Protecting Connecticut’s Coastal Historical Resources

August 14, 2017 § Leave a comment

 

Connecticut pic

Connecticut
Image: thecoastalsociety.org

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.

Explaining the Role of a GIS

April 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

GIS pic

GIS
Image: nationalgeographic.org

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
Image: nature.org

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.

The Louisiana Archaeologist of the Year Award

February 24, 2017 § Leave a comment

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin – Louisiana Archaeologist of the Year

Drawing on more than 40 years of experience in archaeology, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, serves as the CEO and director of research for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. Dr. Goodwin possesses expertise in examining the role that climate change plays in rising seas levels and the effects it can have on important coastal archaeological and historic sites in the United States.

In 2014, the Louisiana Department of Culture, Recreation and Tourism  presented R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., with the Archaeologist of the Year award. The award is given in recognition of noteworthy contributions to the archaeological field in Louisiana.

In this case, the organization earned the award for its efforts in the wake of Hurricane Katrina, particularly in its work in the implementation of the Hazard Mitigation Grant Program put in place by the Federal Emergency Management Agency during recovery efforts following the storm. The company’s success in shining a spotlight on some of the most valuable cultural  resources in the state also was a major factor in the decision. Dr. Goodwin and his team analyzed and reported on hundreds of thousands of artifacts, evaluated many archaeological sites, prepared planning studies and resurveyed all of the historic districts in New Orleans as part of that major effort. Their technical reports provided tremendous insight into Louisiana’s prehistory and history.

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