Posts Tagged ‘history’

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After the Conference: Saving and Sharing the Knowledge Base

July 17, 2014

T. Kurt Knoerl On 15 July 2014 the online Museum of Underwater Archaeology (MUA) launched the electronic version of the proceedings from the 2014 Asia-Pacific Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage held in Honolulu, Hawaii in May.  One of the great things about this conference is its organizers’ dedication to making the papers freely available online.  A small team of editors made sure that presenters followed the established format and then handed the PDF’s off to the MUA web team for online publication using Omeka software developed at the Roy Rosenzweig Center for History and New Media at George Mason University.

After examining the online proceedings one might argue there are better ways to digitally present the papers but that’s a minor point when compared to the larger aim of the free distribution of knowledge.  The cost to create the online proceedings was minimal.  The labor, server space, and bandwidth were all donated.  With this being the case my question is this: why don’t all conferences do this? 

How many conference sessions have we all been to when competing papers of excellent quality had fifty or less viewers in the audience?  Papers from the 2011 Asia-Pacific conference proceedings held in Manila, Philippines have had thousands of downloads in the last three years.  Isn’t that sort of sharing and spreading of knowledge what academia is supposed to be about?

Some have argued that not all conference papers are of equal quality and therefore should be withheld from distribution.  To this I would argue that yes I’ve seen some poor papers over the years but the online proceedings captures a moment in time and represents the state of the field (whatever the discipline) warts and all.  I believe it is better to let a few poor papers get through in order to also preserve the rest that might otherwise be lost to obscurity.   If the authors of bad papers are willing to stand up and present them then they have accepted the responsibility for their paper’s quality for better or worse. 

I was not able to attend the 2014 Asia Pacific conference this past May but I can attend it now, or next year, or the year after that when I discover through my online search that an obscure paper presented there is exactly what I needed to see.   We need to encourage our various professional societies to abandon the model of charging money for printed proceedings at the expense of freely available online versions.  In some cases the printed versions lose money or at best generate little income.  We need to ask ourselves do we conduct our research and present papers to make money or to increase the body of knowledge in our respective fields. 

Save and share the knowledge.

You can view the first installment of the Asia-Pacific conference proceedings here: http://www.themua.org/collections/collections/show/13

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2014 Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage Now Online

July 15, 2014

The Museum of Underwater Archaeology is proud to announce the launch of the online proceedings for the 2014 Asia-Pacific Regional Conference on Underwater Cultural Heritage. This impressive collection will include over 100 papers, video interviews, and posters all freely available online. Today we are releasing the conference introduction and papers from the first four of fifteen sessions. Each week we will publish additional materials. Introductory interviews with the session chairs discuss the impetus for organizing the session and identifies future directions for research in that topic.

Today’s release includes:
-General conference introduction, including video interviews with conference chair Dr. Hans Van Tilburg and keynote speakers Dr. James Delgado and Dr. Sayan Praicharnjit

– Session 1: UNESCO Convention on the Protection of the Underwater Cultural Heritage and International Cooperation (Chair: Etienne Clement)

– Session 2: New Approaches in UCH Management in the US (Chair: Dr. Hans Van Tilburg)

– Session 3: Underwater Cultural Heritage, Museums, and Sustainable Development (Chair: Dr. Bill Jeffery)

– Session 4: Underwater Cultural Heritage in Oceania (Chair: Dr. Akatsuki Takahashi)

You can view the collections here:

http://www.themua.org/collections/collections/show/13

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United By Water: Exploring American History through the Shipwrecks and Maritime Landscapes of the Great Lakes

February 16, 2011

Funded NEH Opportunity at Thunder Bay for July 2011.

APPLICATION DEADLINE MARCH 1!

Many people in the marine archaeology/maritime heritage community teach—often this is a part-time element in our frequently complicated and unconventional careers.  For those who have teaching and academic service connections to community colleges, the National Endowment for the Humanities has funded a unique opportunity to integrate underwater archaeology, maritime heritage, and associated fields into the college classroom.

