Other formats available for download

Quicktime (H.264), 640x360, 29.7 Mb

Windows Media:
Windows Media, 640x360, 13.4 Mb

You may need to download: Quicktime exit icon | Windows Media exit icon



My name is Chuck Meide. I am the Director of the Lighthouse Archaeological Maritime Program, or LAMP for short. And LAMP is the research arm of the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum.

The St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum is a non-profit museum that is based at the St. Augustine Lighthouse. St. Augustine is the oldest port in the United States of America. And so it’s a wonderful place for a maritime archaeologist to work. We’ve had ships coming and going in St. Augustine waters from the very beginning, 450 years ago.

About Chuck’s Job
I direct the research program for the museum. So the day-to-day operations of my program are kind of first and foremost. And so it is not always out in the field. It is not always doing research. I have a staff that I manage. I have budgets that I have to manage. I have grants that need to be written and need to be managed. So there’s certainly a lot of work that goes in to the day-to-day management of a program whose mission is to do research.

So typically for me, in the summer months, I am conducting field research. I am usually out on a boat during weekdays, sometimes for extended cruises, but often, because my museum, the St. Augustine Lighthouse & Museum, is focused on the history of the oldest port, St. Augustine and the region around it, we typically have shipwrecks that are very close to shore. So we’ll go out for a day.

It’s a bit different than kind of a deep-sea oceanographic expedition where you could be gone for a very long time. So we tend to work close to shore. We tend to dive in relatively shallow waters. We tend to do SCUBA diving or use a Hookah for our diving, so we’re tethered to the boat. It’s relatively lightweight diving, though sometimes we are doing a bit of heavy-duty work, like bringing up substantial artifacts, raising cannon, that kind of thing.

At a museum, something that is very important to us is the visual experience. So the work we do, we try to translate that with the help of our education department and other departments here at the Lighthouse. We translate the research we do into programming and presentations and into exhibits that then benefits the visitors who are going to learn.

Educational Requirements
To work as a professional archaeologist, a maritime archaeologist, at the very least you would probably want a master’s degree. Certainly you could get jobs, lower-level positions, with a bachelor’s degree, but really it takes at least a master’s degree to get a decent level of pay and to be in a leadership position. And then of course, some positions, if you were in academia, you would need a doctorate.

Other Opportunities
With my background as a maritime archaeologist, there’s a variety of jobs that are out there. Really, there’s the private sector; there’s government archaeology jobs; there are museum jobs like mine, some of which are public jobs, like state museums and some of which are private museums like my own museum. The largest employer in archaeology are what are called cultural resource management firms.

It’s a great job if you can get it and I’ve found that if you’re a hard worker and disciplined and dedicated to it, you can make a career for yourself.


Related Links

Chuck Meide Profile

OceanAGE Careers


Please note that all OceanAGE Career content was current at the time that interviews were recorded; however, profiles are not being updated to reflect subsequent career changes.