Ashley Lemke believes diversity and inclusion is critical to her field.
The assistant professor of sociology and anthropology is an expert on submerged ancient sites in the Americas, with experience diving in the Gulf of Mexico, Great Lakes, and Atlantic Ocean. Her latest article, “Getting Your Feet Wet: Barriers to Inclusivity in Underwater Archaeology and How to Break Them,” provides her colleagues with specific, practical solutions to increase diversity in underwater archaeology.
“There is a lack of representation in archaeology generally,” says Dr. Lemke, who also chairs the national Advisory Council on Underwater Archaeology. “In a specialized field such as underwater archaeology, this issue is only intensified. Whether you are researching shipwrecks or ancient underwater sites, anyone can get involved.”
The paper addresses barriers to diversity in underwater archaeology and offers solutions for ways to educate and provide support—both financially and through mentorship programs—to get more people involved in underwater science. Published in the journal Advances in Archaeological Practice, it was co-authored with Nicole Bucchino Grinnan from the Florida Public Archaeology Network and Jay V. Haigler from Diving With a Purpose. The team’s goal is to get the public more engaged in archaeology.