Archived Webinars

Watch a collection of archived webinars and interviews by Monitor National Marine Sanctuary staff that help to tell the sanctuary's story.

people participating in the webinar and a 3-D scan of the uss monitor wreck

Valor in the Atlantic Media Preview

May 3, 2022

NOAA and partners hosted a briefing to provide the media with a preview of the upcoming Valor in the Atlantic Telepresence Expedition. The mission will document the USS Monitor and other notable shipwrecks off the North Carolina coast that represent our nation's naval innovation from the Civil War to World War II. This will be the first in-depth multidisciplinary survey of the Monitor since NOAA and the Navy recovered the iconic ship's gun turret in 2002.

From May 15 through May 25, 2022, the public can tune in as NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary partners with the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration, NOAA's National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science, and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology to conduct the expedition. The mission will use state-of-the-art underwater drones and other technologies to explore historic shipwrecks within and surrounding Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, and understand the role they now play as living reefs. With NOAA Ship Nancy Foster as the research platform, the expedition will be live-streamed in real time to the public.

Webinar Recording


left to right: rov, noaa ship, rov

Valor in the Atlantic Telepresence Expedition

April 12, 2022

Join NOAA and partners as they discuss the upcoming Valor in the Atlantic telepresence expedition due to launch in May of 2022. Learn how NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and the National Center for Coastal Ocean Science, along with partners from the Global Foundation for Ocean Exploration (GFOE) and the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology will use cutting edge technology to bring North Carolina's oceanic wonders to all.

Using GFOE's Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROVs) and satellite capability, the Valor in the Atlantic telepresence expedition will explore USS Monitor, natural reefs, and the maritime cultural landscape surrounding Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. The NOAA ship Nancy Foster will act as the project's research platform streaming ROV video live, while narrated by national experts to showcase these nationally significant sites and their biological communities to the public. The mission will investigate historic shipwrecks from the U.S. Civil War, World War I, and World War II's Battle of the Atlantic. These sites serve as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and a memorial to generations of mariners who lived, worked, and fought off our shores.

Join us as we discuss how these weapons of war transformed into islands of life and learn how to join in the expedition by visiting a museum or from the comfort of your home, school, or office.

Webinar Recording


left to right: painting of the battle of the uss monitor and css virginia, John V. Quarstein, posters of the monitor and css virginia

And the Winner Is... Who Won the Battle of Hampton Roads?

March 9, 2022

Join historian John V. Quarstein as he dives into the 160-year-old question, "Who Won the Battle of Hampton Roads?" The first clash between ironclad vessels was over by mid-day on March 9, 1862. Both North and South claimed victory; neither side admitted the battle was a draw. USS Monitor declared victory because it had stopped the Confederate ironclad from destroying any more Union wooden warships. And CSS Virginia also claimed success because it had damaged Monitor, destroyed five ships, and remained the defender of Norfolk and the James River during the first two months of the 1862 Peninsula Campaign. This engagement changed naval warfare forever, proving the power of iron over wood.

John is director emeritus of the USS Monitor Center at The Mariners' Museum and Park in Newport News, Virginia, home of the award-winning Ironclad Revolution exhibition. A noted Civil War historian John is the author of A History of Ironclads: The Power of Iron Over Wood, The Monitor Boys: The Crew of the Union's First Ironclad, and CSS Virginia: Sink Before Surrender.

A popular lecturer, John hosts the Mariners' Civil War and Hampton Roads History Lecture Series, presented in person and virtually.

Webinar Recording


left to right: Dr. Sal Mercogliano, drawing of the uss schurz sinking, wwi war poster of a ship sinking in battle

Sims versus Gleaves: The Battle Over How to Convoy During the First World War

March 8, 2022

Join Dr. Sal Mercogliano to discover the internal naval battle between admirals as they fought over how best to protect Allied ships during World War I.