Developed in partnership with the Alpena Community College, the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and the Sea Education Association, United By Water: Exploring American History through the Shipwrecks and Maritime Landscapes of the Great Lakes consists of a focused week-long workshop that covers a wide range of hands on and scholarly activities all geared toward integrating maritime historical perspectives into community college courses.  Two sessions are offered during the last two weeks of July 2011.   Successful applicants will receive a $1200 stipend to help defray expenses.  Local housing is available at quite reasonable rates.

For those interested in the intersections between education, heritage, and archaeology, this workshop offers an opportunity to engage with shipwrecks and cutting-edge interpretive resources and programs at the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary.

The attached flyer describes the program and application process in more detail.   The March 1 deadline is approaching quickly! (download the PDF )

For additional information please visit our the project website at www.alpenacc.edu/shipwrecks or contact either of the Co-directors:  Cathy Green, email cathy.green@noaa.gov or Dr. John Jensen, email jjensen@sea.edu

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What Does it Mean to “Go Digital”? – By Dr. T. Mills Kelly

October 19, 2010

Back in the late 1990s – the days of Web 0.5 – I was a pioneer of sorts when it came to thinking about how new media might be changing the way students thought about the past. I got started with research on new media because I had an itch that needed scratching…What I wanted to know was whether or not the work I was putting into my website and into creating web-based assignments for my students was remotely worth it. I decided I needed to do a little research to see what I could learn about how my students used the digital learning materials I was creating for them and whether their use of those materials was changing their thinking at all.

As often happens with “little research projects,” the work I did that year transformed my career in that it opened me up to an entirely new way of thinking about teaching and learning. And because the results of my project found their way into an online journal, which then won an award, which then led to a job at George Mason University’s Center for History and New Media, I was suddenly an expert of sorts on digital pedagogy.

Read the rest of this entry ?

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The 1764 British Sloop Industry Exhibit Gets a Facelift

December 2, 2009

When the MUA “opened” its virtual doors in 2004 our mission was to encourage underwater archaeologists to share their research with the general public and with each other via the Internet.  It was difficult to find that first organization that was willing to post with us.  We were untested and honestly, pretty inexperienced both in public outreach and web design and coding but we believed in the mission.  John W. Morris III, (the first director of LAMP in St. Augustine, FL) took a chance and approached us about using research on the 1764 British sloop Industry for our first exhibit.  For that, we will always be grateful. Since then the MUA has grown to include nearly 300 pages of content written by over 70 professional, student, and avocational underwater archaeologists from around the world.  We are very fortunate that LAMP’s current director, Chuck Meide, still believes in our mission and has worked with us to update the original exhibit with new images, slide shows, zoomviews, and text.  The rather dated look and feel of the original post has been replaced with a new design which we hope does an even better job of telling Industry’s story.

We invite you to view the newly revised British sloop Industry exhibit at the MUA here: http://www.themua.org/exhibit_industry

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Students Excavate Sixteenth-Century Shipwreck Site in Florida

June 16, 2009
University of West Florida students return to EP II 16th century shipwreck site.

University of West Florida students return to EP II 16th century shipwreck site.

The University of West Florida has begun its online project journal for summer 2009.

Co-Principal Investigator Greg Cook leads off with an entry on what students will be learning. From remote sensing to excavating a sixteenth-century shipwreck site it promises to be an exciting season.

You can view Greg’s post as well as the first student entry here:

http://www.uri.edu/artsci/his/mua/project_journals/wf09/wf09_intro.shtml

Check back later this week for entry number three.

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The Warship Hazardous Tracer Study

March 24, 2009
Sarah Holland prepares bricks for placement on the seabed.

Today we present the third part of Sarah Holland’s study on how the dynamic nature of the natural environment found at the warship Hazardous shipwreck site may have moved artifacts across the seabed during a single season. You can read Sarah’s post by clicking on the link on our main page here: http://www.themua.org