Home of the Capitana Project

Caribbean Shipwreck Research Institute, Inc. 501(c)(3)


My Motto: Artifact Recovery and Subsequent Conservation Must be a Calculated and Planned Event.

Resume of Robert J Benson

EDUCATION


1999- 2000 Nova Southeastern University, College of Business and College of Oceanographic Studies, Fort Lauderdale, Florida. Completed ten credit hours of graduate studies prior to withdraw from program. Masters of Public Administration (MPA), Cultural Resource Management and Coastal Zone Management.


1995- 1999 Union Institute & University, North Miami Beach, Florida, BA, Maritime Archaeology.


1982- 1983 Engine City Technical Institute, Union City, NJ, Graduated with Diploma. 1300 hour technology and repair program covering, diesel and gas engines, fuel injection, accessories, electricial, driveline, chassis, and air conditioning.

DIVING RELATED EDUCATION


May 2015 DAN, Orlando, FL Diving First Aid for Professional Divers training and provider re-certification.


June 2010 DAN, Orlando, FL Diving First Aid for Professional Divers training and provider re-certification.


June 2010 TDI, Sanford, FL, Dräger Dolphin Rebreather training and certification.


Nov 2008 SSI, Port Orange, FL, Dry Suit Diving training and certification.


June 2008 DAN, Orlando, FL, Diving First Aid for Professional Divers training and provider certification.


June 2000 PDIC, North Miami Beach, FL, Dive Supervisor training and certification.


Feb 2000 PADI, North Miami Beach, FL, CPR-First aid training and certification.


July 1995 National Center for Shipwreck Research Ltd., Islamorada, FL, Archaeological Research Diver II training and certification.


June 1993 National Center for Shipwreck Research Ltd., Islamorada, FL, Archaeological Research Diver I training and certification.


June 1993 PADI, Key Largo, FL, Orientation to Underwater Archaeology specialty certification.


August 1992 NASDS, Coral Gables, FL, Advanced open water training and certification.


July 1990 American Nitrox Divers, Inc. NASDS, Coral Gables, FL, Nitrox dive training and Certification.


April 1977 NASDS, Daytona Beach, FL, Open water training and certification.

ARCHAEOLOGICAL EXPERIENCE


July 2001 to Oct 2001 Archaeological Consultant for Crossed Anchor Salvage owned by Bob (Frog Foot) Weller, for the 1733 San Fernando Project. Hired to determine the feasibility to apply for an archaeological survey and inventory permit and subsequent archaeological research and recovery permit within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).


Oct. 2000 to Oct. 2001 Archaeological Consultant for the ROSE 1622 Historic Shipwreck Project located in Key West, Florida. Hired to determine the feasibility to apply for an archaeological survey and inventory permit and subsequent archaeological research and recovery permit within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).


July 2000 Participated as a survey diver and videographer for a survey to locate the rowed Galliot, 'SANTIAGO 1583' located in the waters between Monte Cristi and La Isabela, Dominican Republic during a ‘Cultural Resource Management Seminar’ sponsored by North Caribbean Research S.A. in association with National Center for Shipwreck Research Ltd. (US), Nova Southeastern University, (US) and Oxford University MARE (UK).


Jan. 2000 to Jan 2001 Archaeological Consultant with the EURISCO Historic Shipwreck Projects located in Islamorada and Ft. Pierce, Florida. Hired to determine the feasibility to apply for an archaeological survey and inventory permit and subsequent archaeological research and recovery permit within the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary (FKNMS).


November 1999 Participated as an archaeological diver in a Phase II archaeological excavation of the ‘Musket Ball Wreck’, Monte Cristi, Dominican Republic during the ‘Lost Ships Seminar’ sponsored by North Caribbean Research S.A. in association with National Center for Shipwreck Research Ltd. (US), Nova Southeastern University, (US) and Oxford University MARE (UK). I gave a presentation lecture for “Establishing a Conservation Program and Laboratory in a Developing Nation”.


July 1997 to Feb. 2002 Project Archaeologist and Conservator for the underwater excavation project on the “1733 La Capitana el Rubí ”site. Responsible for coordinating archaeological methodology, excavation, field work mapping, artifact analysis, and conservation of all cultural material recovered. I worked in close cooperation with the Florida Department of State Archaeologist, NOAA, and FKNMS Project Manager and scientific personnel in all matters concerning the project. Authored and edited the final excavation report.


Aug 1997 Survey diver working under the direction of Duncan Mathewson for the 1622 Atocha timber remains stored in the lagoon located at the Florida Keys Community College, Key West, Florida. I was the primary survey diver responsible in preparing a site plan of the cultural materials for the future preparation of an underwater dive slate to be utilized for diver training program at the college.


