Maritime Research Institute
Where is the Maritime Research Institute?
- Assisting research on the Spiny Softshell Turtle in Mississquoi Bay, VT
- Getting 3D imagery of the Sloop Island Canal Boat from side scanning sonar, Charlotte, VT
- Assisting with the Asian Clam Eradication, Lake George, NY
- Performing archaeology at the Onondaga Lake Superfund Site, Syracuse, NY
- Documenting shipwrecks in the South Lake, Lake Champlain
- Hosting an Underwater Archaeology Field School, Lake Champlain
- Aiding in the management of the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserves
- Overseeing archaeological work at the Hudson River PCBs Superfund Site, Fort Edward, NY
- Conserving artifacts in the Conservation Lab, Vergennes, VT
The Maritime Research Institute (MRI) is the research arm of the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. Formed in 2000, MRI is a reflection of LCMM’s role in regional, national, and even international archaeological research and policymaking as it relates to underwater cultural heritage. It permits our talented team of archaeologists, conservators, and historians to conduct high-quality research, and allows us to better connect the public with the priceless cultural resources that lie underwater.
The Maritime Research Institute is involved in four primary areas of underwater cultural resource study and management. These include archaeologic projects on Lake Champlain and beyond, conservation of artifacts recovered in our Conservation Lab, assisting in the management of shipwrecks on Lake Champlain, including those in the Underwater Historic Preserve System, and providing archaeological services to other organizations.
Nautical Archaeology Field School
A field school experience is a critical component for any student pursuing a career path in nautical archeology. The Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is hosting a rigorous two-week program that offers a mix of both academic instruction and hands-on underwater archaeological research. The diving sessions will teach practical underwater skills using both traditional documentation techniques and cutting-edge technology, while the classroom component will provide students with an opportunity to train in GIS, study CRM practices, and learn about local history and artifact conservation methods.
Read more about our Field School.
The Conservation Laboratory at the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum is a year-round artifact treatment facility that is open to the public during the museum season. The lab is currently working on preserving artifacts from a variety of regional archaeology projects. Lake Champlain Museum visitors have the rare opportunity to see conservation as it happens, and to ask questions about the treatment process.
In addition to its educational value, the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Conservation Laboratory is available to assist institutions in the assessment and stabilization of their historic and archaeological collections. The laboratory is staffed with trained professionals and volunteers who are dedicated to the long-term preservation of historical objects. Read more about the Conservation Lab, ongoing projects, and how to solicit our services.
- Scanning Sonar of the Sloop Island Canal Boat
Scanning sonar units are now capable of capturing three-dimensional scans of complex underwater objects. This technology has the potential to greatly enhance the study of submerged archaeological sites located in turbid waters where detailed archaeological documentation is impractical. In April 2012, LCMM was awarded $25,000 from the National Park Service’s National Center for Preservation Technology and Training to pursue the feasibility of using a BlueView BV5000 Mechanical Scanning Sonar to create accurate 3D images of submerged shipwrecks, even in turbid waters
- Macdonough Shipyard
Lake Champlain Maritime Museum received a grant from the National Park Service's American Battlefield Protection Program (ABPP) to undertake an archeological survey to determine the precise location and established boundaries for Macdonough's War of 1812 Shipyard in Vergennes, Vermont.
- Lake Survey
The Champlain Maritime Society (1981–1987) began a long-term, systematic investigation of Lake Champlain's submerged cultural resources, especially shipwrecks, which was continued by the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum (LCMM, founded 1986). This systematic survey project using side scanning sonar was completed in 2004, revealing numerous previously unknown shipwrecks.
- Missisquoi Bay Barges
In June 2000 LCMM conducted an intensive archaeological study of four scow barges located in the Missisquoi Bay of Lake Champlain at the request of the Vermont Agency of Transportation and as a sub-consultant for the University of Vermont’s Consulting Archaeology Program.
- Sloop Island Canal Boat
LCMM undertook an intensive underwater archaeological study of a canal boat in the waters of Lake Champlain near Charlotte, Vermont in 2002. The "Sloop Island Canal boat" is an early twentieth century standard canal boat.
- Valcour Bay Research Project
LCMM has been engaged in an ongoing archaeological study at the site of the 1776 Battle of Valcour Island. This archaeological fieldwork is implemented through a systematic inspection of the bottomlands of Valcour Bay using handheld metal detectors.
- Canalers and Shipwrights of Lake Champlain
LCMM is making an effort to re-establish the history of the people who built, owned, and worked on Lake Champlain’s canal boats. We have complied name lists of boatbuilders, masters, owners, and boats.
- Multibeam Imaging System for Submerged Archaeological Sites
LCMM has prototyped the feasibility and methodologies for this technology using a Blue View DF900-2250 Dual Frequency Miniature Multibeam Imaging System on sites in Lake Champlain. This research was undertaken with funding from the National Center for Preservation Technology and Training, grant number MT-2210-09-NC-02.
The Maritime Research Institute provides high-quality underwater cultural resource management services to the public and private sectors. Our team of archaeologists, historians, and conservators have unsurpassed expertise their fields. We can provide consulting services in the evaluation, documentation, and management of submerged cultural resources. After the fieldwork is completed, we can supply a full array of artifact conservation services through our Conservation Laboratory. Read more about our full range of Archaeological Services.
MRI In The News
- LCMM's Art Cohn testifies as expert witness in Lake Erie shipwreck salvage case
Read the decision statement (PDF - 243kb)
- EPA asseses threat of fuel leak from sunken tug in Lake Champlain
June 24, 2010 -- Read the story on NPR.org