The German use of unrestricted submarine warfare in early 1917 resulted in the tremendous loss of shipping off the Western Approaches to the English Channel. The attacks included several American vessels and contributed to the nation's decision to join the First World War. Rear Admiral William S. Sims arrived in England and learned of the desperate situation facing the Allies due to the loss of merchant vessels. Admiral Sims, as Commander U.S. Naval Forces in Europe became a staunch advocate for the large-scale convoying and escorting of merchant ships as they entered the war zone.

Back in the United States, Rear Admiral Albert Gleaves saw his force of destroyers sail east to join Admiral Sims and leaving him without mission. When the Army decided to ship the 1st Infantry Division to Europe, he was assigned as Commander Convoy Operations in the Atlantic. This appointment would place Gleaves into direct opposition with Sims in how to conduct convoy operations, the proper allocation of warships, and the concern about a potential submarine attack on the East Coast of the United States.

Their struggle led to the deployment of nearly all U.S. destroyers to Europe, leaving the U.S. East Coast and North Carolina open to U-Boat attacks in 1918.

Webinar Recording


left to right: James Charlet, old photo of lfe-saving station keepers, keepers at work and painting of keepers

Submerged NC: North Carolina Life-Saving Stations Pictured in Black & White

February 8, 2022

Join Keeper James Charlet to hear the stories of the African American crews who served in the U.S. Life-Saving Service.

The United States Life-Saving Service was the first successful American coastal service whose singular mission was land-based ocean rescue. It existed from 1871 until 1915, with over 300 life-saving stations on all of America's coasts. Although it had a rough start, it became America's most celebrated, honored, and admired national service. The brave souls known as Surfmen had one focus: saving lives in peril from the sea, "so others may live."

During their 44-year history, nationwide, using no more than small, open, wooden boats, and cork life belts, often in violent and dangerous storms, they responded to over 178,000 lives in peril…of which they saved, OVER 177,000; yet, somehow, America forgot these peaceful heroes. In 1915, the United States Life-Saving Service merged with the U.S. Revenue Cutter Service and was renamed the United States Coast Guard.

Hardly any Americans have ever even heard of the United States Life-Saving Service. Far fewer have heard of their integrated squads, known as "checkerboard crews." Some have heard of the very first all-black one – the Pea Island United States Life-Saving Service Station No. 17, Outer Banks, North Carolina, which formed just 20 years after the Civil War in the deep south. Join us to learn its extraordinary story.

Webinar Recording


mutiple photos of world war 2 vets

The National World War II Memorial – The Living Room of Washington D.C.

January 18, 2022

Join Holly Rotondi, executive director of the Friends of the National World War II Memorial, as she shares the stories and people behind the building of the National World War II Memorial, one of the most visited memorials on the National Mall in Washington, D.C. Learn about the 17-year odyssey to create a memorial to honor the 16-million-strong men and women who wore the uniform of the U.S. Armed Forces during World War II and to pay tribute to a generation of Americans and Allies who helped to bring freedom to millions around the globe. Discover how the Memorial that faced strong opposition has now become, in the words of Ambassador Haydn Williams, "Washington's village square, the town green on the Mall, a place for silent solemn remembrance, for public commemoration and celebration, also a place, to linger, to stroll, to talk, to listen, to share memory and meaning."

Webinar Recording


log boats

American Indian Log Boats - Every Tree Tells a Story

December 14, 2021

John Mintz, State Archaeologist and Chris Southerly, Deputy State Archaeologist – Underwater, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology

The Underwater Branch of the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology (OSA) has launched a "log boat initiative" to inventory, identify, recover, preserve, and exhibit American Indian Log Boats. Partnering with North Carolina American Indian Tribes, OSA staff are collaborating to protect these important but threatened resources that demonstrate North Carolina’s Indian population as being first on the land."

Past discoveries of dugout canoes from coastal North Carolina provide background for a discussion of recent recoveries and finds from South River near Fayetteville, North Carolina, and Lake Waccamaw in Columbus County, highlighting work with the Waccamaw-Siouan Tribe and Coharie Indian Tribe.

