The NHPA – Celebrating 50 Years of Stewardship of America’s Heritage

June 1, 2017 § Leave a comment

National Historic Preservation Act pic

National Historic Preservation Act

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin has built the firm that bears his name into a leader in cultural artifact management and preservation, handling both terrestrial and nautical archaeological efforts. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his team have worked for more than 35 years to provide solutions that successfully balance the needs for critical infrastructure with historic preservation, assuring compliance with regulations such as the National Historic Preservation Act (NHPA) of 1966, as amended.

After generations of support for the idea from the American public, the United States Congress passed, and President Lyndon Johnson signed, an act in recognition of the importance of safeguarding the treasures of the country’s heritage from unchecked development. A report entitled “With Heritage So Rich,” prepared by a coalition of American mayors, was a landmark document in the field of historic preservation, and its ideas formed the nucleus of the NHPA.

The Act formally put in place the now widely praised National Register of Historic Places, which lists nearly 100,000 sites. The National Historic Landmarks Program, also established by the NHPA, oversees more than 2,500 culturally significant locations based on referrals from the public and the National Park Service. On the occasion of the law’s 50th anniversary in 2016, the Preservation 50 campaign highlighted the achievements of the NHPA.

Nautical Archeology Dives Deep into the Past

May 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

Nautical Archeology pic

Nautical Archeology

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who holds a PhD in archaeology, heads New Orleans-based R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. The award-winning firm provides cultural preservation and management services for corporate, energy sector, and United States Department of Defense clients. Dr. Goodwin and his company assist in maintaining compliance with all relevant federal, state, and local regulations on a variety of terrestrial and nautical infrastructure projects, while helping to preserve the nation’s material heritage.

Nautical archaeology is a comparatively new subfield, both of archaeology and in cultural resources management. It is such a recent development that only a few universities nationwide currently offer a nautical archaeology program.

The work of nautical archaeologists has produced a detailed record that helps document the development of shipbuilding, seafaring, and marine trade in many parts of the world. Examples of recent projects with both professional and popular interest include work on the Gresham Ship Project.

Researchers probed the wreck of a Tudor-era ship thought to have been associated with Elizabethan Royal Exchange founder Thomas Gresham, which sunk in the River Thames. The researchers were able to recover a number of artifacts documenting everyday life and trade during the period.

Other notable marine excavations have included several off the North Carolina coast. In 2010, one group of scientists hoped to uncover new underwater evidence related to the Lost Colony of Roanoke, while the Shipwrecks of the Graveyard of the Atlantic project worked to trace remains of World War II-era German ships sunk by American forces.

Explaining the Role of a GIS

April 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

GIS pic


Leveraging more than four decades of experience, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, who earned his PhD from Arizona State University, serves as CEO and director of research for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates. Working to protect historic and cultural sites throughout the United States from the threats presented by rising sea levels, Dr. Goodwin and his team were among the first to introduce geographic information systems (GIS) into cultural resource management work.

GIS allows visualization, quantification, analysis, and interpretation of data that can be used in the study of historical trends, patterns, and relationships of processes that may affect cultural resources. Such trends also can be projected into the future in graphic form as scaled and rectified images, which is critical for understanding what will happen in particular areas in the future so that courses of action can be planned and implemented.

GIS technology offers a number of other benefits, including reductions of up to 30 percent in operational expenses as a result of reductions in fuel consumption and increased staff efficiency. GIS also provides a strong framework for record keeping and for improving both communication and comprehension, since its products can be shared and viewed. In this regard, GIS can be central to more effective collaboration among interdisciplinary planning teams.

Three Actions You Can Take to Reduce Your Carbon Footprint

March 17, 2017 § Leave a comment

Carbon Footprint pic

Carbon Footprint

After earning his PhD in anthropology/archaeology from Arizona State University, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin founded the award-winning R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates Inc. 35 years ago. In his work as director of research, Dr. Goodwin lectures frequently on the subject of climate change from an archaeological perspective using data beginning with the first populations in the New World by humans. Dr. Goodwin also is advising 28 coastal municipalities and five Councils of Government in Connecticut on resilience planning for coastal historic resources in areas expecting significant sea level rise over the next fifty years. Rising temperatures and sea levels are placing cultural and historical sites around the world at risk. But people can help limit such damage by working to reduce their carbon footprints in relatively simple ways:

Use compact fluorescent light bulbs: Doing so reduces the amount of carbon dioxide by 1,300 pounds per bulb, assuming that coal is the electrical source.

Limit food waste: According to Shrink That Footprint, approximately 20 percent of food bought in developed countries gets thrown away. This leads to carbon emissions that are higher than necessary.

Plant trees: The Urban Forestry Network, which focuses on the benefits of planting more trees, reports that a young tree is capable of absorbing 13 pounds of carbon dioxide annually. This figure climbs to 48 pounds when the tree reaches full maturity.