similar charters and regulations such as ICOMOS Charter, Council of Europe and to assess other sea and oceanic related initiatives on protection of marine resources, such as Marine Protected Areas and Integrated Coastal Zone Management in order to emphasize better on the role of underwater and maritime cultural heritage as a resource in holistic coastal management plans. This fact also involves the economic values and benefits that underwater cultural heritage can bring for the societies and communities through public awareness, tourism promotion and education.

I also believe that young generation, such as students of maritime studies and other related fields, can have more effective roles in the future of underwater cultural heritage protection, if they get involved more. I would like to give more chances to their voices be heard though activities such as workshops, presentations, blogs, websites and gatherings and cooperation in different initiatives. One other priority is to give chances to the countries and state parties that had less chance to develop and initiate underwater archaeological studies. Although, the focus of SHA and ACUA has been more on the western world, now is the time to bring more examples of the whole world in our SHA and ACUA meetings and conferences. Many countries in Asia and Africa have been under-representative due to the lack of knowledge and/or techniques and so on.

Underwater cultural heritage is a common heritage of humanity, connecting people through the open waters to each other, and can be a factor to bring more people and cultures together. In brief, through my focus on coastal cultural heritage and my multidisciplinary approaches in management of underwater and coastal cultural heritage, I aim at awareness rising, public education, capacity building for research, and protection and management of our underwater cultural heritage resources and discovering ways to benefit from underwater heritage in every possible way for the present and future generations. And I believe being an ACUA Board Member will give me opportunity to achieve many of my goals, which are also SHA’s and ACUA’s goals as well.

Massimiliano Secci

Max SecciEducation
PhD Candidate, Scuola di Dottorato in Storia, Letterature e Culture del Mediterraneo, Università degli Studi di Sassari; M.A., Master in Maritime Archaeology, Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia; B.A., Ancient Literature (Honors in Archaeology), Università degli Studi di Firenze, Florence, Italy.

Present Position
Research Fellow and PhD Candidate at the Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione – Università degli Studi di Sassari.

Research Interests
Cultural Resource Management and Underwater Cultural Heritage Management; Public and Community Archaeology; Archaeological Theory; Underwater Cultural Heritage Education and Awareness Raising; Digital Archaeology; 3D Mapping; Underwater Remote Sensing.

Massimiliano Secci graduated in Literature (Honors in Archaeology) at Università degli Studi di Firenze in 2007 with a thesis in underwater archaeology. Between 2008 and 2009 attended the Master of Maritime Archaeology at Flinders University, Adelaide, South Australia. Research Fellow at the Dipartimento di Storia, of the Università degli Studi di Sassari, between 2010 and 2012, developed a programmatic study for the enhancement and public interpretation of the Sardinian maritime cultural heritage. He participated in several fieldworks, both on land and underwater, in Australia, Sardinia and Sicily. He is currently a PhD Candidate at the Università degli Studi di Sassari, with a research project titled “3D Reconstruction, virtual and public access in underwater archaeology: new technologies and the digital in research and public interpretation”. Since 15 May 2013 he is Research Fellow in the Dipartimento di Storia, Scienze dell’Uomo e della Formazione, at the Università degli Studi di Sassari with a research titled “Remote Sensing Survey Technologies for the protection, conservation and enhancement of the underwater cultural heritage”. He has been collaborating for the last three years with the Post-Graduate Program in Underwater and Coastal Landscape Archaeology at the Università degli Studi di Sassari, supporting both teaching and fieldwork activities offered within the Program curriculum. He has published 7 contributions in Journals, edited volumes and National and International Conference Proceedings in addition to several popular contributions and posters. He has participated in several National and International conferences and meetings.

Given the qualifications and experience outlined in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute if elected to ACUA?

International and particular European level developments in cultural heritage management and funding strategies call for an ever advanced collaboration and multi-disciplinary approach to the study, protection and enhancement of the common cultural heritage. The career path outlined by the synthetic biography above and by my detailed curriculum testifies my attention and interest for both research and public outreach. In fact – as stated in last year candidacy statement (see SHA Summer 2013 Newsletter) – I believe that our discipline, in order to acquire a larger and much deserved/needed role in societies development, needs to develop a larger connection with diverse but neighboring disciplines and altogether with the public at large. In my opinion underwater archaeology and overall archaeology has too often developed in the underground and background of other disciplines advances, withstanding major paradigmatic approaches instead of participating in the discussion driving these advances.

