About Us

The Institute of Maritime History (IMH) is a non-profit organization dedicated to the preservation and documentation of archaeological remains related to maritime history. Incorporated in 1994, and with field operations now in Delaware, Florida, Georgia, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, and Virginia, IMH is engaged in the study and conservation of shipwrecks, historic waterfront structures and landscapes, and submerged prehistoric archaeological sites. Through archaeological research, IMH seeks to inform and engage the public about the history and culture of seafaring, marine industries, and traditional maritime lifeways.

People of IMH

Samuel P. Turner, Ph.D., is a Director and the President and Treasurer of IMH. Sam has served as Director of IMH since its inception in 1995. He has participated in many IMH field projects and led a team of IMH archaeologists on a survey of 16th-century shipwreck sites around Saona Island in the Dominican Republic. He received his doctorate in Spanish and Spanish American Studies from King’s College, University of London, in 1999, and a M.A. in Anthropology (Nautical Archaeology Program) from Texas A&M University in 1994. In addition to Sam’s involvement with IMH, he was a Project Manager in the Nautical Archaeology Division at R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., an archaeological consulting company based in Frederick, MD. He has conducted or contributed to numerous underwater archaeological projects in Turkey, Israel, the Caribbean, the Mississippi River, and Maine.   

David Howe is a Director and the Secretary of IMH. He developed and leads the Submerged Historical Inventory Project (SHIP) – a volunteer program to reconnoiter and inventory shipwreck sites. Prior to his arrival at IMH, David was treasurer and president for the Maritime Archaeological and Historical Society (MAHS). He was also a program manager and legal advisor for the underwater archaeology branch at the Naval Historical Center in Washington, DC. He received his bachelor’s degree from New York University and Juris Doctor with honors from Syracuse University. Before retiring from maritime law he was Assistant Supervisor of Salvage (U.S.N.), a member of the U.S. delegation to the 1989 Salvage Convention at the International Maritime Organization in London, and a trial attorney with the admiralty section of the U.S. Department of Justice in Washington and New York. A retired Commander (Surface Warfare), U.S.N.R., and a sailor since childhood, he has operated vessels ranging from small craft to large ships. He served as Officer of the Deck in a destroyer and an aircraft carrier as well as a naval gunfire officer with the First Marine Division in Vietnam, taught piloting and navigation at Naval Officer Candidate School, and commanded a Mobile Inshore Undersea Warfare Unit. He is certified in SCUBA and hard-hat diving, and owns and operates Roper, a small research vessel for archaeological survey work in Chesapeake Bay. 

Charles T. Meide, Jr., joined the IMH team in 2005. “Chuck”  is currently the Director of LAMP (Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program), the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Maritime Museum located in St. Augustine, Florida.  He earned BA and MA degrees in Anthropology with a focus in underwater archaeology in 1993 and 2001 from Florida State University, where he studied under George R. Fischer, and undertook Ph.D. studies in Historical Archaeology at the College of William and Mary starting the following year. As part of his dissertation research, he has directed a maritime archaeological survey of Achill, an island off the west coast of Ireland. Mr. Meide is an experienced diver and diving instructor, and has taught basic and advanced SCUBA diving since 1993. He has led or participated in many archaeological expeditions throughout the state of Florida and in five other states, Bermuda, and the Caribbean. He was a co-director of the IMH St. Vincent Shipwreck Project in 1997-1998.