Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin

Excellence in Cultural Resource Management

About Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin is recognized nationally as an expert in cultural resource management, specializing in preservation planning, nautical archaeology, cultural resource management, prehistoric demography, cultural ecology, field methods in archeology, human osteology, and historic archaeology. Having received the National Trust for Historic Preservation’s National Preservation Honor Award, as well as the United States Small Business Administration’s Administrator’s Award of Excellence for “Outstanding Contribution and Service to the Nation,” Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin serves as the president, chief executive officer, and director of research for R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. He is also a former Arizona State University fellow, Yale Peabody Museum research associate, and Smithsonian Institution scholar-in-residence and research fellow.

Dr. Goodwin has been listed in the Who’s Who in Leading American Executives and Who’s Who Among Outstanding Americans. His articles have appeared in American Anthropologist, American Antiquity, The Florida Anthropologist, American Scientist, and several additional scholarly journals.

Hodges Square to be Nominated to the National Register of Historic Places

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, leads a historical preservation and planning firm that operates throughout the American South and New England. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his associates have spent the last year leading historical surveys in the greater Connecticut area, where several neighborhoods are attempting to gain entry to the National Register of Historic Places.

After years of hard work restoring monuments, opening parks, and undertaking beautification efforts, Connecticut's Hodges Square neighborhood began its campaign for inclusion on the National Register of Historic Places in early 2016. This came as part of a larger effort to catalog sites of critical importance in the region. In mid-September, the state Historic Preservation Review Board unanimously approved the nomination.

The historic district now may display historical markers from the Connecticut State Historic Preservation Office, and if the nomination is approved by the Keeper of the National Register, it may qualify for additional federal funding for future projects and for relief after future storms. Tax incentives also would be available for the city and for individual homeowners, which will help fund restoration projects in the new historic district.

A Brief Explanation of Human Paleoecology

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin, owner of an archaeological and historical research and preservation planning firm with offices across the nation, possesses more than three decades of experience in archaeological preservation. A leading PhD archaeologist in cultural resource management, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin also examines the long-term effects of climate change from the perspective of human-paleoecology.

Paleoecology involves the study of ancient cultures and how they reacted to and interacted with changing environments. It provides an expanded view of ecological studies that takes into account the shifting geographic history over a population’s lifetime and considers how organisms respond to biological and non-biological factors over long intervals. Furthermore, it examines the factors that brought modern ecosystems into existence and how current factors will affect existing and developing ecosystems into the future.

Archaeologists use the term “human paleoecology” to refer to studies exclusively involving humans and their ecological histories. It incorporates information from fossil records, soil science, prehistoric artifacts, and paleoenvironmental reconstructions to examine past populations and the origins of patterns of demographic, economic and behavioral changes in their societies. Additionally, it aids in the investigation and prediction of long-term ecological processes, such as the effects of development at the cost of environmental degradation and depletion of natural resources.

New Mobile Apps to Highlight and Promote European Cultural Heritage

With over three decades of experience in cultural resource management, as well as a PhD in archaeology, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin holds the position of president and chief executive officer of R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates. Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin’s company works on projects that involve the preservation and protection of heritage resources across the globe.

Pluggable Social Platform for Heritage Awareness and Participation, or PLUGGY, is a collaboration stemming from the Faro Convention that was signed by the member countries of the European Union. Its purpose is to emphasize the importance of Europe’s cultural heritage as well as to provide citizens and tourists alike access to the various historic sites on the continent.

The 2.5 million-euro consortium, which took three years to develop, is composed of three mobile apps: Geological, 3D Sonic Narratives, and Collaborative Game. The Geological mobile app allows users to provide information about their local heritage and share it accordingly. The 3D Sonic Narratives mobile app allows users to record realistic audio soundscapes of local attractions and then upload them. The Collaborative Game mobile app allows users from across the continent to compose a complete narrative of particular cultural heritage topics.

Additionally, these smartphone tools will include an augmented reality application, which will enable users to create virtual models of significant local points of interest. Users will be able to download these apps for free when they become available. Goodwin's firm, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc. currently is completing design and development of two similar apps for historic properties and cemeteries in Connecticut for that state's Department of Economic and Community Development (DECD).

