President, CMURM

Center for Maritime & Underwater Resource Management (CMURM)
P.O. Box 158
Laingsburg, MI  48848
Phone: 989-834-0007          Fax: 989-834-0112


Kenneth J. Vrana is president of the Center for Maritime & Underwater Resource Management (CMURM), a charitable, nonprofit scientific and educational corporation, originally established at Michigan State University in 1994.  CMURM is dedicated to the preservation of maritime heritage and to sustainable coastal and heritage tourism.  He is also president of Archaeology & Maritime Heritage International LLC, an international consulting company organized in 2004 to provide professional services in archaeological and environmental compliance to the corporate world. 

Mr. Vrana was formerly employed by Michigan State University as a research/outreach specialist and director of CMURM (1994 - 2000), and as an underwater preserve specialist with the Michigan Sea Grant Extension (1989 - 1994).  The Michigan Sea Grant College Program is a joint endeavor of the State of Michigan and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) in applied scientific research, outreach, and education.  During that time, he played an instrumental role in establishment of the Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary and Underwater Preserve, the first NOAA marine protected area in the Great Lakes region to focus on historic shipwrecks and other underwater heritage sites.  In 1984, Mr. Vrana was selected by the U.S. National Park Service from a nationwide pool of applicants as its first archaeological research diving technician, and served in that capacity until 1989 for the prestigious Submerged Cultural Resources Unit on cultural resource management studies throughout the United States and in the western Pacific.  He began his professional career at Isle Royale National Park as a park ranger and operational scuba diver specializing in the management and public interpretation of historic shipwrecks (1976 - 1984).   

Mr. Vrana has been involved in numerous underwater archaeology and maritime heritage management projects as operational scuba diver, archaeological research diving technician, project coordinator, principal investigator, or consultant since 1979 on sites throughout the United States, and in the Caribbean basin and western Pacific.  He was project coordinator for the first civilian expedition to Edmund Fitzgerald (1989), and served as consulting marine archaeologist for Titanic Expedition 2004.  During a 25-year career, Mr. Vrana has logged nearly 1,000 operational and scientific dives on historic shipwrecks and other underwater heritage sites. 

Mr. Vrana is author and/or editor of over 75 academic, technical, and popular articles dealing with historic shipwrecks, underwater archaeology, maritime heritage management, recreational scuba diving, coastal and heritage tourism, marine parks and protected areas, and heritage education.  He served as managing editor of the Inventory of Maritime and Recreation Resources of the Manitou Passage Underwater Preserve (1995), which received an institutional award from the Michigan Historic Preservation Network as a significant contribution to the State of Michigan.  He was also managing editor of Great Lakes Underwater Cultural Resources: Important Information for Shaping Our Future (1993), and NOAA’s Draft Environmental Impact Statement and Management Plan for the proposed Thunder Bay National Marine Sanctuary (1997).   

Mr. Vrana has successfully completed all coursework and comprehensive examinations required for a Ph.D. in maritime studies from the Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources at Michigan State University.  This includes a minor program of study in historical archaeology in the Department of Anthropology.  He is currently finishing a dissertation in fulfillment of a Ph.D.  Mr. Vrana was awarded a Masters of (Social) Science degree with high honors in 1992 from the Department of Park, Recreation and Tourism Resources, specializing in the management of marine parks and protected areas.  He was co-developer and lecturer for the Maritime Heritage and Management graduate core course at Michigan State University as well as its Study Abroad course in Integrated Marine Resources Management and Coastal Tourism.

A curriculum vita and references are available upon request