Professor and Chair; Director of Archaeology and Anthropology M.A. Program, University of Rhode Island
Dr. Mather is perhaps best known for his studies of shipwrecks around the world, including Revolutionary War ships in Narragansett Bay, the USS Monitor off the coast of Virginia, the shipwrecks of Bermuda and a fleet of German World War I ships in the Atlantic Canyons off Virginia. But his growing reputation is also in the emerging discipline of applied history, in which contemporary issues are addressed via a thorough understanding of historic and cultural landscapes.
He and long-time colleague John Jensen have gained unique new insights and helped solve local and national problems by broadening the understanding of the historic uses of particular sites. Mather’s studies of the 300-year history of energy use in Rhode Island, for instance, is providing a new perspective on efforts to establish an offshore wind farm in the state. And his numerous collaborations with the National Park Service are shedding new light on National Historic Parks up and down the East Coast.
Mather has established an Applied History Lab at the University of Rhode Island to provide students with unique opportunities to work at the intersection of the arts, humanities and sciences.