Advisory Council Membership Biographies

Community Members

joe poe

Member: Joe Poe (Chair)

Seat: Recreational Diving

Term: 5/21 to 5/23


Durham, North Carolina

Joe Poe has been exploring North Carolina shipwrecks for more than 30 years. He is Technical and Tri-mix certified and was a member of the first civilian team to dive on the USS Monitor in 1990 with dozens of expedition dives on the ship over the following two decades. His photographs were selected by NOAA to illustrate its report to Congress on the Monitor's condition prior to recovery projects and his photos and articles on the USS Monitor and other North Carolina shipwrecks have been featured in Wreck Diving Magazine, Immersed, Sport Diver, Coastwatch, Urban Hiker and Alert Diver, as well as books, training manuals and newspapers. He is a graduate of the U.S. Army Still Photography School and has won several underwater photography competitions. His photos have been published as the covers of N.C. Aquarium Magazine and Wreck Diving Magazine.

Joe is currently Chairman of the Board of Directors of the Divers Alert Network, Inc. (DAN, Inc.), a world-wide organization dedicated to the safety of recreational diving with over 150,000 members. He is a member of the board of directors of other diving organizations, an insurance company and local diving groups and has dived all around the world, from Alaska to PNG to South Africa to Brazil and beyond.

In his other life, Joe is a trial lawyer and member of the New York, North Carolina and Federal bar organizations. Formerly an Assistant District Attorney in the Bronx, New York and a Special Deputy Attorney General of North Carolina, he is now in private practice in Durham, N.C., specializing in civil commercial and tort litigation. He has been trying lawsuits and engaged in all aspects of litigation for over 40 years, and his advocacy for his clients has resulted in numerous significant jury verdicts and appellate decisions. Joe is also a Mediator and member of the North Carolina Academy of Certified Mediators.

jim tobin

Member: James P. Tobin (Vice-Chair)

Seat: Citizen-at-Large

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Business Owner

Manns Harbor, North Carolina

Jim has been an entrepreneur most of his career. After studying at Diablo Valley College, he started his career working at Conam Nuclear inspecting nuclear power generating stations advancing to the position of Qualified Data Analyst. During his tenure at Conam he met his wife, Tammy, and moved to the Outer Banks of North Carolina. Jim and Tammy began a commercial fishing business in 1989 fishing pound nets for flounder and fished for 15 years before selling the business. During this same timeframe, they started Caimen Gardens, a retail nursery in their backyard. The business quickly outgrew this location, and they moved the business to Manteo, N.C., in 1996 and operated it in this location for 8 years. In 2004, Jim and Tammy sold the Caimen Gardens location to CVS and embarked on a 2 ½ year sabbatical sailing the Caribbean aboard their 51' sailboat, Class Act. Many beaches and countless dives later, they returned to the USA and moved to Asheville N.C., where Jim recertified his nuclear certification and began working in the nuclear field once again. Shortly after arriving in Ashville, Jim received a call from a friend who asked if he and Tammy would be interested in managing the 195-slip Pirates Cove Marina in Manteo N.C. Having the ocean and fishing in their blood, Jim and Tammy agreed to take the position and purchased the business in 2008. They are very proud to operate several charitable fishing tournaments out of this location, including the Alice Kelly Memorial Ladies Billfish Tournament and the Pirates Cove Big Game Tournament. Jim is the Chairman of the Dare County Oregon Inlet Task Force and the Vice Chair of the Oregon Inlet and Waterways Commission. Jim has also served on the North Carolina Cooperative Extension State Advisory Council, the North Carolina Agriculture Foundation and is a Past President and Past Assistant Governor for Rotary District 7720. Jim has been a certified diver since he was 18 and has his USCG Captains license.

Member: Kim Kenyon

Seat: Conservation

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Greenville, North Carolina

Tom Kies

Member: Tom Kies

Seat: Economic Development

Term: 3/21 to 3/23

Morehead City, North Carolina

Tom Kies worked in newspapers and magazines for thirty years, primarily in New York and New England. His last job in publishing was as the publisher and general manager for NCCOAST Communications based in Morehead City, North Carolina.

