Explaining the Role of a GIS

April 20, 2017 § Leave a comment

GIS pic

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.

Three US East Coast Cultural Sites at Risk Due to Rising Sea Levels

November 7, 2016 § Leave a comment

Historic Jamestown, Virginia  pic

Historic Jamestown, Virginia
Image: preservationvirginia.org

Cultural resource management authority Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin leverages over 30 years of experience in archeological research and preservation to lead the nationwide practice of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates as CEO and director of research. Dr. Goodwin, who holds a PhD in anthropology and archaeology, also gives lectures and works on projects involving the protection of cultural and historic sites under threat from rising sea levels. The following list covers three of the most notable sites at risk on the East Coast of the United States.

1. Historic Jamestown, Virginia. Settled in 1606 and located alongside the tidal James River, Jamestown serves as a window into early American life. It features a plethora of archaeological and cultural sites, such as churches, burial grounds, military facilities, and a blacksmith shop. The local glassblowing factory represents one of the earliest staples of what became the North American Industrial Revolution. However, the surrounding waters that once protected Jamestown against Spanish invasion now pose a threat due to enhanced storm surges and rising sea levels.

2. Turtle Mound, Florida. The ancient Timucuan people of central and northeastern Florida constructed the Turtle Mound out of discarded faunal remains, oyster shells, pottery sherds, and other items over the course of 1,000 years. It stands amid a series of smaller mounds and serves as a testament to the way of life of the Timucuan people before written history. Coastal erosion threatens the site’s existence, leading to collaborative efforts by the National Park Service, scientists, and members of the public to create a living shoreline comprised of restored mangroves, oyster shells, and marsh grass.

3. Statue of Liberty, New York. A joint effort between the newly liberated United States and France, the Statue of Liberty was first proposed by Frenchman Edouard de Laboulaye in 1865 to commemorate the centennial of the American Declaration of Independence. The French handled the statue’s construction and assembly in the United States, while the Americans agreed to build the pedestal for its placement. Rising sea levels and massive storms due to climate change pose a threat and continue to cost millions of dollars in restorative and preventive measures.

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