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NAS Part III –Forensic Meteorology 
Using Historical Weather Information to Increase Productivity In Locating Underwater Objects.
Archaeological Science Module
This two day course will provide researchers with knowledge of how and where to access interpret and apply historical weather records to locate potential shipwreck targets. Operational and theoretical weather analysis techniques will be covered, including hydrodynamics and its relationship to weather. This course is aimed at divers (including search and recovery), surveyors, researchers, historians & authors who are looking to find potential shipwreck targets (or other search related targets) in the shortest amount of time and gain a greater understanding on how weather can play a role in a shipwrecks’ history. The course will show how to access dated/historical weather information online, review historical weather and its effects in a maritime environment including hydrodynamics to determine best options to locate shipwreck (or other search items) & debris field expansiveness. The student will understand weather concepts, fronts, severe weather (hurricane analysis over time) and observation data to aid in their survey of shipwrecks and best possible direction to search for additional debris.
Course Outline:
  • Introduction to basic weather patterns including wind/wave analysis on current forecast models. Understand how these patterns create wind & waves.
  • Understand how wind is generated within different weather patterns.
  • Research hurricane tracks and impact they have on shipping industry (historical & current)
  • Basic understanding of marine hydrology/current and how wind affects water movement.
  • Use of computer to research historical weather records, assimilate data into a meaningful format and have a better understanding when researching history of shipwreck and possible debris field.
  • Practice with real data to locate shipwreck location (and other underwater features) and understand why debris field can be so large in one area using various learned techniques.
  • Teaching Outcomes:
Upon completion of this course, the student will gain a greater awareness of how important weather was in the sinking of the vessel (when compared to other historical information about the vessel) and using current technology, work backwards in time to find the best probable area the vessel went down, storm related or not. How to interpret various weather maps, ocean current flow simulation and other technologically advanced information (and how to access them free) and apply it in their search for that illusive shipwreck. Participants will also have been introduced to the science and application of meteorology as it applies to forensics using various techniques learned in a classroom environment. Using those skills to search out historical weather records and apply dated weather information in a practical session, the student will be able to better understand possible locations of potential shipwreck (and other underwater) targets, reducing time in surveying. Be able to deduce best possible direction of debris field as it applies to weather/wind/wave over time.
Cost and Credits:
A maximum of 12 credit points will be available in the Research and Information Technology module. The cost for the course is $250. Students will be required to purchase “Environmental Forensics and its Effects on Investigations”. This text is available on for $20.00 or can provided in class by the instructor for the same price. Part III courses are open to everyone; however credit points will only be awarded to those who have completed the NAS Part I and Part II Courses.
Required Reading:
Mac Master, Greg ( ) Environmental Forensics and its Effects on Investigations
Course Instructor: Greg MacMaster