2017 Maritime Archaeology Field School, Philip Island, Australia

Maritime Archaeology Field School

Philip Island, Victoria, Australia

January 27 – 12 February 2017. Flinders University

The Maritime Archaeology Field School (ARCH 8152/ARCH 3309) provides students with an introduction to the techniques of coastal, intertidal and underwater survey, position fixing, mapping, photography, recording and excavation. Some lectures will be provided on the various research methods and techniques used by maritime archaeologists. The Field School will include practical exercises, field work and associated lecture/seminars.

In 2017, the Flinders University Maritime Archaeology Field School will be taught at an undergraduate level (as ARCH 3309) and graduate level (as ARCH 8152). This year the topic will be based at Phillip Island, Victoria, and run in cooperation with Heritage Victoria. Students may investigate a number of maritime sites on land and underwater.

The 2017 Flinders University maritime archaeology field school will include a shipwreck survey of McHaffie Reef plus a study of a land-based survey of maritime infrastructure and coastal and maritime sites of various ages and types.

Maritime archaeologists from Heritage Victoria inspected the McHaffie Reef shipwreck sites in the 1980s and confirmed that one of them dates possibly to the mid 19th century. The vessel’s remains are partially intact, are of wooden construction, and have an estimated length of 20 metres. In 2012, the team relocated the shipwreck site and tentatively identified its remains as from the Leven Lass. The ship ran aground on Phillip Island to save its cargo after the vessel had sprung a leak in 1854.  The archaeological evidence, i.e., construction materials, cargo, vessel size, and wrecking location all correspond to evidence gathered during archival research. The goals of the 2017 field school are to map the remains of Leven Lass, and to date, identify, and record other shipwrecks on McHaffie Reef, and facilitate further maritime archaeological studies of Western Port Bay.

Non-diving students enrolled in the 2017 field school will survey and record details of historic maritime sites to be confirmed by Heritage Victoria. An example of a terrestrial sites includes the steel ship Speke. This large, three-masted steel ship capsized on the southwest side of Phillip Island, where its bow is still a prominent feature on the beach. Non-diving students will also participate on shore-based activity working along with divers, and will undergo topside training and education in underwater archaeology in order to familiarise themselves with the process of maritime fieldwork. This will include taking total station points from shore in partnership with the dive and snorkel team.


For overseas and interstate students

For further information contact

Dr Jonathan Benjamin, Lecturer in Maritime Archaeology

Or visit the Maritime Field School webpage


Underwater Archaeologist

The University of California, San Diego Scripps Institution of Oceanography is seeking a new Program Specialist. As a representative of the Coastal Observing R&D Center (CORDC) at the Marine Physical Laboratory, this position will independently coordinate, lead, and manage projects associated with Project Recover; a program to develop and apply underwater science and technology to find historical sites associated with missing US servicemen from previous overseas conflicts. On behalf of CORDC Director, work with sponsors on planning, programming, budgeting and reporting requirements.

On behalf of the CORDC Director, generate and present briefings, written materials, and performance evaluations of test efforts. Represent CORDC (technical staff, Director) to program sponsors providing extensive technical expertise and solutions to complex problems ensuring research and development efforts meet sponsor’s needs. Provide archaeological expertise of historical sites and permitting requirements. Lead diving operations at underwater wreckage sites. Provide support function to sponsors, including the developing of training curricula and outreach materials for technical assessments of underwater sensors, archaeological sites, and test results from complex at-sea study sites.

Conduct independent research and publication of research in peer-reviewed journals. Work with Department of Defense collaborators, scientists, and sponsors in the scoping of joint research sites potential science and technology that the Center could field expeditions, translation of new methodologies, and communication of survey results. Provide technical expertise, including training and development of training curricula in areas of underwater technology, data fusion, information technology, archival research, and applications to underwater archeology.

  • Willing and able to participate in sea cruises or field expeditions, approximately 6 weeks/year.
  • Telecommuting arrangements to be considered if work site is near a DOD facility.
  • Occasional evenings and weekends may be required. Must be willing and able to travel.


Senior Curator (Maritime Archaeology)

Museum of Tropical Queensland, 70-102 Flinders Street, Townsville

We seek to appoint a highly motivated and productive curator/researcher with a demonstrated track record of research output, international collaboration, external grant funding, collection-based research, and student supervision at undergraduate and postgraduate levels. The successful candidate will collaborate with curatorial and academic staff at the QM and JCU to conduct original research. He/she will engage with the public and the wider research community to initiate research on the collections held by the museum and curate these collections to an international standard. The candidate will contribute to the development of innovative public programs and exhibitions in accordance with the strategic priorities of the Queensland Museum, provide guest lectures, and supervise honours and postgraduate students at James Cook University.

Closes 22 August 2016, Apply today.

FY2017 NOAA OE Funding for Exploration


NOAA’s Office of Ocean Exploration & Research (OER) seeks to enhance ocean exploration and scientific knowledge of the unknown or poorly known areas of the ocean. This entails identifying, describing and creating baseline characterizations of new ocean habitats, marine resources and/or processes. In this Announcement, OER is seeking proposals focused on four themes: 1. Exploration of physical, chemical and biological environments and processes within the oceanic water column below ~200m; 2. Exploration of geological, physical, and biological environments as well as biogeochemical processes associated with seamounts; 3. Novel or innovative technologies and methodologies that could increase the pace and scope of ocean exploration, especially exploration of the water column, seamounts, and archaeological sites; and 4. Proposals focused on the discovery and exploration of historically significant submerged marine heritage sites, features and artifacts associated with WWII. Proposals that combine more than one of these exploration themes are encouraged. OER’s overarching objective is to investigate and document poorly known and unknown ocean areas through interdisciplinary exploration, and to advance and disseminate knowledge of the ocean’s physical, geological, chemical, biological, and archaeological environments. Findings from projects and expeditions are anticipated to result in new baseline characterizations; provide better scientific understanding of the processes on U.S. continental margins and the deep ocean; offer new insights into climate variability and marine ecosystems; reveal new or unconventional energy, mineral, biological, and archaeological resources; help identify hazards resulting from extreme events such as submarine volcanic eruptions, earthquakes and tsunamis; and deliver technology advancements (platforms, sensors, methodologies, etc.) that will increase observational capabilities in the ocean. OER is interested in characterization of seamounts located within regions of the U.S. EEZ or ECS, including the Gulf of Alaska, the NW Atlantic, and the deep regions of Marine Protected Areas. Characterization of physical, chemical, and biological ocean environments associated with seamounts in areas where ocean mining may occur (e.g., regions along the Clarion-Clipperton Fracture) is also of particular interest. OER may also consider proposals focused on other areas that are relevant to OER’s and NOAA’s missions and priorities that would include significant leveraged resources. Archaeology proposals are not restricted to any depth or geographic area.