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Meet the Team

Steve Claggett
State Archaeologist
Directs the Office of State Archaeology, of which the Underwater Archaeology Branch is a part. He is responsible for overall project guidance, plus legal and policy matters and--in concert with DCR administrators--QAR Project funding initiatives with private foundations, corporations and government agencies. Claggett holds degrees in History (Centre College of Kentucky) and Anthropology (Wake Forest University). He has been with NCDCR for over thirty years, serving as State Archaeologist since 1985. 

John "Billy Rae" Morris
Deputy State Archaeologist and Director of the Underwater Archaeology Branch 
A nautical archaeologist with over 28 years of field experience, and degrees from the University of North Carolina-Wilmington and East Carolina University, John has directed numerous projects both in the United States and abroad. These projects have included the recordation of the Confederate raider CSS Alabama off the coast of France, the complete documentation and recovery of a 16th century Spanish messenger vessel in Bermuda, and the decade long excavation of Betsey, an 18th century British transport lost at Yorktown, Virginia during the final battle of the American Revolution. John also directed the first maritime archaeological research project conducted in St. Augustine, Fla. This project lead directly to John creating and directing the first independent institutional archaeological research program established in Florida. Several of these projects have been made into television documentaries and have also been featured in such publications as National Geographic and American Archaeology.  

Morris has conducted projects for state and federal civilian agencies, as well as the United States Navy.  He has also worked for several museums and research institutions in this country and overseas. His specialty is the evolution of ship construction and the interpretation of vessel loss sites. He was the creator and Director of South Eastern Archaeological Services, Inc., a marine archaeological consulting firm.

Shanna Daniel
QAR Conservator
Born and raised in Texas, Shanna came to North Carolina to join the QAR staff. Shanna has a B.A. in sociology with an emphasis in anthropology/archaeology and a M.A. in anthropology with an emphasis in archaeology and conservation. She is certified to use scanning electron microscopes and environmental scanning electron microscope and also has credentials in historical preservation and conservation.

Julep Gillman-Bryan
Dive Safety Officer and Research Vessel Captain
Born in Columbia, S.C. and raised in Sanford, N.C., Julep lived for years aboard a Dutch-built wooden sailboat with her husband Peter. Julep is a U.S. Coast Guard licensed captain, PADI Master SCUBA Diver Trainer, Emergency First Response Instructor, DAN Oxygen Provider Instructor and SCUBA repair technician. She has worked on scores of shipwreck surveys, and excavations across North Carolina, and as an experienced underwater photographer, she has taken the majority of underwater photographs on the QAR shipwreck site.  

Nathan Henry
Assistant State Archaeologist and Conservator
Nathan is a native North Carolinian and has been with the QAR team since the first field season in 1997. Initially hired as the lead conservator for the project he has also logged hundreds of hours as an archaeological diver excavating and recovering artifacts from the underwater site. His primary research interest involves artillery and the material culture relating to the ship’s armament. Nathan came to the project after years as a marine contractor and has a degree in marine construction engineering from Cape Fear Community College. He has a bachelor’s degree in anthropology from UNC-Wilmington received training in conservation and underwater archaeology at East Carolina University.

David Moore
Mapping Coordinator 
David received the bachelor’s degree from UNC-Wilmington and the master’s degree from East Carolina University, Greenville.  He has researched Blackbeard history for thirty years, and has lectured and written on the topic in the U.S. and Great Briatin.  He was a principal investigator of the shipwreck the slave ship Henrietta Marie.   

Courtney Page
QAR Archaeological Technician 

Madeline Spencer
Office Manager
Madeline was born and raised in Southport, North Carolina. After attending Cape Fear Community College and working for many years as a local accountant and gift shop manager with the N.C. Maritime Museum at Southport, she began working for the Underwater Archaeology Branch. Madeline is responsible for QAR budget, purchasing, assisting with publications and maintaining the database of North Carolina shipwrecks. 

Chris Southerly
Assistant State Archaeologist
Chris did undergraduate work in biochemistry at Virginia Tech before earning his bachelor’s degree in anthropology-archaeology from James Madison University. After  completing his master’s degree in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology from East Carolina University, Chris joined the Underwater Archaeology Branch. In addition to working on the Queen Anne's Revenge, does environmental review program and leads the management of all North Carolina’s extensive underwater cultural heritage through digitization, interagency cooperation, and public outreach. 

Sarah Watkins-Kenney
QAR Conservation Lab Director and Chief Conservator 
Born and raised in the United Kingdom, Sara has worked as an archaeological conservator for museums, universities, regional conservation services and archaeology projects around the world. Before joining the QAR team, Sarah was Head of the Metals, Ceramics and Glass Conservation Section at the British Museum from 1994 to 2003. She holds a bachelor's degree in archaeological conservation from Cardiff University and a master's degree in Museum and Gallery Management from City University London, and she is currently a Ph.D. candidate in East Carolina University's coastal resources management program. 

Terry Williams
QAR Archaeological Technician

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