Dr. Ashley Lemke
Chair, ACUA

Lemke manning the bow line, coming into port in Alpena, Michigan. Photo by Jason Shaw, Jason Shaw Imaging

Hello everyone! For those of you who don’t know me, I’m Dr. Ashley Lemke, Assistant Professor of Anthropology at the University of Texas at Arlington. I am a terrestrial and underwater archaeologist specializing in anthropological theory, hunter-gatherers, and geophysical methods for finding submerged prehistoric sites.

I am delighted to have been elected as the new Chair of ACUA at the Society for Historical and Underwater Archaeology 2020 Conference in Boston. I am honored by this new role and look forward to continuing ACUA’s strong history of championing and preserving underwater cultural heritage.

ACUA kicked off the new decade with a bang with tremendous events. Numerous ACUA members and partners organized and conducted an Underwater Cultural Heritage Workshop that saw record high enrollment. This half-day workshop provided background information and resources to a wide variety of students, researchers, cultural resource managers, educators, and policy makers – and reached an international audience with participants from India, France, the United Kingdom, the Bahamas, and Norway. The ACUA is committed to education and training concerning the significant archaeological records below water – look for this workshop at the 2021 conference in Portugal and at other venues in the coming years!

In addition to this workshop, ACUA Graduate Student Associates organized a Forum titled “Turning the Tide: Women and People of Color in Underwater Archaeology.” Diverse representation and equal weight of viewpoints is a fundamental issue in archaeology and ACUA will continue to work toward awareness, education, and support of all underwater archaeologists (see wonderful previous blog post on this topic here). Every year ACUA graduate student associates create and publish a newsletter, work on committees, and organize a forum at the annual meeting; our new student representatives come from East Carolina University and Indiana University and we’re so happy to have them. Sign up for the student newsletter email the Grad Reps and if you’re interested in becoming a student associate email me at chair@aucaonline.org

The ACUA is committed to working with other NGOs, interest groups, individuals, and organizations that share our passion for underwater archaeology. Toward that end, we are happy to announce new or continuing partnerships with the Australian Institute for Maritime Archaeology (AIMA), the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program (LAMP), the Nautical Archaeological Society (NAS), the Florida Public Archaeology Network (FPAN), The Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS), the PAST Foundation, the International Committee on Underwater Heritage (ICUCH), the Museum of Underwater Archaeology (MUA), and Parks Canada. Our connection with these organizations allows ACUA to continue to be a strong voice in the underwater archaeological community both at home and internationally and we thank all of our associates for their dedication and hard work. Our associates, along with our board of directors , graduate students, emeriti, and individual associates make ACUA a strong and powerful voice for underwater archaeology and I’d like to thank them all for their time and effort.

Moving forward, ACUA is excited to support and work together with UNESCO on the Decade of Ocean Science (2021-2030). Underwater archaeology has a significant role to play in sustainable development of offshore resources and ACUA will provide a critical voice for preserving and managing underwater cultural heritage.

Overall, it’s an exciting time for ACUA and we look forward to sharing more thoughts, stories, lessons, and resources throughout the year here on our Deep Thoughts blog. If you have any questions about ACUA please reach out to me at chair@acuaonline.org

Diving deep to explore the past,


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