Exhibits Program Manager
What are your responsibilities at Odyssey Marine Exploration?
I am responsible for the management, transportation, and logistics of Odyssey’s traveling exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure.
How did you get your start with the company?
I began my adventure in 2005 just after Hurricane Katrina hit New Orleans. Odyssey’s exhibit was installed as a semi-permanent exhibit in the French Quarter of New Orleans – one of the places that didn’t flood during the hurricane (one exhibit security guard actually stayed with the artifacts throughout the storm and kept the artifacts safe and sound! He’s now a member of our full-time staff). After being one of the first companies to re-open in that region, Odyssey decided to transform the exhibit into SHIPWRECK!, a traveling exhibit so that more visitors could experience the adventure in cities around the USA. I joined the crew as a retail kiosk manager and have stayed with the exhibit since.
What is your favorite thing about working for Odyssey?
Working with Odyssey offers so many wonderful opportunities. Especially exciting is the artifacts that were once thought lost forever and the many stories that we learn from researching these historical pieces. Shipwrecks create perfect time capsules filled with artifact stories as well as stories about life during the era in which the ship sank. In SHIPWRECK! the featured wreck is the SS Republic, a side-wheel steamship that fought on both sides of the Civil War. I think that some of the most fascinating stories we have learned are about the passengers who survived the final voyage on the SS Republic including men such as Charles Sauvinet who is recognized as the longest serving African-American officer in the Union Army
How does Odyssey choose where the travelling exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure will display?
SHIPWRECK! is currently touring all around the United States and at the moment on display at the Mid-America Science Museum in Hot Springs, AR. Usually the decision of which city is next has a lot to do with the dates that are available in the science centers and the space available. SHIPWRECK! covers more than 6,000 square feet and features over 500 artifacts. The space must be pretty large to accommodate all that.
Tell us about SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure
SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure is an interactive exhibit that lets visitors learn about history, technology and science. The exhibit features over 500 authentic artifacts, a life-size model of our Remotely Operated Vehicle or ROV nicknamed ZEUS, a real operating robotic arm, hurricane tubes, a virtual museum, silver coins, gold coins and gold bars more than 350 years old!
What is your favorite artifact on display in SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure?
It’s hard not to like the gold coins and gold bars the most! I do believe that the rare wooden carpenter’s ruler from site 35F has an interesting history. It is the oldest one ever found on a shipwreck and was used to help calculate the cubic content of timber.
How do you manage to take SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure from city to city, across the country, without damaging or losing any artifacts?
Our artifacts are treated with an immense amount of security and safety. They travel in a secured vehicle and we have kept the same driver for every move. He is very experience on the care that needs to be given to the artifacts during transportation such keeping the artifacts in a specific temperature range. As for the bulk of the exhibit, it fits tightly into four 53’ tractor trailers.
How can I help bring the exhibit to my hometown?
Contact you local Science Center and tell them that you would love to see SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure in your town. You can visit http://shipwreck.net/exhibits.php
FACEBOOK FAN QUESTIONS
In December 2011, we asked Facebook fans to submit questions for our crew. Through our In Depth Interview series we'll start answering the questions. If your question wasn't addressed here, we'll likely answer in an upcoming profile!
Would they be willing to work with youth in Florida to inspire a future career in 'marine operations'?
Absolutely! This is actually one of my favorite parts of my job. Educational outreach is just one of the channels we utilize to “share the adventure” with the general public and youth. Throughout the year, many of our specialists, including myself, deliver presentations in local schools or youth groups. Odyssey’s curriculum has been used in hundreds of schools across the United States. Our exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure has been to nine different cities across the US and is a popular fieldtrip choice for schools and groups when it is in town. If you have a specific program you’d like Odyssey to consider, please contact us here: http://shipwreck.net/st/index.php?action=ticket_submit
How long do you wait to find a wreck and the next one?
We’re always searching and planning our next discovery! We have a huge database of targets and the best marine operations team in the world. For security reasons we don’t always disclose what we’re looking for, so you’ll just have to stay tuned!
How does one get an opportunity to go out on a voyage with you?
For the safety and security of our operations, only authorized Odyssey personnel can come on board during expeditions. But our exhibit SHIPWRECK! Pirates & Treasure is a great way to experience the science, technology and history of shipwreck exploration. If our exhibit is ever in your home town, I hope you make plans to go see it!