Archaeological Research Yields Artifacts from the Plymouth Colony

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin has been working on archaeological sites since the early 1970s. His firm, R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., began applied work in this area in 1981. With a PhD in archaeology, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin is the director of research and oversees historical and archaeological research for the company's projects.

Now in its 400th anniversary of the founding of the Plymouth Colony, researchers and archaeologists from the University of Massachusetts in Boston still are discovering information about the first European settlers there. Such discoveries include remnants of the 1620 settlement of pilgrims, who landed in Plymouth, Massachusetts, after crossing to America from England on the Mayflower.

According to researchers, early Plymouth residents built their houses by digging holes and planting stakes in the ground, instead of using brick or stone foundations. Furthermore, the research team discovered musket balls, pottery, and soil stains, along with other artifacts that are believed to be from somewhat later colonizers, rather than the first settlers. The original Plymouth colony was built on a much older Native American Wampanoag settlement, whose residents were deceased or had moved elsewhere before the arrival of the pilgrims.

Minimizing Federal Agency Project Delays Through Proper Planning

Based in New Orleans, R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, guides a firm that contracts with federal agencies in performing research on historical, architectural, and archaeological sites across the Gulf Coast and the United States. Frequently working with government agencies tasked with historic preservation, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his team help to meet mandates at the state and federal levels.


In a profile piece about his company, Dr. Goodwin emphasized the way in which his company’s due diligence services are designed to prevent the occurrence of costly and protracted lawsuits and other legal entanglements. His team often is called to help in situations in which a project corridor or work area has been set on a map “from point A to point B” without fully taking into consideration the presence of historic properties, permitting issues or even whether construction is feasible.

The bottom line is that state and federal projects cannot simply run projects through Native American properties, historic cemeteries, and other places of cultural significance. Proper planning begins well before construction, and Dr. Goodwin’s detail-oriented work has significantly minimized project delays over the decades.

A Climate Change-Related Native American Find in North Florida

Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin guides a respected cultural resources management firm with a nationwide practice that provides diverse archaeological and historical research and preservation planning services. A particular focus of R. Christopher Goodwin, PhD, and his team is assessing past effects of climate change on prehistoric societies as viewed through studies of archaeological sites. His firm has conducted similar assessments of historic properties and shipwrecks along the Atlantic and Gulf Coasts.

Dr. Goodwin and his associates had a major archaeological find while examining a pipeline corridor across the Florida panhandle portion of the Gulf Coast prior to construction. The firm uncovered a large collection of stone dart points and early tools that were deposited over 11,300 years ago, during a time of rapid climate change when the sea levels were rising dramatically. They also discovered bison blood residue on stone butchering tools from the same sites during this early period of human habitation. Pollen samples indicate that this area of Florida’s coastal plain was home to a savannah-like environment at that time. Goodwin's results indicate a relatively late survival of bison along a corridor that once contained prairie-like vegetation before advancing aridity during the Holocene completely changed the region's vegetation.

These finds were particularly noteworthy in that stone tool technology changes associated with the period were directly related to the climate change experienced by prehistoric inhabitants of Northern Florida.

Shale Resource Plays Drive Mining Survey Expansion

An experienced professional archaeologist with a Ph.D. in archaeology, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin guides a firm that undertakes surveys of cultural heritage sites nationwide, with clients ranging from government agencies to energy sector companies. As reported in Energy and Mining International, Dr. R. Christopher Goodwin and his team are responsible for surveys in most of America’s shale plays.

This reflects a 180-degree shift in the U.S. natural resources economy from one geared towards imports to one focused on domestic shale reserves and new extraction technologies. R. Christopher Goodwin & Associates, Inc., engages with the mining and transmission industries to assure compliance meeting federal and state mandates that require inventorying archaeological and historic sites prior to ground disturbing activities; this includes abandoned operations prior to the reactivation of lapsed mining claims.

The opportunities surrounding this type of work are driving expansion into newly discovered shale plays across the continent, including Canada, as well. One key selling point of Dr. Goodwin's firm is safety: the firm is well known in the industry for its stellar safety record, its robust safety program, as well as for its in-depth knowledge of the hazards associated with work in the energy and mining sectors. The company has achieved green bandings and “A” ratings from many of the most prominent energy corporations in the United States and Canada.

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