Webinar Recording


left to right: shoreline, satellite of north carolina coast, mary bthe fits and allyson ropp

Heritage in the Eye of the Storm – A Systematic Effort to Document Cultural Resources Damaged and Threatened by Hurricanes in Coastal North Carolina

October 19, 2021

The hurricanes of 2018 devastated coastal North Carolina. Not only did they cause significant damage to property and infrastructure, Florence and Michael also impacted coastal cultural resources, including archaeological sites and cemeteries. In response to these storms, the National Park Service is providing emergency supplemental funds to support preservation efforts, including surveys to assist in planning for future storms. The North Carolina Office of State Archaeology (OSA) received funding for two projects that will document and assess cultural resources in the coastal counties of North Carolina.

Join OSA archaeologists Mary Beth Fitts and Allyson Ropp to see how OSA's Shorescape and Coastal Historic Cemetery Survey Projects have been designed to document important places in counties impacted by Hurricanes Florence and Michael in 2018. Unlike most surveys of coastal resources, these projects are adopting a holistic approach to the archaeology of maritime lifeways by simultaneously investigating resources on the shoreline, within the littoral zone, and submerged in adjacent waterways. This approach will not only provide a baseline for understanding differential climate change and storm effects on dry and waterlogged sites; it will broaden our understandings of coastal communities’ political economies and experiential realms. In addition to identifying the context and goals of these projects, this talk will discuss the prioritization models OSA is using to implement these surveys, which have been designed to identify at-risk sites associated with North Carolina’s maritime industries and African American communities, and the role of these efforts to build upon the Office of State Archaeology’s Sea Level Rise Project.

Webinar Recording


images of divers exploring shipwrecks and planning dives

Maritime Archaeology – Exploring and Discovering Shipwrecks

October 7, 2021

America's greatest museum of our past as a seafaring nation lies on the bottom of our nation's ocean, seas, lakes, and rivers. That heritage is a legacy of thousands of years of settlement, exploration, immigration, harvesting the bounty of the sea, and creating coastal communities and maritime traditions. Shipwrecks offer an exciting window into the study and preservation of our past. They are a random sampling of voyages and a record of past trade and communication. It's almost as if they are frozen in time, giving a fresh perspective on history and acting as valuable classrooms. Archaeology is the study of the ancient and recent past, and maritime archaeology offers a rare glimpse into these submerged historical resources and the landscape that surrounds them.

Join Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to dive into maritime archaeology. Explore its early beginnings, and learn about maritime archaeology as a career. Discover how technology has changed the tools used to explore shipwrecks, while you dive into the waters off North Carolina. Learn how NOAA and partners work to conserve and protect submerged historical resources and grasp the significance of a World War II battlefield located just off the North Carolina coast. Hear how maritime archaeologists and technology discovered three shipwrecks that give us greater insight into World War II's Battle of the Atlantic.

Preview a free STEM curriculum guide designed to help students understand maritime archaeology. Activities in the guide explore ships through time, the people of maritime archeology, the tools they use, and shipwreck ethics and conservation. This free curriculum guide, Maritime Archaeology – Discovering and Exploring Shipwrecks is designed for grades 6-12.

Although this webinar is aimed at educators, anyone interested in attending is welcomed to join us!

Webinar Recording


left to right: the ship diamond shoal at see, a shipwreck at the bottom of the sea, sidesonar scan of two shipwrecks

Submerged NC: World War I – The Great War off North Carolina's Coast

September 16, 2021

When World War I began in 1914, the battles happened far from American shores with seemingly no direct danger to the U.S. Although Germany's Unterseeboot (undersea boat) fleet was prowling the North Atlantic, the people of North Carolina felt they had little to fear, and many believed the U-boats could never travel the distance to their shores. They were wrong. By the end of the war in 1918, three German U-boats had sunk a total of 10 vessels off North Carolina alone.

