In Their Words: Justine Fite

Name:  Justine Valentina Fite           

Department: Anthropology

College: Cowell College

What Scholarship or Award did you receive? Ryan Heumann Award

What year are you (1st year, 3rd year)? Transitioning into 3rd year

Where do you call home? Born and raised in Dallas, Texas

What is your field of focus? Cultural anthropology and maritime archaeology

With all of the choices for college, what made UC Santa Cruz stand out?

UCSC stood out to me not only because of the enchanting landscape and costal location, but also the innovative, progressive mindset that pervades the welcoming campus.

What do you hope to do once you graduate from UC Santa Cruz?

After graduation I hope to further my career in underwater archaeology and travel the world spreading positive health consciousness.

What is one memorable moment that stands out for you as a student here?

I will always remember kissing my first banana slug and receiving good luck for eternity.

How will this scholarship/award impact your academic life/research?

This scholarship has a motivating and inspiring impact on my research aspirations. This will be my first archaeology endeavor and it propels me to have support for this project. This award validates my aspirations and awakens me to do my best.

What is your research about? 

ADMAT, The Anglo-Danish Maritime Archaeological Team, is a specialist Maritime Archaeological Organization based in England, with a scientific sub-division in France. The founder of ADMAT, Dr. Simon Q Spooner, has conducted underwater archaeological surveys worldwide, discovered numerous ancient sites, and fosters the protection of cultural heritage in the greater Caribbean area. ADMAT’s most recent project, “Wreck Two”, is an un-excavated shipwreck located in the Monte Cristi Bay, Dominican Republic. The Wreck Two Project is at the beginning of a multi-year research endeavor to help advise the government on preservation of shipwrecks from European empires and conservation of underwater Maritime Cultural Heritage. The Wreck Two Project aims to survey the wreck site and document, analyze, and conduct laboratory work on all artifacts found. Very little is known about the new Wreck Two site, except that is located 13.5 meters underwater and near two other ADMAT-discovered shipwrecks: Wreck One and The Tile Wreck. Ecological evidence suggests that Wreck Two remains un-looted, and therefore, an archaeological mystery. The ships are hypothesized to be apart of a European, mercantile, seven-ship system that was sunk by a French frigate in the mid 1700s. Previously excavated artifacts include mosaic tiles, ceramics, bricks, and other mercantile commodities such as silk, porcelain, wine, and perfume, which provide direct insight into socio-historical, political, and economic past relations of both European and Caribbean cultures.