The 2023 recipients of the George Fischer International Student Travel Award are Lindsay Wentzel, from East Carolina University and Dominic Bush, from East Carolina University. Because 2019 was not awarded and 2021 was a virtual conference, the ACUA was able to give the award to two outstanding recipients this year.

Lindsay Wentzel, winner of the 2023 George Fischer Student Travel Award.

Ms. Lindsay Wentzel has two bachelors in fisheries and wildlife conservation, and is currently a masters student studying historic fisheries in East Carolina University’s Program in Maritime Studies. Her research interests focus on natural resources exploitation through historic fishing practices and technology employed in response to economic change. Under the direction of Dr. Jason Raupp, her M.A. thesis centers on 19th century Provincetown, Massachusetts-based fishing schooners used and converted across the whale, mackerel, cod, and swordfish fisheries as well as the potential wreck site of mackerel schooner-turned-whaler Seychelle in Cape Lookout, NC.

Please join us in welcoming Lindsay during her poster presentation: New Investigations into the Radford Wreck: Interpreting a Candidate for Cape Lookout’s Lost Whaler.

Lindsay’s poster explores the Radford Wreck, a small, 3.6 x 1.5 meter portion of ships’ stern located at the mouth of a shallow creek in North Carolina’s Cape Lookout National Seashore. Field work conducted in spring 2022 as part of Lindsay’s thesis suggest that the wreckage could belong to Provincetown, Massachusetts fishing schooner Seychelle. Having wrecked on Cape Lookout during its maiden voyage to the Hatteras whaling grounds in 1879, Seychelle’s size and construction features are consistent with data recovered at the Radford Wreck. In addition to archaeological survey, historical research, and computer-aided modeling, this study demonstrates a collaboration with subject matter experts from the Cape Ann Museum and Virginia Tech’s Department of Sustainable Biomaterials wood lab. Encapsulating a portion of her ongoing master’s thesis, Lindsay intends to present the survey results of one of the first potential “plum pudding” schooners documented in the archaeological record, including discernable features of converted mid- 19th century whaling schooners. 

Dominic Bush, winner of the 2023 George Fischer Student Travel Award.

Mr. Dominic Bush is a PhD Candidate within East Carolina University’s Integrated Coastal Sciences Program and holds an MA in Anthropology (Archaeology Focus) from Washington State University and a BA in Anthropology from the University of Notre Dame. 

Please join us in welcoming Dominic and attending his paper entitled: Microbiologically-Influenced Corrosion of Submerged World War II Plane Wrecks: Case Studies from Hawaiʻi

Dominic’s paper examines the possible linkage between the state of preservation of World War II (WWII) underwater aircraft wrecks and the taxonomic composition of the wreck’ microbiome. Steel shipwreck corrosion induced by microogranisms has been the topic of several recent investigations. However, no such studies have been conducted for aircraft sites, whose construction material, aluminum, differs significantly from iron in terms of electrochemical properties. In hopes of identifying correlations between bacterial categories and corrosion, biofilm, sediment, and seawater samples were taken from four submerged WWII aircraft sites in Hawaii. Sample microbiomes were identified using DNA sequencing and subjected to statistical analyses in search of the dataset’s defining characteristics. These results are a crucial first step in formulating mitigation strategies aimed to protect these underwater cultural resources. Facing constant preservation threats, stemming from ever-changing natural and socio-political environments, submerged WWII aircraft wrecks remain a considerable management and monitoring challenge.