Prof. Katie Farnsworth '93 Receives Grant to Study 19th Century Shipwrecks

Prof. Katie Farnsworth '93 Receives Grant to Study 19th Century Shipwrecks

May 12, 2011

92543May 12, 2011, Greencastle, Ind. — Katherine L. Farnsworth, assistant professor in the department of geoscience at the Indiana University of Pennsylvania and 1993 graduate of DePauw University, is the co-recipient of a $14,888 grant from the National Geographic Society in support of a research project. Dr. Farnsworth and Ben Ford, a professor in IUP's  anthropology department, are preparing for a June survey of the Black River Bay, in the northeast corner of Lake Ontario, to find and identify two shipwrecks from the War of 1812.

"Farnsworth and Ford will search for a frigate called the Mohawk, a product of the naval arms race between the Americans and the British, and an unnamed gunboat designed for amphibious attacks and harassing British shipping," notes an announcement. "They chose these vessels, Ford said, because he has data suggesting the gunboat's location and reason to believe the Mohawk is within a few miles of it. From the survey, they hope to gain insight into the modernization of U.S. Navy ship construction, but also into the history of sedimentation in the bay."

It adds, "If they are able to find and 6411identify the ships, Ford hopes to return the following year to excavate portions of the wrecks. Any artifacts raised would be conserved and included in a museum exhibit in the Great Lakes region."

Read more about the project here.

Katie Farnsworth majored in geography and computer science at DePauw, then went on to earn an M.S. and Ph.D. in marine geology from the Virginia Institute of Marine Science/College of William and Mary. She co-authored River Discharge to the Coastal Ocean: A Global Synthesis, which was recently published by Cambridge University Press.