After leaving publishing, Tom was the Executive Director for the Downtown Morehead City Revitalization Association for the next five years. While there, he started the Alive at Five music series that brings thousands of people to the downtown area. Tom was also a key player in the development of a boutique hotel, the Big Rock Blue Marlin Fountain, and the six-thousand square foot deck on the Morehead City Waterfront.

Currently, Tom is the President of the Carteret County Chamber of Commerce. He's on the boards of the Economic Development Foundation, the Carteret County Public School Foundation, the Carteret County Transportation Committee, and Downtown Morehead City, Inc.

Tom is also a co-founder and current President of the Business Alliance Protecting the Atlantic Coast representing 43,000 business and 500,000 commercial fishing families from Maine to Florida. 

In Tom's spare time, he's the critically acclaimed author of the Geneva Chase Mystery Series.

Salvatore Mercogliano

Member: Salvatore Mercogliano

Seat: Education

Term: 12/20 to 12/22

Dr. Sal Mercogliano is an associate professor of History at Campbell University and an adjunct professor at the U.S. Merchant Marine Academy. He is graduate of the State University of New York Maritime College with a B.S. in Marine Transportation and holds an unlimited tonnage 2nd Mate license in the merchant marine. He sailed for three years with the U.S. Navy's Military Sealift Command and then worked as the operations officer for the Marine Corps and Army Afloat Prepositioning Program for four years.

Dr. Mercogliano went on to earn an M.A. in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University and his master's thesis was the basis for his 2017 publication Fourth Arm of Defense: Sealift and Maritime Logistics in the Vietnam War. He received a Ph.D. from the University of Alabama with his dissertation “Sealift: The Evolution of American Military Sea Transportation.”

In 2019, Dr. Mercogliano received Second Prize in the Chief of Naval Operations History Essay Contest with, "Suppose They Gave a War and the Merchant Marine Did Not Come." He is currently working on a history on the transportation of the American Expeditionary Force to Europe in the First World War. He is a frequent contributor to Sea History magazine, the U.S. Naval Institute Proceedings, and gCaptain. He is on the editorial board of Sea History magazine, a trustee of the National Maritime Historical Society, and a volunteer Captain on the Northwest Harnett Volunteer Fire Department.

Andre Nabors

Member: Andre Nabors

Seat: Heritage Tourism

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Partner Relations Manager, Visit North Carolina

Mebane, North Carolina

Andre` Nabors has served as the Partner Relations Manager for Visit North Carolina (formerly North Carolina Division of Tourism, Film & Sports Development) since 2010. Visit North Carolina, a unit of the Economic Development Partnership of North Carolina (EDPNC), supports sustainable efforts to market and promote the state's natural, historic and cultural resources; and provide assistance to communities, non-profits, and tourism related entities (Cultural/Heritage) for development to improve tourism product and visitation across North Carolina. In December of 2013, Tourism was charged to oversee the North Carolina Certified Retirement Community Program to encourage retirees and those planning to retire to make their home in North Carolina.

Andre` formerly held a similar position with the West Virginia Division of Tourism, where he provided marketing, research, communications and other types of assistance to communities, attractions and CVBs throughout West Virginia. In that role, he worked to develop the state's first African-American Heritage Guide identifying cultural and historic attractions, as well as foster its Civil War Trail program. Andre` also worked on several projects such as Scenic Byways, Rail to Trails, National Coal Heritage Area, Freedom Trek II and III, Governor's Black History Month Kick-Off program, and the Booker T. Washington Institute at West Virginia State University.

Before moving to North Carolina, Andre` was the convention sales manager for the Charleston (W.V.) CVB, where he covered the markets of sports, military, group, fraternity and also managed the Charleston Sports Committee. He began his career in tourism in June 1992 with the West Virginia's Parkways Authority Welcome Centers as a travel counselor and manager. Andre` is a Travel Marketing Professional (TMP) through the Southeast Tourism Society Marketing College program and has over 20 years of experience in the tourism industry.

