Dr. Christopher Horrell (Ph.D. 2005) is the Historic Preservation Officer for the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE).
Chris has spent his life along the Gulf Coast developing a deep appreciation of the region's maritime history, culture, and environment. Chris received a B.A. in Anthropology and Spanish Colonial History from Texas State University in 1995. By 1999, he completed a M.A. in Anthropology with a focus on Spanish colonial archaeology from the University of Texas at San Antonio. In the fall of 1999 Chris came to Florida State University to study Anthropology with a focus on underwater archaeology. By 2005 he became the first Ph.D. candidate to graduate with a degree in Anthropology from Florida State University.
While attending Florida State University, Chris worked for the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research; the state agency responsible for ensuring the protection of Florida's underwater cultural heritage. In 2003, Chris took a position with the Minerals Management Service (now the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement and the Bureau of Ocean Energy Management) as a Marine Archaeologist. When the BSEE was created in 2011, Chris took the role as the Historic Preservation Officer for the bureau. Serving as the lead for all historic preservation for BSEE, Chris' responsibility covers the entire outer continental shelf out to the exclusive economic zone and extends from Alaska to Maine.
Over the course of the last 15 years, Chris has worked on numerous underwater projects in coastal areas, rivers, and sites in shallow and extreme depths. Most recently he was involved in the excavation and mapping of three shipwreck sites in 4,000 feet of water in the Gulf of Mexico. He has served as the lead in a number of marine archaeology projects and most recently worked as a volunteer with Texas State University in Panama helping to search for the remains of Henry Morgan's flagship, Satisfaction. Also in conjunction with Texas State University along with the Universidad del Norte, Chris traveled to Cartagena, Colombia to document shipwrecks that date to Admiral Edward Vernon's 1741 attack. He was also involved with the survey and documentation of what may be the remains of the first port in the Tierra Firme (ca. 1510) near Titiumate, Colombia. His expertise ranges from 16th century Spanish Colonialism to World War II and he has completed numerous publications and presentations. Chris continues to work with colleagues from Florida State University including Ms. Melanie Damour and Dr. Della Scott-Ireton.