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College of Arts & Sciences
Maritime Research Division

MRD staff onducting remote sensing operations..

MRD Staff

The MRD employs three full-time staff in Columbia and Charleston

Columbia Office

James D. Spirek- State Underwater Archaeologist

Jim is Head of the Maritime Research Division, and is responsible for implementing archaeological research, overseeing the regulatory aspects of the Division, and issuing Exclusive Licenses. Research interests lie in Civil War naval operations, shipbuilding and seafaring of the 16th-century, remote-sensing operations, and in providing public access to submerged maritime resources. Before joining the Institute, Jim spent three and a half years locating and recording shipwrecks in Pensacola Bay, Florida. Research and contract projects have taken him throughout the US and International waters to document sites ranging from 16th-century Spanish shipwrecks to Great Lakes bulk freighters. He received his M.A. in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology from East Carolina University in 1993 and a B.A. in History from George Mason University in 1987.

Ryan Bradley- Underwater Archaeologist II

Ryan plays an essential role in planning and conducting archaeological research, facilitating public educational and outreach programs and coordinating public notices under Federal Section 106 requirements.  He also administers and assists in all diving operations undertaken by the Division.  His research interests include historic fisheries, maritime landscapes, photogrammetry as an archaeological and outreach tool and educating the public on submerged cultural resources.  Ryan is a certified scuba diving instructor (SDI) and Diver Alert Network Diver Emergency Management Provider (DAN DEMP) Instructor.  Prior to joining MRD, Ryan worked for the UNC Coastal Studies Institute as an education and outreach specialist on the Outer Banks, NC and on a remote sensing survey of Hatteras Inlet with Tidewater Atlantic Research. He received his M.A. in Maritime Studies from East Carolina University in 2015.


Charleston Field Office

Nate Fulmer- Underwater Archaeologist, Charleston Field Office Manager

Nate operates the MRD Charleston Field Office at the Warren Lasch Conservation Center on the old Charleston Navy Base where he administrates the South Carolina Hobby License program.  He is a native South Carolinian from Aiken County. Nate attended College of Charleston where he received his Bachelor's of Science in Anthropology and Archaeology in 2012. He joined the Institute as a staff member in December 2013. Nate is well-versed in Southeastern prehistoric and historic cultural material and has been diving in waters across the state for many years.  In addition to running the Charleston Field Office and administrating the license program, Nate is responsible for conducting site assessments throughout the state and manages the South Carolina Artifact Report Archive one of the largest information databases of submerged cultural resources in the nation.