Grant Helps Nautical Archaeology Society To Expand On-line Educational Courses During Lockdown

Leading maritime archaeology charity, the Portsmouth-based Nautical Archaeology Society (NAS) has been awarded a grant of nearly £46,000 from Historic England’s COVID-19 emergency fund to revise and extend its e-Learning platform, while its normal face-to-face lecture and practical training programmes are on hold.

NAS Chief Executive, Mark Beattie-Edwards, commented: “Now is the perfect time to be expanding the variety of online courses within our educational programme. Lockdown around the world has meant that face-to-face courses have become impossible to offer, so being able to learn new skills from home has become the new normal. We are very grateful to Historic England for recognising our vital educational work targeted at documenting and protecting our precious maritime cultural heritage”.

Mark Beattie-Edwards continued: “We anticipate that both our classroom learning and practical training activities will be curtailed for some time - quite possibly the entire fieldwork season - so this Historic England grant is going to not only enable us to enhance our existing training courses and lecture programme to better support existing members remotely, but at the same time give us a more up to date and active online offering to attract and introduce new supporters and members to our capabilities and membership benefits”.

Hefin Meara, Maritime Archaeologist at Historic England said: “We’re delighted to support the NAS. The new and improved eLearning programme will teach participants to understand, value and enjoy our fascinating marine historic environment.”

NAS Education Manager Peta Knott added: “It is fantastic to have support from Historic England to help us meet the demand for online learning that has grown exponentially during lockdown and looks set to continue. By redeveloping our existing eLearning courses and creating two new ones, we’ll be able to expand our audience of eLearners which will create a greater team of citizen scientists to monitor and protect our threatened maritime heritage”. She continued: “The NAS' existing online eLearning platform has served us well but is now a bit dated. With this grant we will be able to spend our time during lockdown taking a fresh look at the whole site and creating an attractive and comprehensive modern eLearning portal”.

Peta and her team will be undertaking a complete revision of existing courses offered by the Society, reviewing the entire syllabus, course content and the presentation of each stage. This will include working closely with Historic England’s Disability Network to ensure that the course is fully accessible to all.

Two new ‘specialist’ courses will be added covering monitoring archaeological sites through photography and photogrammetry and cannon research and recording respectively. The platform will be modular in nature to facilitate the addition of new courses and be capable of being rapidly adopted by other heritage organisations. It will also support new methods for course evaluations.

Image: Monitoring the Holland No.5 Protected Wreck using photogrammetry (Credit: NAS / InDepth Photography)

For more information , please contact:

CEO: Mark Beattie-Edwards, MA, MCIfA, FSA
Nautical Archaeology Society,
Email: [email protected]

Education Manager: Peta Knott
Email:[email protected]