Business and individuals sought to help preserve UK’s marine environment

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offshore_coringThe University of Southampton has been commissioned by English Heritage to help preserve the nation’s historic marine environment.

The University is looking for individuals and organisations that engage with coastal and marine development projects to take part in a review to understand skills shortages across the sector.

In recent years, extensive geotechnical and environmental sampling surveys have been conducted to support numerous coastal and marine development projects. The data generated from these surveys can play a key role in understanding the historic marine environment. However, to properly engage with this resource, it is important that the data collected, the types of analyses that can be undertaken, and the archaeological questions that can be answered are more widely understood by heritage managers, environmental sub-contractors and clients.

As part of this process, the University of Southampton’s Coastal and Offshore Archaeological Research Services (COARS) has been commissioned by English Heritage (as part of National Heritage Protection Plan project 6205) to undertake an audit of the current level of skill shortages that exist in relation to the use of seabed and sub-seabed sediment samples for marine geoarchaeology.

This will permit a baseline understanding of practitioners’ knowledge, use of techniques, and the level of demand for training to be identified. The purpose is to identify different skill sets that exist across the many sectors that engage with coastal and marine development projects, so a background in marine archaeology is not necessary to participate in the survey.

The survey will be available until Wednesday 4 June 2014 and can be found at

The results of this survey will be used to create a bespoke training course, meeting the identified skill shortages, which will take place at the University of Southampton in January 2015.

Dr Michael Grant from COARS said: “We are really pleased to have been selected by English Heritage to run this project. This is a reflection on the world-class facilities and staff that are employed within the University of Southampton, and the experience that we have built up over many years through research and commercial work within the field of marine archaeology. This is an exciting opportunity for us to share our collective knowledge and experience with those who are directly responsible for the protection of our national maritime heritage.”