GUNNISON, Colo. (CBS4) – Western State Colorado University is encouraging its students to “explore and discover” the world following the announcement this week that the wreck site of a ship sailed by Columbus may have been discovered.

Barry Clifford graduated from the school in Gunnison in 1969 and has since become a well known maritime archaeological investigator.

Maritime archaeological investigator Barry Clifford

Barry Clifford talks about discovering what he believes to be Christopher Columbus’ ship, the Santa Maria, off the northern coast of Haiti at a news conference May 14, 2014 in New York. Clifford says “all the geographical, underwater topography and archaeological evidence strongly suggests that this wreck is Columbus’ famous flagship, the Santa Maria,” which struck a reef and foundered on Christmas Day in 1492. (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

This week Clifford announced that his team believes they have found what remains — more than 500 years later — of the Santa Maria off the coast of Haiti.

“I think there’s a great lesson here for kids, Not just about the discovery of the ship but how you can take history and use clues to go back and solve riddles,” Clifford said.

MORE FROM CBSNEWYORK.COM: American Archaeologist Claims To Have Found Remnants Of Shipwrecked Santa Maria

Clifford says he’s hoping to work with the Haitian government and other countries to preserve what he is nearly positive is the historical find.

Barry Clifford (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)

Barry Clifford (credit: DON EMMERT/AFP/Getty Images)


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