Join Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to learn about World War I and the enemy in home waters. Learn about the great debate on isolationism, and discover what life was like during the war. Explore the U-boats that patrolled the East Coast, and learn more about the ships they sank. Dive into the mystery of the Mirlo and see if you can solve it. Discover how NOAA and partners work to preserve this significant piece of our nation's maritime heritage and explore beautiful underwater images.

Preview a free curriculum guide designed to help students understand World War I. Activities in the guide explore the debate on isolationism, the effects of the Zimmerman Telegram, how propaganda was used, and what life was like on the home front. Also, in the guide, explore the mystery of the Mirlo and the German U-boats that patrolled the East Coast. This free curriculum guide, World War I: Discovering and Exploring the Great War off the North Carolina Coast is designed for grades 6-12.

Although this webinar is aimed at educators, anyone interested in attending is welcomed to join us!

Webinar Recording


Left to right: swannanoa river with marine debris, a fish trap in a river, dr david crandford standing in a hole he dug

Where the Water is Shallow, and the Current is Strong: Stone Fish Weirs of the Eastern Woodlands

August 17, 2021

Though often overlooked, stone fish weirs are relatively common archaeological features in many swift-flowing rivers and streams above the fall-line across the eastern Unites States. Often seen as "V" or "W"-shaped stone alignments, these highly efficient fishing structures were used extensively throughout the pre-colonial and historic periods, some potentially dating back millennia and represent an important part of our cultural landscape.

For a variety of reasons, stone fish weirs have received only intermittent attention from the archaeological community and are rarely the focus of systematic surveys. New improvements in the quality and accessibility of satellite-based imagery, like Google Earth, have made the identification and recording of fish weir sites possible on a regional scale.

Join Dr. David Crandford, Assistant State Archaeologist for the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology, to learn about the many different types of fish weirs that can be found world-wide and how their shapes help determine where they are located. Learn about archaeological approaches to studying fish weir sites and hear about some of the initial findings and insights of the North Carolina Fish Weir Archaeological Project that has documented more than 800 potential fish weirs.

Webinar Recording


Left to right: Joe Poe, monitor shipwreck, diver filming a wreck

Exploring North Carolina Shipwrecks

August 3, 2021

Dive beneath North Carolina waters with Joe Poe, a skilled diver and an exceptional photographer, who has been exploring North Carolina shipwrecks for more than 40 years. See beautiful underwater photos, and hear about his unique and interesting experiences diving on the USS Monitor, World War II shipwrecks, and more.

Learn more about our nation's sanctuary system, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, and the work NOAA is doing to document and survey many of the shipwrecks surrounding the USS Monitor. This webinar is part of the 2021 Get Into Your Sanctuary event.

Joe Poe resides in Durham, North Carolina, and serves as the Recreational Dive seat and Vice Chair of Monitor National Marine Sanctuary's Advisory Council. Joe is a member, and former chairman, of the Board of Directors of the Divers Alert Network (DAN), Inc. and serves on the boards of numerous other diving organizations. Joe has dived all over the world and in his other life, he is a trial lawyer and member of the New York, North Carolina, and Federal bar organizations.

Webinar Recording


Left:Lori Sanderlin and Katy Menne, center: people working at a table, right people getting supplies from a table

Diving into Diversity

July 20, 2021

Looking for ways to reach and engage a wider and more diverse audience and/or students? Gain some summer inspiration with Lori Sanderlin and Katy Menne of the North Carolina Maritime Museum at Southport.

Navigate your way to this live webinar as Lori and Katy discuss how their small museum in southeastern North Carolina took on the big topic of Diversity, Equity, Accessibility, and Inclusion, with a special look at Accessibility and Inclusion. The museum is the first Certified Autism Center in the state of North Carolina and welcomes visitors of all abilities and their families.