A greater involvement of the discipline and researchers in these discussion and decision-making processes will participate in creating a stronger link between the “craft of archaeology” and the “real world”. It will not only help us – as a discipline – to be recognized as valuable actors in societal advancements but will also help the discipline to better define itself and to better structure our paradigmatic approaches to the past, present and future. While the opportunities and experiences I have been granted through my education and career development interface me with two often diverse approaches (Anglo-Saxon and European) to the discipline, the same dilemma helped me to realize that such difference is more often a terminological one and dependent on geographical, juridical and cultural characters. Aims and underlining objectives and goals are the same and what is often missing, but it happens both worldwide and regionally, is a greater communication between parties and therefore a major knowledge exchange and confrontation. I believe my potential contribution lies – in my own small way – in granting the ACUA Board a different perspective and possibly contributing in better understanding regional diversities. A better understanding will also offer a better integration between parties potentialities in order to better plan common efforts towards a common goal: understanding, protection and stewardship of the underwater cultural heritage as well as knowledge production and dissemination of the historical past.

If elected to serve the ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, ongoing committee activities, and the management and financial challenges of the Society?

It has been stated that archaeology is primary a local endeavor. This is absolutely sharable as it is developed regionally and is affected by regional peculiarities, in terms of cultural, historical, legislative and governance matters. At the same time, archaeology – sharing this character with other humanities disciplines – is an extremely universal discipline as it touches on universal needs and expectations. Moreover, aspiring to a scientific character (in the sense Keith Muckelroy attributed to the term), archaeology and maritime archaeology particularly has a universal disciplinary character that needs to be addressed and pursued. On the basis of these few remarks, I believe that the major mission and the priority of a body like ACUA is to participate in building such universal commonality within the discipline practitioners as well as between these and the “outer world”. ACUA is an extremely public-projected body which makes it an extremely valuable vehicle for influencing knowledge sharing and awareness rising on the underwater cultural heritage of humanity.

In line with the 2001 UNESCO Convention, my commitment will be to participate to this dialectic and all my efforts – as it has been since my commitment to archaeology – will be addressed to help ACUA spreading the word in order to reach the most varying number and type of stakeholders. I sincerely agree with Wendy van Duivenvoorde statement (see SHA Summer 2013 Newsletter) from last years election round: there is a desperate need for overall cooperation and particularly “a cooperative model between government, industry, academia and the private sector to find innovative, practical and sustainable solutions that, at the same time, benefit local communities and the general public”. I will therefore stress the value of SHA and ACUA missions towards pursuing, participating and influence the establishment of a proactive and continuous dialogue between all involved stakeholders in order to contrast risks and hazards on the common heritage posed by infrastructures development or illegal activities. Therefore my commitment to the ACUA Board will be on these terms. A larger International dialogue between practitioners, attempting to create a common ground to uniformly develop the discipline on an International level. My commitment will also address the value of collaboration between stakeholders and involved parties and between these and the general public.

James A. Smailes

Jim SmailesEducation
BS Civil Engineering, Drexel University; MS Civil Engineering, University of Maryland

Present Position
Secretary, Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS)

I am the Secretary, Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS) and co-editor of MAHSNews. Formerly the President of MAHS, I have been a member since 1990 and teach the survey and mapping class in MAHS’ annual course for sport divers “Introduction to Underwater Archaeology.” A diver for more than 35 years, I’ve worked on terrestrial and underwater projects in the US, the Caribbean, Bermuda and the English Channel.  I am also a volunteer at the Smithsonian Institution’s National American History Museum, Maritime Section. I am a registered Professional Engineer in Maryland, Virginia and the District of Columbia.

I have worked for more than 30 years in structural and transportation engineering as well as construction planning and management, including renovating two historic homes. I am retired from the federal government.  My last position was in the Federal Railroad Administration where I managed several programs including the Grade Crossing Safety Research Program. Projects based on this research over a 10-year period resulted in a significant reduction of fatalities and injuries from collisions between trains and highway vehicles by more than 42 percent.

I was a Trustee of the DC Preservation League (DCPL) for six years (2004 – 2010) and am currently on the Development Committee. DCPL is the largest, private, non-profit organization dedicated to preserving significant or historic architecture in the nation’s capitol. DCPL works in partnership with real estate developers to preserve and adapt historic structures and has been instrumental in saving the significant architecture that the District is fortunate to have.

I am also a board member of the following non-profit organizations: Anacostia Community Boathouse, encouraging rowing and sculling on the Anacostia River, Washington, DC. and Committee of 100 for the Federal City, which provides consulting advice to the metropolitan Washington DC area on urban planning, transportation, zoning and historic preservation. I am on the transportation subcommittee.

Given the qualifications and experience outlined in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute to SHA if elected as a Board Member?

