RIMAP Leadership

Published by Kathy Abbass on Sunday, 24th February 2019 - 12:00PM

RIMAP leaders discussing Long-Range plans over lunch in Newport. L-R: Lesley Sorenson, Kathy Lotz, Linda Jenkins, Kathy Abbass, Elliott Caldwell, John Hoagland, Joy Elvin. Guest Photographer. © RIMAP


© RIMAP 2019

RIMAP Board Officers:

President of the Board: Elliott Caldwell

  • MA History; MLIS (University of Rhode Island)
  • 40 years as a museum professional (registrar, collections manager, curator, department director, archivist)
  • Retired archivist and university professor
  • Certified appraiser
  • RIMAP Member since 1999
  • RIMAP Instructor: Museum Theory
  • Resident of Newport, RI

Vice President: Kerry Lynch

  • MA, PhD (Anthropology, UMass Amherst)
  • Professional archaeologist at UMass Amherst ArchServices (specialties in pre-contact nations and marine archaeology) 
  • RIMAP Field Supervisor for the Newport Revolutionary War transport fleet (that includes the "Search for ENDEAVOUR").
  • RIMAP Member since 1996
  • RIMAP Instructor: Pre-Contact Archaeology and Site Mapping
  • Resident of Northampton, MA

Secretary: Joy Elvin

  • MA (University of Leicester, School of Museum Studies, UK)
  • Marine preserve manager
  • RIMAP Member since 2014
  • RIMAP Instructor:Sharing Shipwrecks: Marine Preserves and International Maritime Museums
  • Resident of Portsmouth, RI

Treasurer: John Cassese

  • M.D., Pediatric radiologist
  • Avid sport diver
  • RIMAP Member since 2016
  • Resident of East Greenwich, RI

RIMAP Board Members: ​

Steve Bastien

  • Retired submariner
  • Avid sport diver
  • RIMAP Member since 2002
  • Resident of Waterford, CT

William Burns

  • MA (Marine Archaeology, University of York)
  • Project archaeologist (Public Archaeology Laboratory, now archaeologist with CA Dept. of Transportation)
  • Specialties in pre-contact nations and marine archaeology
  • RIMAP Member since 2003
  • RIMAP Instructor: Site Mapping
  • Resident of San Francisco, CA

Greg DeAscentis

  • Owner of the Aquidneck Mooring Company
  • Professional archaeologist
  • Commercial diver
  • Freelance photographer
  • RIMAP research vessel captain
  • RIMAP Member since 1994
  • Resident of Middletown, RI

Debby Dwyer 

  • Teacher's aide in the Bristol / Warren, RI school district
  • Avid sport diver 
  • RIMAP Member since 1999
  • RIMAP Site Manager for the steamship EMPIRE STATE in Bristol, RI
  • RIMAP Teaching Assistant
  • Resident of Barrington, RI

John D. Hoagland 

  • PADI scuba instructor 
  • Website specialist
  • Retired MA Gov't agency administrator
  • RIMAP Member since 1995
  • RIMAP's Site Manager for the Fort Adams Marine Railway
  • Immediate past RIMAP Board President
  • Resident of Mashpee, MA

Carol Hottenrott

  • Retired US Navy Capt, specialties in salvage diving and surface warfare
  • RIMAP member since 2016
  • Resident of Newport, RI

Linda Jenkins 

  • Experienced in fund-raising for not-for-profit organizations
  • Experienced in long-term planning for not-for-profit organizations
  • RIMAP Member since 2011
  • Resident of Tiverton, RI

​Jeffrey Siegal 

  • NYC businessman (Metalmark Capital)
  • Collector of historic Rhode Island maps and charts
  • RIMAP Member since 2009
  • Second residence, Portsmouth, RI

Lesley Sorenson

  • Retired British Foreign Service linguist
  • RIMAP Member since 2015
  • Resident of Portsmouth RI

Jeremy Wilmes

  • PADI scuba instructor
  • Adviser for Allstate Financial Services
  • RIMAP Member since 2016
  • Resident of Jacksonville, Beach, FL, formerly of Hawaii and Portsmouth, RI

Joseph W. Zarzynsk

  • MA (Marine Archaeology, University of Leicester, UK)
  • Founder/Director of Bateaux Below
  • Project Director of Lake George marine archaeology projects, including the LAND TORTOISE radeau, the oldest intact warship in North America, now a National Historic Landmark. (Much of RIMAP's administrative structure is based on Bateaux Below.) 
  • Professional archaeologist and historian 
  • Remote Sensing Specialist
  • Author of books and articles on maritime history, marine archaeology and documentary production, 
  • Award-winning documentary producer
  •  RIMAP Member since 1992
  • RIMAP Instructor: Documentary Production for Archaeologists; How to Measure a Cannon, Star Trek and the ENDEAVOUR
  • Resident of Saratoga, NY

RIMAP Executive Director:

D. K. (Kathy) Abbass

  • M.A., Ph.D. (Anthropology, Southern Illinois University-Carbondale)
  • Post-doctoral studies in Maritime History (Harvard, Berkeley)
  • Instructor/Assistant Professor of Anthropology/Sociology (Norfolk State University)
  • Apprentice/Associate Marine Surveyor (Surveyacht, Newport, RI)
  • Director - Museum of Yachting (Newport, RI)
  • Founder - RI Marine Archaeology Project (1992) and Cook Foundation (1999)
  • Project Archaeologist - Lake George, Long Island Sound, Delaware Bay, Bahamas, etc.
  • RIMAP Principal Investigator; Senior Author on most RIMAP publications, and Training Coordinator

Special Advisers:

Henry H. Anderson

  • Prominent yachtsman
  • Sail training advocate.

Kathryn Curran

  • PhD (Anthropology, UMass Amherst)
  • Project Archaeologist, GIS and Graphics specialist (Arch Services, UMass-Amherst)
  • RIMAP Volunteer since 1997
  • Creates RIMAP's site maps, LIDAR images, etc.

Kieran Hosty

  • Australian National Maritime Museum Marine Archaeology Program Director

James Hunter

  • Australian National Maritime Museum Marine Archaeologist

Charlotte Taylor

  • MA (Marine Archaeology, University of York)
  • RI State Marine Archaeologist (RI Historical Preservation and Heritage Commission)
  • Responsible for all RIMAP compliance
RIMAP President John Hoagland presenting the Volunteer of the Year Award for 2009 to Commodore Harry Anderson. Photo by DeAscentis. © RIMAP


Volunteers help to achieve RIMAP's goals in many ways: diving on shipwrecks and other submerged cultural resources, working on archaeological sites on land, artifact management, administration, fundraising, public outreach, and many other activities. At its Annual Meeting, RIMAP awards each volunteer an embroidered patch for the previous year's service, and honors one volunteer with an engraved plaque as recognition for special efforts the previous year. 

RIMAP Volunteers of the Year

  • For 2000 - John Hoagland
  • For 2001 - Debby Dwyer
  • For 2002 - Sprague Theobald
  • For 2003 - Steve Bastien II
  • For 2004 - Paul Wynn
  • For 2005 - Butch Cormier
  • For 2006 - John Burke
  • For 2007 - Greg Silpe
  • For 2008 - Micki Musselman
  • For 2009 - Harry Anderson
  • For 2010 - John Hoagland as BOD President
  • For 2011 - Linda and Bill Jenkins
  • For 2012 - Claudette Weissinger
  • For 2013 - Rebekah Lotz
  • For 2014 - Greg DeAscentis
  • For 2015 - Joe McNamara
  • For 2016 - Jeremy Wilmes
  • For 2017 - Steve Bastien I

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