Jay Martin holds a Bachelor's in Public History from Western Michigan University (1984), a Master's in American Studies (1988) and a Ph.D. in History (1995) from Bowling Green State University. He has served as the chief administrator for several museums, including the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Maritime Museum (Madisonville, Louisiana), the American Victory Mariners Memorial and Museum Ship (Tampa, Florida), and the Wisconsin Maritime Museum (Manitowoc, Wisconsin), as well as teaching American and Public history at various institutions, most recently at Southeastern Louisiana University. In 2010 he joined the faculty at Central Michigan University in a joint appointment as Director of the CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History/Gerald Poor School House Museum and Director of the Museum Studies Program. He is also a primary advisor in the new Cultural Resource Management Masters / Certificate Program.

Offices: Rowe 103 and Powers 119
Phone: (989) 774–7165 or (989) 774–7769
Email: marti6jc@cmich.edu
Office Hours: (pdf)

Research and Teaching Interests

With training and experience in underwater archaeology, American Studies, and many fields of Public History, Dr. Martin has worked professionally as a curator, archivist, park ranger, director, expert witness, oral historian, folklorist, and consultant. He is a former merchant mariner and specialist in maritime history, with interest in the transmission of maritime technology and the influence of the maritime world upon the terrestrial.  Dr. Martin specializes in developing unique collaborative ventures for sustainable management and interpretation.  His geographic focus is on the Great Lakes Region and its impact upon world events.

Recent Activities

"The Advocate's Devil: The Maritime Public Historian as Expert Witness," The Public Historian (2015) 37:1. 

"A Unique and Significant Heritage: A Phase I Cultural Resources Historical Survey of Wawatam Township, Emmet County, Michigan" Submitted to the Emmet County Commissioners, September 10, 2013.

"Strands that Stand: Using Wire Rope to Date Archaeological Sites," International Journal of Nautical Archaeology (2014) 43:1: 151-161.

"The Price of Union:  A Young Michigan in the Civil War" Exhibit at the Bohannon School, Curator, April 2014-November 2014.

Cultural Resource Management Project at McGulpin Lighthouse and Northern Emmet County, 2012-present. Co-PI with Sarah Surface-Evans.

 "Workload and the Engaged Historian," History@Work: A Public History Commons from the National Council on Public History (May 28, 2012).

 "Explorations in Maritime History" Oral History Project, PI, 2013–present

"History of Central Michigan University" Oral History Project, PI October 2011-present. Co-PI with Brittany Fremion, February 2013-present.

"CMU: Life Outside the Classroom." CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History. Open February 24-October 30, 2011.

Repatriation of the Remains of 144 Unaffiliated Native Americans in accord with NAGPRA, CMU Museum of Cultural and Natural History, November 2010.

Southeastern Archaeology Conference, Mobile, Alabama, November 6, 2009, co-presenter with Andrea White, "Tchefuncte River Light Station." ​

Current Courses

Fall 2015

  • HST 580 - Public History​

Spring 2016

  • HST 791A - Graduate Research​