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Last modified: Thursday, December 1, 2005

Charles Beeker appointed to Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee

Role involves IU underwater archaeologist in marine protection and management efforts nationwide

Charles Beeker

Print-Quality Photo

Dec. 1, 2005

BLOOMINGTON, Ind. -- Charles Beeker, director of the Office of Underwater Science and the Academic Diving Program at Indiana University Bloomington, has been appointed to a four-year term on the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee.

The MPAFAC is part of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration and was created in 2000 to help establish a national system of marine protected areas to facilitate management and future protection of significant submerged cultural and biological resources. Beeker was selected for the "breadth" of his experience and "valued perspective on marine protected areas," U.S Secretary of Commerce Carlos M. Gutierrez stated in a letter announcing Beeker's appointment.

Gutierrez wrote that the Department of Commerce and the Department of the Interior welcome Beeker's advice in helping them "determine how best to balance conservation needs with commercial and recreational interests, while protecting the marine environment for present and future generations."

The 30-member committee includes scientists, academics, commercial and recreational fishermen, other resource users, state and tribal resource managers, and environmentalists.

Beeker and his students have conducted underwater research projects on submerged ships, cargo and other cultural and biological resources throughout the United States and the Caribbean for more than 20 years. He is an internationally recognized pioneer in the creation of underwater museum exhibits. Many of his research projects have resulted in the establishment of state or federal underwater parks and preserves, and have led to a number of site nominations to the National Register of Historic Places.

Beeker has 40 years of diving experience, including 30 years as a professional diving instructor and 25 years in academia. He has extensive experience working with the recreational dive industry, and federal and state marine resource managers. As a member of the National Trust for Historic Preservation Archaeological Working Committee for the Abandoned Shipwreck Act, he was a recreational dive training agency liaison for the ASA legislation and the subsequent 1990 National Park Service ASA Guidelines.

He continues to assist the National Marine Sanctuaries with underwater cultural and biological resource issues. He helped the Florida Keyes National Marine Sanctuary with its Final Management Plan/Environmental Impact Statement. Beeker currently serves as the underwater park adviser to the Professional Association of Diving Instructors and is a member of Project AWARE Foundation Honorary Board of Governors. Project AWARE is a non-profit environmental organization for the dive industry.

Beeker can be reached at 812-855-5748 or The Academic Diving Program is located in the Department of Kinesiology in IUB's School of Health, Physical Education and Recreation. To learn more about the Academic Diving Program, visit