MRI Staff List
Christopher R. Sabick, Archaeological Director and Director of Conservation
Chris Sabick joined the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in 1998, and has been the Director of Conservation since 2000. He earned a B.A. in history and anthropology from Ball State University in Muncie, Indiana, and a M.A. in anthropology from the Nautical Archaeology Program at Texas A&M University. His thesis work focused on the history and construction of the Great Lakes Schooner Nancy (1789-1814).
Arthur B. Cohn, Co-Founder; Director Emeritus, Senior Advisor
Art Cohn is a professional diver and has coordinated and participated in Lake Champlain’s archaeological projects for the past twenty years. Cohn has a B.A. in sociology from the University of Cincinnati in Cincinnati, Ohio, and a J.D. from Boston College Law School. In 2000 and 2001 Cohn was a Member of the U.S. Delegation to the United Nations Educational, Science and Cultural Organization’s convention for the protection of underwater cultural heritage. Since its inception in 1985, Cohn has been the chief advocate for the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve. He has formally coordinated that program since 2000 for the Vermont Division for Historic Preservation. Cohn is an Adjunct Assistant Professor in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology at both the University of Vermont and Texas A&M University.
Sarah L. Tichonuk, Nautical Archaeologogy and Graphic Design
After earning a B.A. in archaeology from Boston University, Sarah worked as a crew chief for a contract archaeology firm in upstate New York. Sarah has been with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since 2002, working in various capacities including nautical archaeologist, Education Director, graphic designer, and webmaster. She holds a Divemaster certification through the National Association of Underwater Instructors, and sometimes pilots a VideoRay ROV for the museum's Shipwreck Tours.
Paul Willard Gates, Conservation Lab Technician
Paul W. Gates has been with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since 2008. He received his B.A. from the University of Vermont studying History and Archaeology. Currently, he is obtaining his M.S. in Historic Preservation at the University of Vermont. Gates’s passion for archaeology began at a young age and was fostered over the years into adulthood. Aside from is duties in the lab, he is also involved with nautical archaeology, scuba diving, collections management, education, research, and blacksmithing. Gates has previous experience in other museums, the non-profit sector, terrestrial archaeology, and Emergency Medical Services.
Alex Lehning, Historian & Research Coordinator
Alex joined the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum in 2008. Originally from Ohio, he earned a BA in History at the University of Maine and an MA in History at the University of Vermont. While his primary responsibilities are artifact preservation and documentation, he also assists with historical research, archeological fieldwork, and educational programming. In addition to his work in the Lab, he directs the Nautical Archeology Field School and conservation internship program at LCMM. Alex's interests include European and American history, and environmental history. He currently volunteers as a Boy Scout Merit Badge Counselor.
Pierre LaRocque, Archaeological Diver & Logistical Coordinator
Pierre LaRocque has been affiliated with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since 1995, and a NAUI scuba diving instructor for the past 17 years. He graduated with a B.A. from the University of Vermont where he majored in history and anthropology with an emphasis in nautical archaeology. LaRocque is a Monitor for the Lake Champlain Underwater Historic Preserve. His experience with tri-mix/deep diving, ice diving, and underwater photography and videography has been invaluable to the Maritime Museum. He also holds a USCG Captain's Master's License with a towing endorsement.
A. Peter Barranco, Jr., Historian
Peter Barranco has been affiliated with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since 1986. On the LCMM’s Lake Survey Project (1996–2002) he served as navigation control specialist and historian. Barranco has a B.S. in engineering from Hofstra University in Hempstead, New York, and is a registered professional engineer (civil) in Vermont. His interests in underwater archaeology began when he worked for the late Lorenzo F. Hagglund in search and salvage operations on a number of wrecks of historical importance in Lake Champlain, Lake George, and the Richelieu River. Since 1953, Barranco has conducted a comprehensive survey and inventory of information related to Lake Champlain vessels. He has provided research support on various underwater archaeological projects conducted in Lake Champlain over the past twenty years.
Frederick Fayette, Boat Captain and Remote Sensing Specialist
Frederick Fayette has been affiliated with the Lake Champlain Maritime Museum since 1989. He serves as the captain of R/V Neptune and electronic technician during for the LCMM’s Lake Survey Project (1996–2002). Fayette’s experience as an aviation electronics technician in the U.S. Navy was essential in the integration and maintenance of the numerous electronic components of the survey. Since 1989, Fayette and Neptune have contributed significantly toward most of the archaeological projects on Lake Champlain.