Tune in for a unique take on how the maritime field can be adapted to reach a wider, more diverse audience. Learn how this small staff of three took on adapting programs, creating an American Sign Language (ASL) tour, and making physical alterations to create a more welcoming and inclusive experience for individuals and families with sensory sensitivities or special needs.

Webinar Recording


Left: kids building an rov, left-center: kids working on an rov, right-center: people in a pool with working on an rov, right: kids testing an rov in a pool

Engineering in the Classroom with Underwater Remotely Operated Vehicles

July 15, 2021

Want to do engineering in your classroom? Through the excitement of underwater remotely operated vehicles (ROVs), Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator for Monitor National Marine Sanctuary, introduces educators to an exciting avenue for teaching engineering and design, while learning about our nation's maritime heritage through the mystery of shipwrecks. Using problem-based learning and a plethora of activities using simple materials, learn how to help your students understand engineering design and the science behind ROVs, including Newton's Laws of Motion, buoyancy, air pressure, Archimedes' Principle, and more.

During this presentation, learn how to help your students design, engineer, build, and test an ROV to better understand the engineering process. With step-by-step instructions, learn how to create affordable reusable kits and how to implement the program into your classroom with as little as three class hours. The free ROV curriculum also guides you in engaging your students to connect to the scientists and maritime archaeologists of NOAA and Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. Discover how NOAA uses ROV technology in the real world to explore the Deep Ocean and search for historical shipwrecks. A complete set of free lesson plans filled with hands-on activities is showcased.

Although this webinar is aimed at educators, anyone interested in attending is welcomed to join us!

Webinar Recording


Left: Tim Smith, Center: cones on the water, Right: archaelogist working

Sometimes the Simplest Solutions are the Best Solutions – Re-Conserving the Lake Phelps Canoes

June 8, 2021

Join Tim Smith, Lake Phelps Canoe Conservator at Queen Anne's Revenge Lab with North Carolina's Office of State Archaeology to learn about the Native American dugout canoes discovered in Lake Phelps and the conservation methods and treatments used to preserve them.

Located in North Carolina's Pettigrew State Park, Lake Phelps is North Carolina's second largest natural lake and remains a beautiful mystery. Formed on a vast peninsula lying between the Albemarle Sound and the Pamlico River, the lake is believed to be more than 38,000 years old. This massive lake and surrounding big-tree forests offer a more than 10,000-year glimpse into the relation of human cultures and nature. Archaeologists have uncovered thousands of relics, but the most fascinating discovery is a collection of 30 dugout canoes buried in the lake. These canoes date as far back as 2400 B.C.

Most of the 30 canoes were reburied to protect them from deterioration, but four were recovered in 1986. Learn how these canoes were treated with sugar as a bulking agent to prevent serious damage upon drying. However, after many years of being stored in uncontrolled conditions, some of these canoes became unstable with sugar leaching to the surface and crystallizing, causing major concerns for their long-term preservation. Discover how a graduate of East Carolina's Anthropology Program researched and devised a method for treating this problem that has proven effective at dissolving the sugar back into the canoes. Using the Lake Phelps canoes as a case study, listen as Tim discusses the advantages and disadvantages of treating waterlogged archaeological wood with sugar, as he reviews their history, treatment, and retreatment.

Webinar Recording


a collage of a model of the monitor, will hoffman and the monitor turrent

Conservation of USS Monitor. Past, Present, and Future

May 18, 2021

Will Hoffman, Director of Conservation and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum and Park

In 1987, The Mariners' Museum and Park partnered with NOAA to be the official repository of artifacts raised from the nation's first national marine sanctuary. Starting in the late 1990s, archaeologists from NOAA, partnering with the U.S. Navy, began a major effort to recover the most significant components and artifacts from the wreck site of USS Monitor. As the first ironclad commissioned by the U.S. Navy in 1862, Monitor fought in the Battle of Hampton Roads on March 9, 1862, and just nine months later, sank off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina.

