The IWMA’s archaeological principal investigators and senior staff meet or exceed the Secretary of Interior Standards (36 CRF 61) in archaeology and history, and are well versed in CEQA and NHPA Section 106 cultural resource requirements. In addition, many are Registered Professional Archaeologists. All are highly experienced and qualified American Academy of Underwater Sciences Scientific Divers, and two are advanced SCUBA instructors. IWMA’s Project Directors and senior staff have responsibility for research direction, project management, budget oversight and control, and staff management. They are qualified in literature and record reviews, and maritime, historic, and prehistoric field survey, excavation, and artifact analysis. Reports on federally sponsored NHPA Section 106 projects or California Environmental Quality Act (CEQA) projects meet the Secretary of Interior’s Standards and Guidelines for format and content.
James M. Allan, Ph.D., RPA is the Executive Director of the IWMA and has more than 28 years experience in conducting archeological research and cultural resource management projects involving historic, maritime, and prehistoric archaeological investigations. He received his Ph.D. in Anthropology from the University of California, Berkeley, and an M.A. in Maritime History and Underwater Research from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He is a member of the Register of Professional Archeologists and has worked in archaeology since 1989. Dr. Allan is an Adjunct Associate Professor in the Anthropology Department at St. Mary’s College of California, an Adjunct Professor in the Department of History at the University of Rhode Island, a member of the National Park Services’ National Historic Landmark Committee, and a Fellow of The Explorers Club. He has served as Principal Investigator on numerous projects throughout California. Among others, these include the identification, documentation and assessment of abandoned vessels in the Sacramento River and the Sacramento-San Joaquin Delta, and the
remains of potentially significant wharves, piers, and waterside foundations for the California State Lands Commission (CSLC) and the Contra Costa County Marine Patrol Unit. On behalf of the CSLC, Dr. Allan served as the third-party compliance observer for the permitted salvage of the historic Brother Jonathan shipwreck, and subsequently conducted the conservation of numerous artifacts recovered from the wreck on behalf of the State of California. Working with NOAA’s Office of Marine Sanctuaries, Dr. Allan was instrumental in identifying the location of the 19th century shipwreck Oxford in Tomales Bay, CA. As part of his work as a Principal Investigator in the cultural resources management industry, Dr. Allan conducted the remote sensing and underwater resource evaluation of the Oakland-San Francisco Bay Bridge, Carquinez Bridge, Benicia Bridge and Richmond-San Rafael Bridge seismic retrofit projects for Caltrans, and has conducted several remote sensing archaeological investigations in San Francisco Bay on behalf of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers. Along with IWMA senior staff Dr. Roderick Mather and Dr. Stephen Smith, Dr. Allan also co-directs an annual field school in maritime archaeology in Bermuda.
Rod Mather, D.Phil. is an IWMA Senior Archaeologist and Principal Investigator. He is best known for his studies of shipwrecks around the world, including Revolutionary War ships in Narragansett Bay, the USS Monitor off the coast of Virginia, the shipwrecks of Bermuda and a fleet of German World War I ships in the Atlantic Canyons off Virginia. Dr. Mather is Professor of History at the University of Rhode Island, Chair of the History Department, and Director of the University’s Archaeology and Anthropology M.A. Program. Dr. Mather received his D.Phil. from Oxford University and an M.A. in Maritime History and Underwater Research from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He is an expert in GIS analysis and is developing GIS-based, marine cultural resource survey and inventory programs for Rhode Island as well Bermuda. These inventories will have important implications for management, tourism, economic development and marine research in both regions. Dr. Mather is also an expert on Atlantic maritime history and historic ship construction.
Stephen E. Smith, Ph.D. is the IWMA’s Diving Safety Officer and Corporate Secretary. Dr. Smith is a member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences, a Fellow and current Chair of the Northern California Chapter of The Explorers Club, and Founder and Managing Director of the non-profit research entity Oceanearth, Inc. Dr. Smith received his Ph.D. in Nuclear Engineering from the University of Arizona in 1982. He is a Master Instructor with the Professional Association of Diving Instructors (PADI) and a former instructor with Scuba Schools International (SSI). He is a past instructor for the American Red Cross and is currently certified to teach all provider courses offered by the Divers Alert Network (DAN) including those designed for professional divers and emergency personnel such as the U. S. Coast Guard. He also currently serves as a member of the City of Walnut Creek’s Community Emergency Response Team. Dr. Smith developed the research diving training program at St. Mary’s College of California and served as the College’s Diving Safety Officer from 1999 through 2015. During that time he served on the College's Dive Control
Board and was integral to the development and administration of the organization’s Dive Safety Manual. He has overseen all diving operations conducted by the IWMA, including those conducted in collaboration with the University of Rhode Island/IWMA field school programs.
Gordon P. Watts, Jr., Ph.D., RPA is an IWMA Senior Archaeologist and Principal Investigator. He received his Ph.D. in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from the University of St. Andrews in Fife, Scotland and an M.A. in Maritime History from East Carolina University in Greenville, North Carolina. He is a member of the Register of Professional Archeologists and has worked in the field since 1970. Dr. Watts is an IWMA Senior Archaeologist, and an Affiliated Scholar with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University. Dr. Watts served as a field director for the first Early Man archaeological investigations at Little Salt Spring and Warm Mineral Spring, and also documented the West Turtle Shoals Site in the Florida Keys, one of the earliest shipwrecks in North America. Dr. Watts served as North Carolina’s first underwater archaeologist, developing the State Submerged Cultural Resource Management Plan, and directing survey and planning, grant development, environmental review, education (public and academic), contract administration, public information, preservation, and historic
and archaeological research. He was the principal on the project that located and identified the remains of the USS Monitor and worked with NOAA to develop management programs and conduct on-site research in the USS Monitor National Marine Sanctuary. In 1981, Dr. Watts joined Dr. William N. Still at East Carolina University (ECU) to design and develop the Program in Maritime History and Underwater Research, which provides graduate opportunities for students interested in maritime history and underwater archaeology. During his tenure as Co-Director of the Program, he supervised and directed numerous field research projects, including remote sensing and archaeological investigations of Colonial ports, early ferry crossings, and shipwreck sites in North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia, Georgia, Pennsylvania, Florida, Alabama, Wisconsin, Michigan, and Minnesota. Dr. Watts worked with the Bermuda Maritime Museum to investigate a number of 16th, 17th, 18th and 19th century shipwrecks. In association with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University, additional research projects were carried out in Jamaica, Panama, Dominican Republic and Mexico. Watts worked on the planning document for the War of 1812 schooners Hamilton and Scourge in conjunction with the Ontario Heritage Foundation, has conducted surveys of Civil War shipwrecks in Mobile Bay and off Fort Fisher, North Carolina for the National Park Service, documented the Confederate ironclads CSS Jackson for the Confederate Naval Museum, the CSS Neuse for the North Carolina Division of Archives and History and investigated the CSS Alabama with the Naval Historical Center and the CSS Alabama Association. In conjunction with NOAA, Dr. Watts developed a Geographical Information System for the USS Monitor and worked on GIS systems for the Bermuda Maritime Museum and U.S. Navy shipwrecks in Virginia and Georgia waters for the Naval Historical Center.