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Emily Sturgill

Conservators to Speak on Marine Archeology and the USS Monitor

HAMPTON, Va. – The USS Monitor was the first United States warship to be completely ironclad. Before sinking in a sudden storm, the Monitor had a brief but successful career against the Confederate Navy during the Civil War. Conservators like Eric Nordgren and Susanne Grieve are now working to save and stabilize metal artifacts from the ship after 140 years of submersion in seawater.

Nordgren and Grieve will speak on the corrosion and restoration of the USS Monitor in a colloquium lecture called "The USS Monitor Materials: Organic and Metal" on Tuesday, Dec. 4, at 2 p.m. in the H. J. E. Reid Conference Center at NASA Langley Research Center. That evening, Nordgren and Grieve will speak on the subject again for the general public at 7:30 p.m. at the Virginia Air & Space Center on Settlers Landing Road in Hampton.

Media who wish to interview Nordgren and Grieve at a news briefing at 1:15 p.m. Tuesday should contact Emily Sturgill at 864-7022 or at by noon for credentials and entry to NASA Langley.

Eric Nordgren, a senior conservator with the USS Monitor project at the Mariners' Museum in Newport News, has worked as a conservator for a wide variety of museums and archaeological projects both in the US and overseas. Nordgren has also worked as field conservator on many archaeological excavations in Greece, Turkey and the Middle East. He has worked with historical and archaeological objects made of a wide variety of materials and from varied contexts, but currently focuses on the conservation of metal objects from marine archaeological sites. The Monitor is largely metal, and he is especially interested in how the corrosion process affects it.

Susanne Grieve is currently a conservator at The Mariners' Museum where she is responsible for small finds as well as for organic materials from the USS Monitor. She received a bachelor's degree in anthropology with a specialization in underwater archaeology. During that time, Grieve attended Flinders University in Australia. After completing her degree, she began an internship with the CSS Hunley project in Charleston, S.C. She then went on to receive a master's degree in conservation from University College London.

The Mariners' Museum has been designated as the repository of recovered USS Monitor artifacts since 1987. In cooperation with US National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, the museum is responsible for its conservation, curation and interpretation.

For more information on NASA Langley's Colloquium and Sigma Series lectures, visit:


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