Objects retrieved from the vessel encompassed nearly the entire engineering section and its iconic revolving gun turret. With the arrival of the Monitor's turret in 2002, the museum held over 210 tons of archaeological material.

Will Hoffman, Director of conservation and Chief Conservator at The Mariners' Museum, will present an overview of the Monitor conservation effort to date, including the establishment of the USS Monitor Center and Batten Conservation Complex. During the lecture, he will also discuss the treatment of several high-profile objects, as well as outlining future conservation steps.

Webinar Recording


a collage of an admiral, sinking ship and Dr. Sal Mercogliano

The Submarine Blitzkrieg against North America and the U.S. Response - December 1941 to August 1942

May 11, 2021

Dr. Sal Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History at Campbell University

During World War II, the ships and men of the U.S. Merchant Marine transported vast quantities of war materials, supplies, equipment, and troops needed to fight the war. These merchant seamen faced many of the same dangers as U.S. Navy sailors. One in 26 merchant mariners serving aboard merchant ships during the war died in the line of duty, suffering a greater percentage of war-related deaths than all other U.S. uniformed services.

Join Dr. Sal Mercogliano, Associate Professor of History at Campbell University, to learn how and why the American East Coast became a strategic battlefield in the first five months after the U.S. entered World War II. Learn about the mistakes made, the men who made them, and the solutions found to turn the tide in the German U-boat war.

Dr. Mercogliano will discuss how the ships sunk off the East Coast represented some of the initial actions for the U.S. in the Second World War, but that they also demonstrated the global nature and issues facing the Navy and the merchant marine in their ability to transport the Arsenal of Democracy from the home front to the front lines. Learn how Admiral King, Adolphus Andrews (commander of the Eastern Sea Frontier), and Emory S. Land (head of the War Shipping Administration) vied for the best solution to the attacks against American commerce and fought over the limited resources available to defend it. Understand that the ones who suffered most were the crews of the 609 ships off American waters in the months after the United States entered the war.

Webinar Recording


a collage of various world war II shipwrecks

World War II's Battle of the Atlantic - When the War Came to America

May 6, 2021

In 1942, German U-boats stalked merchant and Allied vessels off the U.S. East Coast. In the first six months of 1942, over 85 ships sank off the North Carolina coast alone, with over 1,200 casualties. By war's end, 90 ships laid at rest on the bottom of the sea, and nearly 1,700 men made the ultimate sacrifice.

Join Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator with Monitor National Marine Sanctuary to learn more about this American Theater of World War II and why the area off Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, became the strategic hotspot for the Battle of the Atlantic. In this webinar, "dive" under the water to view the wrecks as they rest today and hear their stories of bravery and sacrifice. Dive even deeper with historical and underwater images and videos, along with 3-D representations and sonar images. Preview the free 204-page curriculum guide designed to help students understand the causes of the war, the role women played in the military and on the home front, the importance of the Battle of the Atlantic, and NOAA's role in preserving our nation's maritime heritage resources. This free curriculum guide, Battle of the Atlantic: Discovering and Exploring When the War Came Home, is for grades 6-12 and includes over 35 activities.

Webinar Recording


left: radar image of tropical storms; middle: Andrew Latto; Right: a building with a NOAA logo

Submerged NC: Hurricane Hazards and Science -The National Hurricane Center's Role in Providing Life-saving Information

May 4, 2021

Andrew Latto, Hurricane Specialist, National Hurricane Center

Join Andy Latto, Hurricane Specialist at the National Hurricane Center, as he discusses the main impacts of hurricanes on the Carolinas and the mid-Atlantic region. Learn how these destructive storms form and when to expect the biggest threats to the area. Andy will also discuss the National Hurricane Center's forecast process, including tracking a storm and determining its intensity. He will illustrate some of the challenges and uncertainties faced each time they issue a forecast package. Be sure to register for this webinar to learn how to correctly interpret the National Hurricane Center forecasts and apply it to your plan to stay safe during hurricane season.