May 1996 to Aug. 1997 Archaeological Conservation Consultant, Pilar 1690 Shipwreck Project, Agana, Guam. Responsible for the training and supervision of the laboratory staff at the University of Guam laboratory facilities for cultural materials recovered from a salt water environment.


Oct. 1995 to Oct. 1997 Archaeological assistant for the U.S.S. Alligator Research Project under the direction of Duncan Mathewson and Bob Neyland (USN). Responsible for coordinating the collection of data for the ballast study at the site resulting in the self publication of a report titled, "U. S. S. ALLIGATOR BALLAST REPORT Establishing a Ballast Typology System".


July 1995 to July 1997 Archaeological Assistant for the underwater excavation project on the 1733 Capitana site under the direction of Duncan Mathewson. Responsible for assisting with the excavation, field work mapping and artifact analysis while working in close cooperation with the Florida Department of State Archaeologist, NOAA, and FKNMS Project Manager and scientific personnel in all matters concerning the project.


May 1994 to 2002 Assistant Manager of Operations, Sea Ventures, Tavernier, FL.I have the responsibilities of first mate, motor vessel maintenance, underwater archaeological site mapping and artifact recovery. I also have the responsibility for the control, recordation, conservation and disposition of recovered artifacts in the laboratory.


July 1993 to Present Director of Conservation, Caribbean Shipwreck Research Institute, Key Largo, FL. I have designed the present laboratory facility for the Maritime Museum of the Florida Keys. I am responsible for the on going conservation program, training of volunteers, and giving educational lectures to visitors and educational groups concerning the conservation of marine recovered artifacts. The institute has been under contract for the conservation of artifacts for NOAA: ‘Bill Seals Bell’ from French Reef and Columbus Iselin grounding artifacts contract # 40AANC606413.


June 1993 Participated in an archaeological remote sensing survey and mapping Phase I & II CRM project in the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary under the direction of R. Duncan Mathewson III.

PUBLICATIONS


2002 “THE CAPITANA PROJECT FINAL EXCAVATION REPORT the ship believed to be La Capitana el Rubí. FKNMS-25-93,FKNMS(UR)-35-96, FKNMS(UR)-104-98.” Published by Caribbean Shipwreck Research Institute, Inc., edited by Robert J Benson.


1999 "Establishing a Conservation Program and Laboratory in a Developing Nation". In "The Musket Ball Shipwreck Report Excavation Report of a Colonial Era Shipwreck Discovered On the North Coast of the Dominican Republic" published by NOVA Southeastern University.


1999 "Conservation Report for the MUSKET BALL WRECK”. In "The Musket Ball Shipwreck Report Excavation Report of a Colonial Era Shipwreck Discovered On the North Coast of the Dominican Republic" published by NOVA Southeastern University.


1999 "Problem Oriented Archaeology - Are We Practicing What We Preach?" Unpublished Thesis currently in edit.


1996 "U.S.S. ALLIGATOR BALLAST REPORT Establishing a Ballast Typology System" Self-published.

CONFERENCE PARTICIPATION


May 12, 2001 – 53rd Conference of the Florida Anthropological Society / 1st Annual Florida Underwater Archaeology Conference. Presented a paper titled, “Establishing a Ballast Typology System”.


May 6, 2000 - Florida Keys Maritime History Conference. Presented a paper titled, "The 1733 CAPITANA Wreck Project".

LECTURE PRESENTATIONS


"Introduction to Conservation: Shipwreck artifact stabilization and conservation".


Presented to the participants of the 1994, 1995, and 1996 Marine Archaeology Field Schools conducted by R. Duncan Mathewson III and sponsored by National Center for Shipwreck Research. Presented to the participants of the 1995 and 1996 "Follow Your Dream" seminars sponsored by author and salvor Robert Weller and Joe Kimbell, director of the Caribbean Shipwreck Research Institute.

ACHIEVEMENTS


Elected to ‘Who’s Who Among Students in American Universities & Colleges’ 1997-1998.

Honorary award recognition, biography published in the ‘22nd Annual Edition of The National Dean’s List, 1998-99’.

REFERENCES


R. Duncan Mathewson III, Professor of Marine Science, The Union Institute College of Undergraduate Studies, North Miami, Florida.


Bruce Terrell, Archaeologist, Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary NOAA Department of Commerce, Washington, DC.


James Levy, Archaeological Conservator, Department of Historical Resources Florida Department of State, Tallahassee, Florida.


Dr. Robert Baer, Professor, NOVA Southeastern University, Ft. Lauderdale, Florida.