Andre` graduated from Concord University in Athens, West Virginia and serves on the Concord University Foundation Board of Directors. He currently resides in Mebane, N.C., with his wife Stacy; daughters Malia (13) and Morgan (20); and son Deion (23).

Nathan Richards

Member: Nathan Richards

Seat: Maritime Archaeological Research

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

East Carolina University

Greenville, North Carolina

Dr. Nathan Richards is a maritime archaeologist who holds a joint appointment as program head of the Maritime Heritage Program at the UNC-Coastal Studies Institute (Wanchese, N.C.) and as an associate professor with the Program in Maritime Studies (Department of History) at East Carolina University (Greenville, N.C.). Nathan has taught classes in the history, theory, method and ethics of maritime archaeology, field schools, and cultural heritage management since 2003.

Member: Debby Boyce

Seat: Ocean Sports

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Dive Operator

Beaufort, North Carolina

Member: K.P. Scott

Seat: Recreational/Commercial Fishing

Term: 12/21 to 12/23

Hatteras, North Carolina

Kenneth (K.P.) Scott grew up in Richmond, Virginia and attended The Virginia Military Institute in Lexington, Virginia. K.P. moved to Hatteras Island, North Carolina shortly after completing his degree and took a summer job working the deck of the Miss Hatteras party boat. Married in 2007, both he and his wife worked together and received their captains licenses that winter and began to take turns in the wheel house. K.P. worked the winter months in the commercial fishing industry, drop netting and packing fish, eventually working up to the wheel house in this industry as well. In 2019, K.P. and his wife purchased the Miss Hatteras, the boat they both met and worked on all those years. Miss Hatteras, a 65-foot party boat, runs bottom fishing trips to the Gulf Stream from April through November. K.P. lives in Hatteras Village, North Carolina year round.

Member: Rom Whitaker

Seat: Recreational/Commercial Fishing

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Hatteras, North Carolina

Kamau Sadiki

Member: Kamau Sadiki

Seat: Recreational Diving

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Kamau is the immediate past President of the National Association of Black Scuba Divers (NABS). He is a lifetime NABS member and served as its Vice President from 2011 to 2017. He is a member of the Class of 2006Underwater Adventure Seekers Scuba Diving Club based in Washington, DC, a founding club of NABS. Kamau is a certified PADI Divemaster, and a board member and lead instructor with “Diving With A Purpose (DWP),” an international organization committed to resurrecting the stories of slave shipwrecks from the bottom of the sea through underwater archaeological survey and documentation. DWP is a Global Partners with the Slave Wrecks Project, a research project of the Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture.

Kamau has completed the Nautical Archeology Society Level I and II underwater archaeology courses and has worked on the search and underwater documentation of the slave shipwreck Guerrero in southern Florida. In 2018, he was on the dive team that located the slave ship Clotilda in the Mobile River near Mobile, Alabama. The Clotilda was the last ship to bring captured Africans into the USA in 1860. He was a member of the dive team that documented the slave shipwreck Sâo José Paquete de Africa in Cape Town, South Africa, the first slave ship documented in which captured African was aboard during the wrecking event. His work on the Sâo José Paquete de Africa is on exhibition in the new Smithsonian National Museum of African American History and Culture in Washington DC.

Since 2011, Kamau has worked on multiple shipwreck sites around Mozambique Island, Mozambique, shipwrecks in the NOAA Thunder Bay and Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuaries, and the National Park Service Biscayne National Marine Park off the southern Florida coast. In August 2015, he was a member of the first underwater archaeology field team to document a Tuskegee Airmen P-39 Airacobra airplane that crashed in Lake Huron in 1944, one of five aircrafts flown by Tuskegee Airmen that crashed in the lake during WWII training exercises.