Webinar Recording


5 photos into one image of people exploring their surroundings

Kid Power – How North Carolina Kids Took on Marine Debris

April 22, 2021

Jenna Hartley, North Carolina State University PhD student and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar

Join Jenna Hartley, North Carolina State University PhD student and Dr. Nancy Foster Scholar, as she details her research project involving the power of young people as community change-agents on the topic of marine debris. Hear how 2,500 North Carolina 4th & 5th graders, across the state from the mountains to the sea, collected thousands of pounds of trash. Learn how they delivered creative presentations to the public and won over the hearts and minds of their local officials and politicians across the state. Also, get access to the freely-available educational marine debris curriculum used in the project, which was developed by the Duke University Marine Lab Community Science Initiative.

Jenna works for the North Carolina State University's Environmental Education lab, which focuses broadly on understanding and supporting positive human-nature relationships, particularly among children. They work to do research with and provide educational resources to educators within the state of North Carolina and beyond. Be sure to watch this webinar to hear about and be inspired by the young people today making waves on environmental issues in their local communities. This research has been supported by North Carolina Sea Grant.

Webinar Recording


left: shipwreck on a beach, center: stephen atkinson next to a boat stearing wheel, right: shipwreck just under the surface of the water

Driven Ashore and Gone to Pieces – Beach Wrecks of North Carolina

April 20, 2021

Stephen Atkinson, Assistant State Archaeologist, North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch

Join Stephen Atkinson, Assistant State Archaeologist, as he explores the history behind the many beached shipwrecks that dot the North Carolina coastline. Learn the stories that tell us how they wrecked and the work done today to preserve their presence for future generations.

The North Carolina Underwater Archaeology Branch's beach wreck tagging program adopts the scuba centric mantra of "take only pictures, leave only bubbles" (or in this case, footprints!) and is intended to instill the notion of public stewardship of local archaeological sites. Discover the Underwater Archaeology Branch's past efforts in beach wreck cataloging, what they've been up to recently, and where their successful statewide partnerships will take them in the future.

Webinar Recording


marine artifcats and kimberly kenyon

Science of Conservation

March 23, 2021

In this webinar Kimberly Kenyon, senior conservator for the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project, shares why conservation is so critical to archaeology and some of the processes involved. Discover that archaeology does not end once an artifact is unearthed. Learn how following excavation, an object may require months or years of conservation before it is stable enough for further research or exhibit. See why this is particularly true of artifacts from a marine environment, such as those submerged in the waters off North Carolina's coast.

Webinar Recording


left: dr. avery paxton, right: a photo of a wreck next to a 3-d rendering of the wreck

Oases for Marine Life - Shipwrecks in 3D

March 16, 2021

Join Dr. Avery Paxton, Research Associate with NOAA's Habitat Mapping Team, to explore North Carolina shipwrecks in 3D. Learn how for the past decade, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary (MNMS) and National Centers for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS) Beaufort Lab have led an effort off the coast of North Carolina to document shipwrecks from the Civil War to the Battle of the Atlantic that brought World War II to our shores. The research conducted by MNMS and NCCOS honors the sacrifices of all who worked, fought, and died in defense of freedom, as well as recognizing the role these nationally significant shipwrecks play in the region's health as habitat for marine ecosystems.

This presentation will highlight the role that shipwrecks play as oases for marine life and showcase advanced technologies that MNMS and NCCOS use, including echosounder surveys to create 3D visualizations of shipwrecks and the surrounding marine life. Along with collecting data to interpret this underwater battlefield, the project also demonstrates the significance of these shipwrecks as both ecological and historical wonders. This project is an example of NOAA offices collaborating to use their best assets to document the incredible maritime history and marine life off North Carolina's shores.

