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Research Biography

Jennifer McKinnon has been working in the field of archaeology for over sixteen years and has worked on a number of sites above and below the water. Before commencing as a lecturer at Flinders University, Jennifer worked for two years as a State Underwater Archaeologist for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research. Prior to her position at the state, she taught courses at Florida State University.

Research Interests

My research interests and experience involve Spanish colonial archaeology sites, specifically Spanish mission sites, landing sites, and shipwrecks. My experience on Spanish sites began in 1997 at a 16th century site in St. Augustine, Florida. In 2000 and 2001 I spent two field seasons excavating 17th century Spanish mission sites in Tallahassee, Florida. My Masters thesis (2002) investigated a 17th century Spanish landing site in the St. Marks River, where goods were transported to inland missions. In 2004 I participated in a survey of 13 Spanish shipwrecks (1733 fleet) off the Florida Keys and an unknown 17th century Spanish shipwreck (Mystery Wreck) off Vaca Key in 2005.

Recently I  am conducting research into Spanish efforts in Micronesia, specifically the Northern Mariana Islands (CNMI).  Spanish cultural heritage continues to play a role in social, cultural and political developments in Micronesia and can contribute to a broader understanding of Indigenous and Spanish histories on the Pacific. Thus Spanish cultural heritage should be appropriately identified and incorporated into a cultural heritage management and research framework in the CNMI. Unfortunately, this is not the case and  this heritage  is long overdue for serious investigation and research in the CNMI.

As a result,  in 2009 I developed a project  to investigate the potential for research on Spanish cultural heritage in the CNMI. This project    included documenting Spanish cultural heritage by identifying known and potential heritage recorded in disparate sources such as grey literature, primary and secondary historical sources located in library,  archive and museum holdings and conversations with heritage practitioners. The methodology included a thematic assessment framework whereby known and potential  heritage sites were categorised into  themes and sub-themes. The results of this project have been published and current funding is being sought for  research on specific sites.

*See section below on Community Engagement for more research interests.

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