Kamau is a certified NOAA and NABS Foundation Scientific Research Diver and a Blue Card diver for the National Park Service. He holds a number of PADI specialty certifications including Deep Diver, Archeology Survey Diver, Dry Suit, Wreck Diver, AWARE Coral Reef Conservation, Enriched Air Diver, Emergency Oxygen Provider, Search & Rescue, among others and is a certified Emergency First Responder. Kamau has logged more than 1200 open water scuba dives since 2006. Kamau was awarded the 2016 NABS Diver of the Year Award in recognition of his underwater archaeology work on slave shipwrecks. He also received the Underwater Adventure Seekers 2016 Founder's Award, awarded by NABS co-founder and International Diving Hall of Fame inductee, Dr. Albert Jose' Jones. Kamau is a retired Civil Engineer and is a certified Level 2 Jiivana Yoga Instructor. He is a licensed general aviation pilot with over 400 hours of pilot-in-command of Cessna 152, 172 and 182 single engine aircraft. He also enjoys river kayaking, playing percussion drums (djembe and congas) and acoustic guitar. Kamau is the proud father of two adult children, Zaire and Kumasi, and resides in the State of Maryland.

Stephanie Sterlingi

Member: Stephanie Sterling

Seat: Student Seat (Non-Voting Member)

Term: 5/21 to 5/23

Stephanie Sterling (she/her/hers) is a graduate student at East Carolina University in the Program for Maritime Studies. Originally from Omaha, Nebraska, she has spent the past few years calling Florida, Arizona, and Nevada home while working for the National Park Service. She graduated from the University of Nebraska-Lincoln (UNL) with a B.A in Art History and a minor in Archaeology. While at UNL, several experiences solidified her interest in archaeology as a career and shaped her decision to merge it with diving: a one-credit SCUBA class taken on a whim, field schools at Antiochia ad Craǧum in Turkey, and photogrammetric work at the Maya Site of Copan UNESCO World Heritage Site.

Stephanie's thesis attempts to delineate physical and cognitive boundaries associated with North Carolina rice plantations along the Brunswick River and investigate how life within the waterways disrupted the power structures between planters and enslaved Africans by creating liminal spaces of freedom. While at ECU, Stephanie hopes to acquire expertise in mapping, remote sensing and innovative imaging methods.



Will Hoffman

Member: Will Hoffman

Seat: The Mariners' Museum

Term: Member since 11/14

Senior Conservator and Conservation Project Manager

Newport News, Virginia

Will Hoffman received his bachelor's degrees in Anthropology (concentrating in North American and Historic Archaeology) and Fine Arts (concentrating in sculpture and metal casting) from The State University of New York College in Buffalo. In addition, he holds a Masters in Art Conservation, specializing in the conservation of objects, from Queen's University in Kingston, Ontario. Since 2009, Will has worked at The Mariners' Museum focusing on the conservation of archaeological metals recovered from the wreck site of the USS Monitor. During his tenure at the museum, Will's research interests have encompassed the evaluation of cleaning and stabilization methods for archaeological iron materials, as well as the study of 19th century metal casting and steam engine technologies. Presently, Will manages and coordinates all conservation-related activities within the USS Monitor Center and the Batten Conservation Laboratory Complex.

Tina Gutshal

Member: Tina Gutshal

Seat: Alternate, The Mariners' Museum

Conservation Administrator

Term: Member since 12/20

Newport News, Virginia

Tina is a museum professional with twenty-seven years of experience. She has a BA in Anthropology and History from Salem College, Winston-Salem, North Carolina. Tina began her journey in the field as an intern in the archaeology laboratory at Old Salem Museum & Gardens. She has thoroughly enjoyed her career at amazing museums: the Jamestown-Yorktown Foundation's Jamestown Settlement, the American Museum of Natural History's Division of Anthropology, and The Mariners' Museum and Park. Since 2002, Tina has been a member of the team dedicated to the conservation and curatorial care of the artifacts from USS Monitor at The Mariners' Museum and Park.

