Friday, March 24, 2006

 

Vancouver Maritime Museum director jumps to U.S. institute

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Globe and Mail
By Oliver Moore
March 21, 2006

Globe and Mail Update

A high-profile ocean researcher who helped find a series of famous shipwrecks is set to end his 15-year tenure as head of the Vancouver Maritime Museum.

Jim Delgado said yesterday that he “could not turn down” the chance to join the U.S.-headquartered Institute of Nautical Archaeology as executive director. He will take up the new position June 30, having delayed his departure to help his old employer find a suitable replacement.

“Because the museum is at a crossroads this is the perfect time,” he said in a telephone interview last night. “It'll give them a chance to find a new CEO.”

Dr. Delgado described the new position as a dream come true that allows him to return to his roots as an underwater archeologist.

“You always wish that you could do more,” he said. “[But] when you get an offer like this, how can you say no?”

The INA is dedicated to using nautical archaeology to decipher the history of humanity's interaction with the sea. As head of the not-for-profit, Dr. Delgado will become something of an ambassador for the organization, working to raise awareness and funds while also digging up new projects.

The new role will allow Dr. Delgado to remain a resident of British Columbia but will require extensive travel. As a result he may have to give up some of his many commitments, which have included writing a newspaper column and helping host a popular now-finished television show called The Sea Hunters, on which he appeared with bestselling author Clive Cussler.

Dr. Delgado recalled his tenure at the museum as a time of wonderful opportunity. He said he would remember fondly “the scholars who slowly exhale in wonder ... the tourists who gain a better sense of how and why this community is linked to the sea.”

The Vancouver Maritime Museum says that, during Dr. Delgado's time in charge, it changed from a quiet, local museum into an internationally renowned institution. They are now planning to build a National Maritime Centre in North Vancouver.

The researcher has also played a role in the discovery and exploration of historically important ships including the Titanic, the Mary Celeste, the lost fleet of Mongol Emperor Kublai Khan and the Somers, the ship whose story inspired Herman Melville's Billy Budd.

Dr. Delgado is a Fellow of both the Royal Geographic Society and the Explorers Club and the author of nearly thirty books. Lost Warships: An Archaeological Tour of War at Sea and Across the Top of the World: The Quest for the Northwest Passage both became international best-sellers.


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