The Year of Water Series - Marine Archeologist Tane Casserley


Tane Casserley

The next event in West Shore Community College’s semester long exploration of issues related to water will focus on maritime archaeology in a special presentation at 9:30 a.m. on March 5, in the Administrative and Conference Building Café.

Tane Casserley, the maritime archaeologist for NOAA’s Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary, specializes in 19th-century warships and deep-water archaeology. He will speak from his considerable expertise leading dives to study shipwrecks in the Great Lakes, the Florida Keys, the Hawaiian Islands, Alaska, and the Atlantic seaboard.

"The cold fresh water of Lake Huron acts as a fantastic preservative to help keep shipwrecks from the 18th century intact. I love to dive on shipwrecks that no one has ever seen before. I feel like I’m stepping back in time. It’s an amazing feeling to be on a wreck that no other human hand has touched in hundreds of years,” says Casserley.

Casserley has particular expertise with the Civil War era USS Monitor and most recently served as principal investigator on an expedition to document three German U-boats from the WWII Battle of the Atlantic off the coast of North Carolina.

Casserley holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and a graduate certificate in maritime archaeology from the University of Hawaii at Manoa. He has also earned a master’s degree in nautical archaeology and maritime history from East Carolina University.

The college invites the community to attend this event and to learn, with the students, how archeologists study shipwrecks and use their learning to further our understanding of our shared history on the water.

Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary conducts, supports, promotes, and coordinates scientific research and monitoring of its maritime heritage resources to ensure their long-term protection. For more information about the Thunder Bay Marine Sanctuary, visit their website:

More information about the WSCC water series can be found at or by contacting Seán Henne, WSCC professor of English and Education. 231-843-5859 or

Author: Thomas Hawley | Executive Director of College Relations