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LCMM Establishes Maritime Research Institute

William E. Sperry, Chairman of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum’s Museum Board of Trustees, announced today that LCMM has established the Maritime Research Institute, a new branch of the museum designed to focus on its ever-increasing volume of archaeological projects, historical research, underwater resource management issues, and special projects.

"This exciting development promises to make the Maritime Museum an even more vital force in nautical archaeology, as well as education,” commented Sperry.

At the same time, Sperry announced that Arthur B. Cohn, the Museum’s co-founder and Executive Director, has been appointed as the Maritime Research Institute’s first Managing Director.

"Art’s training in sociology and law, his experience as a professional diver, and his dedication to advancing the LCMM mission over the past sixteen years, make him uniquely qualified to manage the Museum s ever-expanding and varied research activities."

Among the many projects at the museum that Art is now directing include its landmark sonar survey of Lake Champlain’s bottom, the development of a management plan for Benedict Arnold’s Revolutionary War gunboat Spitfire for the U.S. Navy, and Underwater Preserve feasibility studies for Vermont and New York. Concurrently, Art serves as a board member of the Council of American Maritime Museums and as chair of the Council’s Underwater Archaeology subcommittee. The U.S. State Department has appointed him as an American delegate to the United Nations Cultural Heritage Treaty Convention negotiations in Paris.

Commented Cohn, “The founding of the Maritime Research Institute and my appointment as Managing Director fulfills my long-standing wish to focus my interests and energy upon writing, fieldwork, and public interpretation of our research findings. The Institute will provide the structure and flexibility I need to accomplish a growing number of substantive tasks, including playing a leading role in the Museum’s new schooner-building project and interpretation at the Burlington waterfront.”

Cohn will retain his title of Executive Director and, in recognition of his enormous contributions to LCMM over the past sixteen years, be nominated to sit on its Board of Trustees.

Sperry also announced the appointment of Laurie Eddy, the museum’s long-standing Director of Education, as Chief Operating Officer of LCMM. Eddy, who has been responsible for the museum’s highly successful year-round education programs for the past eight years and has played a lead role on the museum’s management team, will assume full responsibility for operations at Basin Harbor.

Sperry summed up these exciting new developments, “The dynamics of Lake Champlain’s history and its archaeological legacy has fueled an unbelievable period of growth for LCMM. The Board sees no end to the opportunities for the museum to preserve this extraordinary body of information and share it with the public. We have never been in a stronger position to meet these exciting challenges.”