Feature Friday: Tori Galloway

Hi, Tori Galloway! Welcome to ReefBites. 


Instagram: @underwaterscienceiu

Facebook: Underwater Science- Indiana University

Tori is a PhD Student in Underwater Archaeology at Indiana University. Her research focuses on tracking cultural heritage and climate change through sustainable tourism models and biological resource management. Read more about Tori’s work below! 

Give an elevator pitch of what your research/project is about.

While I am an underwater archaeologist at heart, I have found that an interdisciplinary perspective has helped me to understand more about shipwrecks and their contexts than I ever believed possible. In an effort to protect underwater resources, like shipwrecks, Indiana University’s Center for Underwater Science utilizes a common-pool resource management theory, seen in the Living Museums of the Sea model, to attract sustainable tourism in order to draw attention to underwater sites in need of protection. This eco-tourism creates a need for biological monitoring and government attention, which ultimately yields greater conservation efforts. During this process, I study the historical and archaeological record in order to understand the anthropological context of the site, the shipbuilding of that period, and related trade networks. Through this data we study the current impact of climate change on these shipwreck sites.

Why is this research/project important and timely?

This research ultimately contributes quantitative and qualitative data on hundreds of shipwreck sites throughout the Dominican Republic, Florida Keys, California, and the Great Lakes, primarily in the form of 3D photogrammetric models and full-site orthomosaics. This form of data collection allows me, as well as other researchers in the Center for Underwater Science, to track shipwreck sites from year to year, and to record the physical volume of site components, like corals, which can be compared to previous models. The designation of underwater preserves creates a tie between shipwrecks and local heritage, which promotes tourism. This management plan has served as a model for the National Marine Sanctuaries, The Florida Keys Shipwreck Trail, California State Parks, and for legal protection in instances where cultural resources are otherwise unprotected. 

What is the broader impact and implication of your findings?

Because the focus of this research is on shipwreck sites as a whole, this work promotes legal protection, biological conservation, archaeological preservation, and ecological monitoring of dozens of sites across the world- actively contributing to our understanding and representation of Underwater Cultural Heritage. 

How did you come to work in this field/project?

I began working with IU’s Center for Underwater Science in 2017, as an undergraduate student on a field project in the Florida Keys. On this trip, I completed my Open Water checkout dives and got to dive many reefs and shipwrecks within the National Marine Sanctuary. Since then, I have been on many field projects with the Center, focusing on cultural heritage management and site preservation. I decided to stay at IU in order to continue working in the program, while also working on graduate degrees in archaeology.

Location of fieldwork; why choose this location?

Because my fieldwork relies on a team of people, I work where my program has already established local ties. These places include the Dominican Republic, Great Lakes, the Florida Keys, and California. I love returning time after time to visit the same communities. These relationships are the reason that I get excited to do this kind of work.

Recently, our team has expanded our scope of research to include Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary’s many shipwrecks. I have also been working with a team of Maritime Archaeologists from the Wisconsin Historical Society; I am proud to say I am a cold-water diver! Really, I am happy to work anywhere that affords me the opportunity to work with local communities. 

What advice would you give for successful fieldwork?

My most important consideration is the team that I surround myself with. If I am confident in the abilities of my team and our research capabilities as a whole, I find it much easier to focus on the task at hand and to remain confident that we will be able to get the job done. Data collection within Underwater Science functions on teamwork, which is why I make sure I have trustworthy and capable people in my corner. I always consider logistics when joining new research teams, which allows me to focus my attention from that point forward on each person’s role as a scientist. 

What is your top graduate school life hack or survival resource?

As a PhD student and full-time employee, time management is my most important survival resource. If I schedule my day hour-by-hour, I can manage my time more closely, which allows me to get things done and have time for life, too. Lists are also a huge part of my routine. 

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