Chris was born and raised in the Shenandoah Valley of Virginia. He did undergraduate work in biochemistry at Virginia Tech before earning his BS (1990) in Anthropology/Archaeology from James Madison University. Chris also did graduate work in historical archaeology at the College of William and Mary before moving to North Carolina in 1996 to focus on underwater archaeology and complete is MA in Maritime History and Underwater Archaeology from East Carolina University.
For over two decades, Chris has worked on terrestrial and underwater sites and projects from prehistoric to modern times. He joined the UAB as a staff archaeologist in 2000, concentrating on the environmental review program for the state's terrestrial and submerged resources. Trained as both a scientific diver and a professional SCUBA instructor, Chris was instrumental in establishing scientific diving protocols at UAB in accordance with AAUS guidelines and OSHA regulations. By 2002, he turned his focus to the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck Project full-time, and between 2003 and 2010, supervised archaeological fieldwork and diving operations. During that time, Chris also served as the lead instructor in DiveDown, an education/outreach program teaching hundreds of recreational divers about NC's underwater cultural heritage, and certifying them as Heritage Awareness specialty divers using the Queen Anne's Revenge Shipwreck as a teaching site. Chris continues work at UAB in the environmental review program, fieldwork and diving, coordinating data management/analysis, and GIS development.