Thursday, July 29, 2004


Institute of Nautical Archaeology - Texas A&M

Texas A&M new Maritime Archaeology center

Concept approved for new maritime archaeology center

By Emily Guevara
Published: Wednesday, July 28, 2004
Article Tools: Page 1 of 1

"The Texas A&M Board of Regents approved a concept proposal Friday to establish the Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation.

"They accepted our concept, giving us the authority to proceed with our planning," said Charles Johnson, dean of the College of Liberal Arts.

A full proposal will be presented at a subsequent board meeting and that is when the board will vote on whether or not to establish the Center, said Donny Hamilton, president of the Nautical Archaeology Institute.

Hamilton said the first thing the Board of Regents wanted to know was how much the Center would cost.

The Center would unite the anthropology department, the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, and the oceanography department in research endeavors and would need no additional facilities. No added funding would be needed either, Hamilton said.

"A Center for Maritime Archaeology and Conservation would be an organized research unit within the University and College of Liberal Arts," Johnson said.

Texas A&M is already home to the Institute of Nautical Archaeology, a private non-profit research institute that has been affiliated with the University since 1976.

Hamilton said the Center would benefit students by providing jobs along with research data for them to write dissertations, theses and term papers.

"It can really provide the extraordinary research experience that one expects at a major university," Johnson said.

Filipe Castro, assistant professor in nautical archaeology, said the anthropology department had many discussions this past year about integrating nautical archaeology in the anthropological world.

"There was a really wide discussion on how to enhance the nautical archaeology program and make it more competitive and more visible," Castro said.

Castro said the addition of the Center seemed to be the answer. It would coordinate the resources of money, people, planning and abilities in a more organized way.

Peter Fix, a doctoral candidate in nautical archeology, said, "This center would be a fabulous addition to A&M and would allow all the aspects that the (nautical archaeology) program encompasses to work in a more concerted effort toward our goals as well as utilizing all the resources to work to the betterment of the profession."

Johnson said he hopes to see the Center established in the coming academic year, sooner rather than later."

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