Webinar Recording


woman on the right with the uss monitor ship firing on the left

USS Monitor – America's Most Historic Ironclad

March 4, 2021

Shannon Ricles, Education and Outreach Coordinator, Monitor National Marine Sanctuary

Step back to 1862 to learn how the USS Monitor was key in saving the Union. Learn about the ship's inventor and its construction in just 98 days! Explore the role the ship played during and after the Battle of Hampton Roads, and discover how it sank.

Relive its discovery and how it became our nation's first national marine sanctuary, while diving into the recovery and conservation of iconic Monitor artifacts. Look at the recreated faces of two Monitor sailors, whose remains were discovered inside the turret, and learn the science behind their recreation. Find out about free USS Monitor and NOAA resources and programs.

Webinar Recording


An image of a man on the left and another one of the right and a shipwreck in the middle

Hidden Beneath the Waves - Exploring North Carolina's Underwater Cultural Heritage

February 16, 2021

Tane Casserley, Resource Protection and Permit Coordinator, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary and Chris Southerly, Deputy State Archaeologist - Underwater, North Carolina Office of State Archaeology.

Partnering since 1975, NOAA and the state of North Carolina work to research, honor, and protect the hallmarks of North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage: shipwrecks. From violent storms and dangerous shoals to world wars, the waters off North Carolina have claimed thousands of ships and lives over hundreds of years. These shipwrecks hold information about the ever changing technologies and cultural and physical landscapes. They serve as a uniquely accessible underwater museum and a memorial to generations of mariners who lived, died, worked and fought off our shores.

Learn how the discovery of the USS Monitor in 1973 and its designation as our nation's first national marine sanctuary brought NOAA and the Office of State Archaeology together. Hear how these agencies have worked together for over 45 years to tell the stories of the USS Monitor and the many other shipwrecks to celebrate North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage.

Webinar Recording


Painting by Tom Freeman depicting the sinking of the Monitor during a violent storm off North Carolina in the early hours of Dec. 31, 1862. The USS Rhode Island, which had been towing the ironclad, rescued all but 16 of the crew. Courtesy Tom Freeman.

NOAA Live! Webinar Series: USS Monitor: Heavy Metal on the High Seas

Situated 16 miles off the coast of Cape Hatteras, North Carolina, NOAA's Monitor National Marine Sanctuary protects the shipwreck of the famed Civil War ironclad, USS Monitor. Over the last 45 years, NOAA has honored the men of the USS Monitor, its naval legacy, and its impact on world events. This presentation not only tells the history of the USS Monitor, but also discusses NOAA's use of cutting edge science to preserve this iconic piece of Civil War history. It also highlights NOAA's efforts to protect this fragile national treasure and its history above and below the waves. The webinar runs about 67 minutes with moderated questions and answers throughout. (For grades 2-6, but all ages will enjoy.)

Visit NOAA Live! for additional webinars on a variety of topics.

Webinar Recording


3d image on the left with images of three people on the right

Living Shipwrecks 3D: Exploring North Carolina's World War II Heritage

Learn about the advanced technologies utilized by Monitor National Marine sanctuary and NOAA's National Center for Coastal Ocean Science (NCCOS), Beaufort Lab to document North Carolina's World War II shipwrecks and to create acoustic fish visualizations of the surrounding marine life. Explore how collecting critical data to interpret this naval battlefield, also demonstrates the significance of these shipwrecks as both ecological and historical wonders.

Webinar Recording


Two images of a man on the left and a shipwreck on the right side

America's First National Marine Sanctuary

Travel back in time to 1862 and learn about the USS Monitor, the Union's first ironclad. Discover why it was built, the importance of the first battle between ironclads, and how Monitor met its demise. Learn who found the ship in 1973, and how it became our first national marine sanctuary. Today, Monitor plays a pivotal role in leading the way to protect other historic cultural resources off North Carolina's coast. Learn about one of the largest collections of World War II shipwrecks off America's coast that lies just offshore offering a wealth of opportunities for scuba divers and all those who love history.

Webinar Recording