Dr. James Delgado

BA (San Francisco State University); MA (East Carolina University); PhD (Simon Fraser University)


Dr. James P.  Delgado has led or participated in shipwreck expeditions around the world. His undersea explorations include a deep sea submersible dive two and half miles down to RMS Titanic, the recent (2010) scientific mapping of the Titanic wreck site, the discoveries of Carpathia, the ship that rescued Titanic’s survivors, and the notorious “ghost ship” Mary Celeste, as well as surveys of USS Arizona at Pearl Harbor, the sunken fleet of atomic-bombed warships at Bikini Atoll, the lost fleet of Mongol emperor Kublai Khan in Japan, the polar exploration ship Maud, and the 1846 wreck of the United States naval brig Somers.  His archaeological work has included the excavation of ships and collapsed buildings along the now-buried waterfront of Gold Rush San Francisco.


Dr. Delgado currently serves as Director of Maritime Heritage in the Office of National Marine Sanctuaries for the US National Oceanic & Atmospheric Administration.  He oversees heritage programs and active research in the US, as well as outreach and education on America’s underwater and marine heritage.  Among his duties is the administration NOAA’s Congressionally and court-directed oversight of RMS Titanic.  He is also chief scientist for the ongoing archaeological mapping of the Titanic wreck site.  Earlier appointments include President and CEO of the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (Texas A & M), Executive Director of the Vancouver Maritime Museum, Head of the U.S. government’s Maritime Preservation Program, and Maritime Historian for the U.S. National Park Service. He is the host of the National Geographic International television series The Sea Hunters, and has a founding membership in the International Commission on Monuments and Sites (icomos) committee on underwater cultural heritage.  Dr Delgado serves as a Fellow of the Royal Geographical Society and a Fellow of the Explorers’ Club.  He is author or editor of thirty-two books and numerous articles.