Government Members

Dave Hallac

Member: Dave Hallac

Seat: The National Park Service

Term: Member since 6/15

Superintendent, Cape Hatteras National Seashore

Kill Devil Hills, North Carolina

Dave Hallac is the superintendent of Cape Hatteras National Seashore and the Outer Banks Group in North Carolina. In this capacity, he oversees a number of park programs, including wildlife and aquatic sciences, vegetation ecology, wetlands, and forestry, climate change, hydrology, geology, historical preservation and Native American tribal relations. He oversees the park's planning, compliance, and science communications program. Dave leads a variety of high profile, complex conservation initiatives such as carnivore conservation, native fish restoration, trans-boundary bison conservation and management, and climate change research.

Hallac previously managed the Yellowstone Center for Resources, the resource management and science division at Yellowstone National Park. Prior to Yellowstone, Dave spent more than a decade in south Florida in a variety of positions, including managing natural resources programs for Everglades and Dry Tortugas National Parks, and implementation of Everglades restoration projects with the Fish and Wildlife Service. He has extensive experience working with other land management agencies and collaboratively with local community groups and friends associations. Dave understands the value of both preserving federal resources and enjoying the recreational opportunities they offer.

Dave Hallac has a master's degree in wildlife and fisheries biology from the University of Vermont. He is an avid fisherman who also enjoys running, scuba diving, and boating.

Member: To be appointed

Seat: Alternate, The National Park Service

Term: N/A

Chris Southerly

Member: Chris Southerly

Seat: N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, Office of State Archaeology

Term: Member since 5/19

Raleigh, North Carolina

Member: To be appointed

Seat: Alternate, N.C. Dept. of Natural and Cultural Resources, Office of State Archaeology

Term: N/A

Jason Peters

Member: Jason Peters

Seat: N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality

Term: Member since 3/18

Artificial Reef Coordinator, Division of Marine Fisheries

Morehead City, North Carolina

Jason Peters is the Artificial Reef Coordinator for the North Carolina Division of Marine Fisheries (within the North Carolina Department of Environmental Quality). In this role, he is responsible for coordinating the design, construction, and monitoring of 68 artificial reef sites in North Carolina. These sites exist from Virginia to South Carolina, and from the river mouths to nearly 40 miles offshore. He oversees permitting, contracting, field logistics, purchasing, and reporting for several sub-programs, including oyster sanctuaries and ocean reefs. Jason also serves as chairman on the joint ASMFC/GSMFC Artificial Reef Committee, which is responsible for national guidelines on artificial reef development.

Jason is a Virginia native, but has spent the majority of his adult life in Eastern North Carolina studying marine ecology and enjoying the wonderful marine resources the state has to offer. He has a BS in Biology from Christopher Newport University (in Newport News!) and a MS in Biological Oceanography from North Carolina State University. Jason is a USCG Master Captain, avid diver, and recreational fisherman.

Member: Steve Poland

Seat: Alternate, N.C. Dept. of Environmental Quality

Term: Member since 7/18

Morehead City, North Carolina

Member: Charles "Bucky" Oliver

Seat: North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 4/22

Beaufort, North Carolina

Member: Bob Terwilliger

Seat: Alternate, North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 4/22

Beaufort, North Carolina

Will Hoffman

Member: Bobby Outten

Seat: North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 6/15

City Manager

Dare County, North Carolina

Robert "Bobby" Outten has served Dare County as Manager and Attorney since July 2009. From 2007 to 2009, Outten was Dare County's Attorney and Assistant County Manager. Prior to 2007, Outten was a private practice attorney where his work gravitated toward representing local governments and people or businesses dealing with local government on a variety of matters. He has extensive experience in coastal issues.

Outten earned a bachelor's degree in Business Administration from the University of North Carolina in 1979 and his Juris Doctorate from Wake Forest in 1982.

Outten has been an active volunteer and has served as Chairman of the Advisory Board for Parks and Recreation, assisted with the Babe Ruth World Series and CAA tournaments hosted by Dare County, chaired the local Babe Ruth League and coached for many years in the recreation program. He received the North Carolina Citizen Volunteer of the year for his work with Parks and Recreation. In addition, he was honored as recipient of the Outer Banks Community Foundation's Champion Award.

Outten has lived in Dare County for over 30 years and resides in Southern Shores with his wife Connie.

