Examples and strategies for partnering with volunteers in maritime heritage research
“Bringing together a fascinating series of case studies—and tackling sites as diverse as sunken warships and oceanic plastics—this volume demonstrates how maritime archaeologists can benefit from more innovative approaches to public engagement, while raising questions about what ‘citizen science’ has and can mean—and what sort of potential its deployment holds for transforming the field.”—Stephen C. Lubkemann, author of Culture in Chaos: An Anthropology of the Social Condition in War
This volume is the first to address the ways maritime archaeologists have engaged citizen scientists, presenting examples of projects and organizations that have involved volunteers in the important work of gathering and processing data. With a special focus on program development and sustainability, these practical case studies provide reference points for archaeologists looking to design their own citizen science projects.
In these essays, contributors describe initiatives such as the Diver-Archaeological Reconnaissance Cooperative (DivARC), which involves combat veterans in meaningful research missions; Diving With a Purpose, which trains adults and youth in documenting and preserving African slave trade shipwrecks; and classroom education that encourages high school students to develop an interest in the field. As volunteers learn the scope, goals, and outcomes of their research, these studies show, they are empowered to become active participants—and true partners—in scientific inquiry.
Throughout the wide range of experiences represented here, the chapter authors discuss challenges they encountered as well as ideas for optimizing future projects and strategies for welcoming diverse communities to this work. Arguing that these initiatives will create space for public engagement in heritage research, management, and preservation, Citizen Science in Maritime Archaeology serves as a foundation for discussion of this goal.
Della A. Scott-Ireton is associate director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, a program of the University of West Florida. She is the editor of Between the Devil and the Deep: Meeting Challenges in the Public Interpretation of Maritime Cultural Heritage. Jennifer E. Jones is a librarian and a graduate of the Coastal Resources Management Ph.D. Program at East Carolina University. Jason T. Raupp is assistant professor of maritime studies at East Carolina University.