The Management Team – Nautical Division

The scientific professionals of RCG&A’s Nautical Division incorporate tiers of nautical archaeology, remote sensing and marine geology specialists. Their research and compliance foci extend from interior rivers to the Outer Continental Shelf. Supported by award winning Senior Managers, a robust GIS department, and practiced, professional editors and report production staff, the Nautical Division helps spearhead project planning, works to keep agencies on an even keel, clears the deck for real time problem solving, and provides a beacon for field investigations. Our team sets the standards for data analyses and interpretation. Our project documentation and reports are ship shape and Bristol fashion.


James Schmidt, M.A. – Vice President – Maritime Archaeology Division

Mr. Schmidt has over 30 years of commercial subsea and archaeological experience along the Atlantic Seaboard and Gulf of Mexico. He received his B.A. from Towson State University and his M.A. in Maritime History and Underwater Research from East Carolina University. Mr. Schmidt has consulted with numerous federal and state agencies to assist in fulfilling preservation responsibilities for submerged archaeological resources pursuant to Section 106 of the National Historic Preservation Act. Mr. Schmidt’s experience includes surface air supplied diving, multi-component remote sensing survey, and remote-operated vehicle (ROV) work.


David A. McCullough, Ph.D. – Senior Maritime Archaeologist

Dr. McCullough received his BA in Anthropology from the University of Utah and a Ph.D. from the University of Glasgow, specializing in Maritime Archaeology investigating the Norse Maritime Landscape in Scotland and the Isles. Following on this, Dr. McCullough spent over 20 years working in the commercial sector in Northwestern Europe and the US (Atlantic Coast and Gulf of Mexico). He holds the internationally recognized HSE Surface Supplied Diving qualification for Diving at Work.


Ashley Himmelstein, M.A., M.S – Maritime Archaeologist/Geoarchaeologist

Ms. Himmelstein received a B.A with a major in Anthropology and a minor in Marine Science from SUNY Stony Brook, an M.A in Maritime Civilizations from the University of Haifa, and an M.S. in Geological Sciences from Ohio University. Ms. Himmelstein has professional experience in marine and terrestrial archaeology and geoarchaeology. She possesses specialized training in the identification and characterization of submerged and coastal maritime sites, in interpreting geophysical and geotechnical data.


Olivia Ayers, B.A. – Maritime Archaeologist

Ms. Ayers has applied experience conducting submerged site surveys and excavations; and in GIS to document geospatial data. She has conducted archaeological work for the University of Rhode Island and the University of Haifa. Her background in nautical archaeology incudes training and practical experience in culturally and geologically complex environments of the eastern Mediterranean. Her work in Israel has earner her certificates of appreciation from both the Israel Antiquities Authority Marine Archaeology Unit and the Israel Antiquities Authority Heritage Project.


Ghavin Deonarain, B.A. – Maritime Archaeologist

Mr. Deonarain has applied experience conducting submerged site surveys and excavations; photography/photogrammetry; and, in GIS to document geospatial data. His background in nautical archaeology incudes practical experience in culturally and geologically complex environments of the eastern Mediterranean. Mr. Deonarain also has terrestrial archaeology experience and is proficient in artifact analysis techniques, including faunal remains, lithic materials, metal objects, excavation photography (underwater and terrestrial), videography, and a variety of relevant software programs. Mr. Deonarain possesses international archaeological experience, having excavated in Greece, Italy, Spain, Australia, and Israel in addition to, most recently, the U.S.


Marie Louise Meranda, M.A., RPA – Maritime Archaeologist/Geoarchaeologist

Ms. Meranda is the latest edition to the Maritime staff. Ms. Meranda is currently completing her PHD studies at University of South Florida (Tampa) in Applied Anthropology. She has an MA in Maritime Archaeology from the University of Southampton, UK and graduated from the University of Tennessee at Chattanooga, Cum laude, with two Bachelor of Arts: Sociology and Anthropology; and, Humanities: Liberal Arts (Minors in English Writing and Art History). Marie is the current Principal Investigator for an underwater archaeological survey, LaSoye Bay, Dominica. Marie will be working out of our Tampa, Florida office.


Daniel Grose, B.A. – Dive Safety Officer

Mr. Daniel Grose holds a Bachelor of Arts from the State University of New York at Oneonta and post-baccalaureate credits in archaeology from the State University of New York at Albany. He has 19 years of experience with the Goodwin team, and he is the firm’s Dive Safety Officer and a member of the Dive Control Board. He is a full voting member of the American Academy of Underwater Sciences (AAUS) and is an Emergency First Responder Instructor, and a Divers Alert Network Oxygen First Aid for Scuba Diving Injuries Instructor. He holds technical diving certifications through Technical Diving International / Scuba Diving International (TDI/SDI) and a certificate from the Paul Hall Maritime Center, Seafarers Harry Lundeberg School of Seamanship in Basic Safety – Personal Survival Techniques.