Drew Pearson

Member: Drew Pearson

Seat: Alternate, North Carolina Local (Town/City/County) Government

Term: Member since 6/15

Dare County, North Carolina

Drew Pearson joined the Dare County staff on August 4, 2014. Prior to joining Dare County, Drew was a United States Coast Guardsmen for thirty years retiring as a Captain on August 1, 2014. He began his Coast Guard career in 1984 and was designated a Coast Guard Aviator in 1986. While his service took him across the United States, he spent a good portion of his career at the Air Station in Elizabeth City. In addition to his aviation assignments, Drew was the Chief of Incident Management at the Coast Guard's Seventh District in Miami, Florida and prior to retirement, commanded Coast Guard forces in the Caribbean as Commander, Sector San Juan Puerto Rico. During these assignments, Drew oversaw search and rescue, marine environmental response, interagency law enforcement, and tropical storm mission efforts, building a wealth of experience in all-hazards emergency management.

Drew is a 1983 graduate of Wesley College where he received a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Science. In addition to his hands on emergency management experience, Drew holds Master of the Arts in Emergency and Disaster Management and Master of Public Administration degrees from the American Military University and a Master Certificate in Community Preparedness and Disaster Management from the University of North Carolina Chapel Hill.

Since 2006, Drew has maintained designation as a Certified Emergency Manager (CEM) from the International Association of Emergency Managers.

Member: LCDR Matthew Kahley

Seat: U.S. Coast Guard

Term: Member since 07/21

Portsmouth, Virginia

Lieutenant Commander Kahley became the Deputy Enforcement Chief for the Fifth Coast Guard District in June 2021 overseeing the Coast Guard's maritime safety and security missions from central New Jersey through North Carolina. In this role, he also serves as the Coast Guard's representative to the Mid-Atlantic Fisheries Management Council and the Monitor National Marine Sanctuary Advisory Council as the District's fisheries enforcement specialist.

Kahley most recently served as the Deputy Enforcement Chief at Sector Delaware Bay in Philadelphia, Pennsylvania, directing maritime safety and security missions across much of Pennsylvania, New Jersey, and Delaware out to 200 miles offshore. Prior to that, he served as a Coast Guard liaison officer at FEMA headquarters where he worked on several strategic policy initiatives, such as Presidential Policy Directive 8, the National Preparedness Goal, and the National Response Framework.

Lieutenant Commander Kahley's other operational tours include Chief of Marine Environmental Response at Sector Charleston and Future Operations Chief at Maritime Safety and Security Team (MSST) New York.Most notably, at MSST New York, he deployed as the team lead of an Advanced Interdiction Team to the U.S. CENTCOM region with the U.S. Navy in support of an international maritime coalition of forces executing counter-terrorism and counter-piracy missions.

A native of Roaring Spring, Pennsylvania, Lieutenant Commander Kahley entered the Coast Guard on active duty in 2005 serving approximately three years enlisted prior to completing Officer Candidate School in 2008.He is a 2004 graduate of Shippensburg University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Criminal Justice, and earned a Master's in Homeland Security from Pennsylvania State University in 2018, and a Master's in Marine Policy from the University of Delaware in 2021.

Lieutenant Commander Kahley's honors include two Coast Guard Commendation Medals, three Coast Guard Achievement Medals, the Global War on Terrorism Expeditionary Medal, and numerous other personal, unit, and service awards.

Kate Moore

Member: Kate Moore

Seat: Alternate, U.S. Coast Guard

Term: Member since 9/16


Portsmouth, Virginia

Katie grew up in North Carolina, vacationing on Carolina beaches. She studied environmental policy at Duke University and then received her Masters in Environmental Management with a Coastal Environmental Management focus from the same institution. Katie was previously the Bottlenose Dolphin Conservation Coordinator for NOAA Fisheries, and she has spent the last 13 years with the United States Coast Guard working on marine resource management. As the Living Marine Resources Program Manager for the Atlantic Area, Katie advises on fisheries, protected species, and marine protected areas. Located in Portsmouth, Va., Katie's civilian position provides continuity to the Coast Guard as the uniformed officers rotate to other tours after several years. As a civilian, Katie also provides continuity of knowledge and a consistent entry point for external partners if they require Coast Guard assistance.

