Photo top: I was interviewed at the Vancouver Maritime Museum in September, 2020 about my research on the wreck of the Empress of Ireland for the episode "Danger Ahead" of the tv series "World's Greatest Shipwrecks", which airs internationally on the National Geographic Channel. Photo by Kyle Sandilands
B.A.: University of Saskatchewan (1988)
M.A.: Simon Fraser University (2021)
Supervisor: Dr. Francesco Berna & Dr. Jon Driver
Research Area: Marine Archaeology, Underwater Geo-Visualization, Coastal Migration, the Peopling of the Americas, Beringia, Pleistocene Archaeology
For close to 30 years now I've been a marine archaeologist. A large part of my career has been focused on studying shipwrecks but, more recently, it has expanded to locating and documenting atypical wrecks, such as WWII aircraft and, now, submerged landscapes. I'm particularly interested in finding evidence of a coastal migration route related to the peopling of the Americas on the Pacific coast of North America that may have existed prior to 12,000 BP.
Underwater remote sensing technology has increasingly become more of a focus for the discipline. Presently, I'm interested in the advancement and application of such technologies as Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and Autonomously Operated Vehicles (AUVs) in relation to acoustic surveying (multi-beam bathymetry and sub-bottom profiling) and visual surveying (virtual reality and 3D imaging).
In 2012, I was named a Fellow of the Royal Canadian Geographical Society for my research contributions to the search for the ships of the Franklin Expedition, Erebus and Terror.
When it comes to protecting underwater cultural heritage, I believe strongly in education and advocacy. In addition to being a member of the Society For American Archaeology and the Canadian Archaeological Association, I`m also a member of Archaeologists Without Borders and Saving Antiquities For Everyone.
For More Information About My Work:
I continue to research historic shipwrecks, including Edwardian-era ocean liners such as Titanic, Empress of Ireland and Royal Edward. My first book, Titanic Lives, was published in 2012.
The Search for New Archaeological Sites Underwater on the Pacific Northwest Coast. Society for American Archaeology (SAA) Annual General Meeting, online - presenter
Beyond Beringia: The Search for New Archaeological Sites. Visualizing and Virtualizing Archaeology; UBC's 2019 Archaeology Day. University of British Columbia, Vancouver - presenter
Reflections on Roald Amundsen. Tales from the Northwest Passage Lecture Series. Vancouver Maritime Museum, Vancouver - presenter
Society For American Archaeology's 83rd Annual Meeting, Washington, D.C. - session chair and presenter.
Frontiers of Archaeological Sciences' 2nd Annual Conference, SFU - presenter
Securing the tailwheel from an RCAF Bristol Beaufighter shot down in Norway in WWII during a marine archaeological expedition in 2008. Photo by Firda.
On the survey boat with the film crew off the coast of Norway in 2008. Photo by Firda.
I'm standing in a meter-square excavation from a pre-10,000 year-old archaeological site in Central Alaska. Photo from 2019.
On the water on the western coast of Vancouver Island looking for the oldest archaeological sites in North America. Photo from 2019.