I believe I bring a breadth of experience not just from my work with the archaeological community, both land and underwater, but also from my work in civil engineering and historic preservation. I have been an avocational archaeologist for more than 24 years, supporting professional archaeologists and graduate students with research or in the field, and teaching surveying and mapping to sport divers. I bring a working knowledge of the ACUA Board in a variety of ways, including having worked on the committee to improve ACUA outreach to the general public, and have represented MAHS at the annual conference. My work in historic preservation and on the boards of other non-profits has given me an understanding of the not-for-profit process. I bring a balanced view of the challenges facing ACUA/SHA with a practical view from the outside based on experience.

If elected to serve ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, ongoing committee activities, and the management and financial challenges of the Society?

First, ACUA/SHA must continue to be advocates for cultural heritage by educating scholars, teachers and government officials of diverse backgrounds. This could be through local outreach efforts, suggested lesson plans that could be downloadable from the SHA or other websites, or structured training programs. Second, ACUA should continue to expand its education efforts for archaeology students, the general public and the sport diving community. For historical archaeology students, it would be beneficial to expand their exposure to other fields that will impact their work as historians and archeologists. For sport divers, there are various avocational archaeology courses available offered by NAS, MAHS and others. ACUA should continue its efforts to determine the best practices available from these courses. The result would not only be improved training for sport divers but could also provide additional information for outreach to the general public emphasizing the importance of preserving underwater cultural heritage.

James D. Spirek

B.A. History, George Mason University M.A. Nautical Archaeology and Maritime History, East Carolina University.

Present Position State Underwater Archaeologist, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina Columbia Past Positions Deputy State Underwater Archaeologist, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina Columbia Underwater Archaeologist, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology, University of South Carolina Columbia Field Director, Pensacola Shipwreck Survey and Emanuel Point Shipwreck Project, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Resources

Past Professional Service to SHA and Other Societies
SHA Presenter at annual conferences, Session Co-organizer, Quebec City South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology Diving and Safety Control Board member.

Research Interests
Civil War naval operations, 16th-century seafaring, and Remote-sensing operations.

Recent Publications
Exploring the United States’ Naval Legacy in South Carolina, In South Carolina Archaeology, ed. A. King, Columbia, SC: University of South Carolina Press, chapter co-author with C. Amer (In Press) ;

The Archeology of Civil War Naval Operations at Charleston Harbor, South Carolina, 1861-1865, reported submitted to the National Park Service, American Battlefield Protection Program by Maritime Research Division, South Carolina Institute of Archaeology and Anthropology (2012);

Submerged Cultural Resource Management:  Preserving and Interpreting Our Sunken Maritime Heritage.  The Plenum Series in Underwater Archaeology, Kluwer Academic/Plenum Publishers, ed. with D. Scott-Ireton (2003)

Given the qualifications and experience outlined in your biographical statement, what do you believe you can contribute if elected to ACUA?

My experience with public-sector underwater archaeology relating to research, legislative, regulatory, and public outreach, coincides with the mission of the ACUA to promote and preserve the underwater archaeological heritage throughout the world. My current position as state underwater archaeologist offers a unique platform to promote and advocate for the preservation of the underwater archaeological legacy in South Carolina through outreach to Federal, State, and Local policymakers, archaeologists, sport divers, and the public. I have also been fortunate to have worked overseas on various projects outside of the United States that have broadened my awareness of the challenges facing fellow underwater archaeologists and the need to provide outreach and support when requested on standards of the discipline, methods, and general advice. Using this experience gained over many years in the field, I look forward to the opportunity under the aegis of the ACUA to address and provide guidance to issues on a national and international level that we confront on the state level to preserve the underwater archaeological heritage for future generations and archaeologists.

If elected to serve the ACUA, what priorities would you emphasize, taking into account SHA and ACUA’s missions and goals, ongoing committee activities, and the management and  financial challenges of the Society?

If elected to the ACUA I would stress the role of the ACUA/SHA to promote the discipline of underwater/historical archaeology to a variety of audiences, especially relating to the preservation and ethical standards needed to realize the potential of these valuable sources of information as avenues to understanding our past, present, and future. One means to accomplish this is to provide a vetted list of research projects and activities on the ACUA website that espouse the missions of the ACUA and SHA. By offering these case studies exemplifying the practice of underwater archaeology, we can spread the message of what sound and ethical archaeology is in contrast to monetized-based recovery efforts put forth by various media and organizations. An undertaking that would require limited financial wherewithal from either entity’s budget and would complement ongoing ACUA/SHA activities to educate policy makers, governments, sports divers, and the general public about the importance of preserving these unique archaeological resources. I would look forward to working in concert with the other ACUA board members on this endeavor and serving to promote the mission of the ACUA/SHA.