A Life Dedicated to the Lake: Meet the New Director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum

We are thrilled to announce today the appointment of the Museum’s new Executive Director: Chris Sabick! Chris has been the Museum’s Director of Research and Archaeology since 2013 and brings decades of experience and a career-long dedication to Lake Champlain, research, history, and public access into this new leadership role.

A nautical archaeologist by trade, Chris Sabick has spent his entire professional career working on the lake and surrounding waterways with Lake Champlain Maritime Museum. His experience, exploration, and expertise of the lake, the region’s history and the Museum make him uniquely qualified to take the helm. Chris started with the Museum as an intern in 1998 and officially joined the team as an archaeological diver in 1999, working on the Valcour Bay Research Project and implementing artifact conservation plans for our lab. Sabick’s cutting-edge work in conservation and shipwreck investigation, as well as his dedication to public interpretation and team building precipitated his steady rise at the Museum as he was promoted to the Director of Conservation in 2000 and Director of Research and Archaeology in 2013. Most recently he has served as Interim Co-Director, leading the organization with fellow Interim Co-Director Lauren Ross, Director of Development, since March 2023.

Chris Sabick diving at the Phoenix shipwreck in Lake Champlain, 2019. Courtesy Kotaro Yamafune.

“After a national search, I could not be more excited to name Chris Sabick as the new Executive Director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum,” said Harry Chaucer, chair of the search committee and Museum board member. “His expertise in nautical archaeology, his commitment to the local community, and his decades-long career serving the Museum and the public make him a uniquely qualified candidate with an exciting vision for the future. After 24 years leading conservation, research, and archaeology at the Museum, we are honored to see Chris now step into the executive leadership role for this organization.”

Chris is a Vergennes resident and beloved local scientist, well known for his appearances on local news and at events. In addition to his work at the Museum, he regularly serves as an expert and collaborative partner with other regional history and lake science organizations. As he enters this new role, Chris is dedicated to fulfilling our strategic plan and mission to connect all people to Lake Champlain, inspiring them to learn from the past, and build together to create a sustainable future for the region.

“I’ve always been fascinated with history. The Champlain Valley has a unique maritime history, dating back nearly 12,000 years when the first people moved into the region. When I came to the Museum in 1998, I fell in love with this history and Lake Champlain,” said Chris Sabick. “I am honored to take on this new role and demonstrate the power of the Museum as a place to change lives, as it did with mine. As a diver, I get to experience history firsthand. As Executive Director, I look forward to creating more ways for all people to experience history, archaeology, and ecology in meaningful and impactful ways.”

Please join us in congratulating Chris on this new role as he starts as executive director this month! Chris will be hosting our third annual Virtual Archaeology Conference in February 2023. Make sure you follow the Museum by email or social media for updates from Chris and the team for the latest details!

Familiar faces, new spaces: Chris Sabick and his dog, Willa, in the Director’s Office at Lake Champlain Maritime Museum.

3 thoughts on “A Life Dedicated to the Lake: Meet the New Director of Lake Champlain Maritime Museum”

  1. Great to see new leadership for the museum and for the Lake. Hopefully the heavy pollution coming into the lake and impairing water quality will be a part of his objectives to address so we can have a great history to tell about decades from now.

    Doug McKeige

  2. Congratulations Chris. It’s wonderful to see someone with your experience on Lake Champlain take the helm. The Diamond Island Yacht Club looks forward to continuing our relationship with the Museum.
    Charlie Hillman, DIYC Commodore

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