Submerged NC Webinar Series

collage of shipwrecks

This webinar series presented by Monitor National Marine Sanctuary in collaboration with the North Carolina Office of State Archaeology highlights research conducted for over 45 years to honor and protect the hallmarks of North Carolina's underwater cultural heritage – shipwrecks. Join us each month as scientists and educators present a look into the unique underwater museum and memorials to generations of mariners who lived, worked, died, and fought off our shores.

images of divers exploring shipwrecks and planning dives

Submerged NC: Maritime Archaeology – Exploring and Discovering Shipwrecks

October 7, 2021 10 am Hawaii / 1 pm Pacific / 3 pm Central / 4 pm Eastern

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!


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

Submerged NC: 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 7 am Hawaii / 10 am Pacific / 12 pm Central / 1 pm Eastern

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.