Katie brings a zealous commitment to public service and marine conservation. Her personal interests include open water swimming, gardening, travelling, and art. Her favorite place is near water, anywhere!

Robert Neyland

Member: Robert Neyland

Seat: U.S. Navy

Term: Member since 3/11

Head, Naval Historical Center Underwater Archaeology Branch

Washington, DC

Robert obtained his Masters and Doctorate degrees in Anthropology from Texas A&M University's Nautical Archaeology Program and a Masters of Science in Public Planning and Administration from University of Texas, Tyler. Over the course of his archaeological career Robert has worked on a wide variety of shipwrecks, including a 1300 B.C. Bronze-age wreck off the coast of Turkey, medieval cog, the sunken city of 17th century Port Royal, Jamaica, searched for Columbus's caravels, and analyzed the earliest boat remains found in Maryland, as well as other eighteenth and nineteenth century shipwrecks in North America and the Caribbean. He has been the Principal Investigator and Director of excavations on late- and post-medieval wrecks in the Netherlands and terrestrial historic sites in Scotland.

Robert has been Head of the Underwater Archaeology Branch, Naval History and Heritage Command since 1996 and has researched and overseen archaeological surveys for warships dating from the Revolutionary War, American Civil War and World War II. He was instrumental in developing preservation and management strategies for the US Navy's ca. 3,000 shipwrecks and 15,000 aircraft wrecks, as well as the drafting and implementation of the Sunken Military Craft Act, legislation protecting US warships and war graves, signed into law in 2004.

Robert was Project Director for the recovery of the confederate submarine H.L. Hunley and oversaw all aspects of that project including the recovery and the creation of a state of the art archaeological conservation laboratory. Robert was also trained in archaeological conservation and has organized two conservation laboratories during his career and advised on numerous conservation projects. Robert is currently the Archaeological Principal Investigator in the search for Captain John Paul Jones warship Bonhomme Richard sunk in the North Sea.

Robert served as Chairman of the Advisory Council for Underwater Archaeology and a member of the Board of Directors for the Society for Historical Archaeology from 2002-2005. He served on the State of Maryland Governor's Council on Archaeology and the State of Virginia burial task force.

Member: Alexis Catsambis

Seat: Alternate, U.S. Navy

Term: Member since 3/11

Underwater Archaeology Branch

Washington, DC

Brendan Burke

Member: Brendan Burke

Seat: Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources

Term: Since 11/21

Underwater Archaeologist

Richmond, Virginia

Brendan Burke is the State Underwater Archaeologist with the Virginia Department of Historic Resources. He works to record, preserve, and interpret the diverse submerged heritage within the waters of the Commonwealth. Before joining DHR in 2021, Brendan was the Assistant Director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program at the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum. He also worked to document the history of the commercial shrimp fishery and co-authored Shrimp Boat City, a book documenting a century of fishing and boatbuilding in northeast Florida. Having grown up in central Virginia, Brendan holds a BA in Anthropology/History from Longwood University and an MA in Anthropology from William and Mary.

Samantha Henderson

Member: Samantha Henderson

Seat: Alternate, Virginia Dept. of Historic Resources

Term: Member since 6/15


Richmond, Virginia

Samantha is an archaeologist specializing in historical archaeology of Virginia. Over the past ten years, she has worked on numerous archaeological sites throughout Tidewater and Piedmont Virginia, including working for four years at Fort Monroe in Hampton, Virginia. Samantha attended Randolph-Macon Woman's College in Lynchburg, Virginia, for her undergraduate degree and completed her Master's degree in Historical Archaeology from University of Massachusetts Boston. In her role as Project Review Archaeologist for the Virginia Department of Historic Resources, she reviews effects of State and Federal projects on historic resources across the Commonwealth of Virginia. Samantha is a native of Virginia Beach and currently lives in Newport News, Virginia.