Archeological Firm Helps Document Connecticut Cemeteries

September 27, 2017 § Leave a comment

 R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates pic

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates

A leading authority on the subjects of terrestrial and nautical archaeology and historic preservation, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, serves as research director and CEO of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. The firm maintains offices in several states, including its office in Chester, Connecticut. The Goodwin team conducts research and excavations nationwide. In 2016, Connecticut’s State Historic Preservation Office announced that Dr. Goodwin and his team were at work documenting state cemeteries of historic significance.

The cemetery documentation project is part of a larger effort to strengthen the resiliency of Connecticut’s coastal historic properties and coastline communities; it is funded through the state’s Hurricane Sandy disaster relief mandate. Its components include the development of a mobile app to help document historic cemeteries and a research guide that provides information on how to research and select methods for preserving tombstone art.

The project also has provided the necessary documentation for nominating multiple cemeteries for listing on the National Register of Historic Places (NRHP) and the Connecticut State Register. In order to achieve an NRHP listing, a site must meet the specific criteria for eligibility for the National Register, which require development of detailed documentation since most cemeteries are not NRHP eligible.

Connecticut has thousands of cemeteries, some of which are no more than small family plots. The artwork, tombs, and buildings in these cemeteries can reflect the flow of history in their landscape design, in their local importance and in their art and architecture.


The Protection of Connecticut’s Historical Resources

September 20, 2017 § Leave a comment


Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office pic

Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who earned a PhD in archaeology, and the architectural historians working with him have assisted the residents of Clinton, Connecticut, with disaster planning efforts after Hurricane Sandy. During their 2016 historic preservation survey work in the area, specialists from Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s eponymous firm explained how better understanding and proper designation of historic properties can help owners obtain state and federal financial assistance should they experience damage from future natural disasters like Hurricane Sandy.

Clinton’s 2016 architectural survey of historic properties was administered by Connecticut’s State Historic Preservation Office following a federal grant of more than $8 million for disaster relief and historical preservation initiatives in Connecticut’s four coastal counties that were declared a federal disaster area after Hurricane Sandy.

Working with Connecticut’s 28 coastal municipalities, the Goodwin team focused on helping to update emergency preparedness plans – including hazard mitigation and recovery plans – to help these towns plan to protect at-risk cultural resources. Another phase of the work included additional surveys and inventories of historical sites in the coastal zone at risk from flooding, the nomination of new sites to the Connecticut and National Registers of Historic Places, the identification of historic structures and other properties like archaeological sites and historic landscapes that are most vulnerable to future storms and rising sea levels, and the development of Geographic Information System (GIS) planning map layers for each coastal town that identifies their historic properties with reference to future risk zones.

An Enduring Company Where Scientists Can Build Their Careers

August 23, 2017 § Leave a comment


R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. pic

R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc.

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin is an archaeologist and climate change expert whose firm, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., conducts archaeological and historical surveys and planning throughout the United States and abroad. Dr. Goodwin, who holds a PhD, founded the company over 35 years ago shortly after implementation of federal regulations codifying the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA).

The NHPA provides a framework for government agencies to conduct and oversee archaeological and historic building surveys to protect archaeological and historic sites from inadvertent destruction during construction projects. Passionate about scientific field work and American heritage resources, Dr. Goodwin has led his firm as a principal investigator in numerous significant cultural resource studies, including multidisciplinary projects for recovery and resiliency from natural calamities such as hurricanes. Other archaeologists and scientists from his firm who have been employed in these projects also have had many opportunities to practice in their respective fields and sub disciplines, and to expand their professional experience and horizons.

Because of his commitment to preserving American heritage resources, Dr. Goodwin envisions his company to remain in existence for the next hundred years and beyond. The private company is contracted by both the private and public sector entities for its recognized high-quality scientific capabilities as well as providing a rare venue for other passionate scientists in the preservation sciences to build upon their careers and contribute to knowledge of and appreciation of American prehistory and history.

Protecting Connecticut’s Coastal Historical Resources

August 14, 2017 § Leave a comment


Connecticut pic


An acknowledged expert in cultural resources management, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin earned his PhD in archaeology at Arizona State University. He has particular expertise in analyzing the impact of climate change and in coastal resiliency planning to preserve American heritage resources. He is the founder and CEO of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., an award-winning firm that has been involved in archeological surveys, preservation, and resiliency efforts for more than 35 years.

In November 2015, Connecticut governor Dannel Malloy announced a series of preservation initiatives to prepare and protect historical sites along Connecticut’s coast from natural disasters, a response to the devastating effects of Superstorm Sandy in 2012, which resulted in Connecticut’s four coastal counties being declared a federal disaster area. With funding from the National Park Service’s Disaster Relief and Assistance Grant Program, the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office chose R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates to be the lead in a multidisciplinary team for Phase 2 of the program.

This phase involved identifying historical sites at risk in the coastal counties to the effects of future storms and sea level rise, and resiliency planning measures to integrate the protection of historic properties in municipal efforts to prepare for and recover from disasters like Hurricane Sandy. The project also included identifying additional historical architectural resources and districts that may qualify for federal recovery funding through their listing on the National Register of Historic Places; the creation of historic and archeological site databases; a survey of dams in the coastal counties; and the development of technical guidance and of Geographic Information System maps of historic properties at risk to future storms and sea level rise for each of the coastal municipalities in the state.