Nautical Archeology Dives Deep into the Past

May 18, 2017 § Leave a comment

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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

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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.

How Rising Sea Levels Place the Coast at Risk

March 8, 2017 § Leave a comment

rising sea levels



With over four decades of experience in archaeology and anthropology, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, is the president and chief executive officer (CEO) of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates Inc. Working on an array of projects relating to the protection of important cultural sites on the East and Gulf Coasts of the United States, Dr. Goodwin raises awareness of the issues caused or exacerbated by rising sea levels, including:

– Storm surges: Rising sea levels intensify storm surges, so coastal communities experience water encroachment and flooding further inland. This can cause damage to historic properties and important infrastructure.

– Erosion: Higher water levels erode the coastline, damaging the environment and tourist economies of these regions. Erosion is a leading cause of loss of coastal archaeological sites.

– Submersion: Low-lying coastal regions are vulnerable to permanent submersion. According to the Union of Concerned Scientists, a two-foot rise in sea levels could lead to over $1 trillion of damage to coastal areas. many coastal archaeological sites along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts are actively being submerged today, especially where subsidence is occurring alongside rising mean low water stand levels.