3 Crowns Alumni

John Albertson: Our Nautical Archeologist

“The Curriculum II [now known as the 3 Crowns Curriculum] course of study in a very real way defined my entire approach to academic research. Its emphasis on realizing and applying cross-disciplinary connections was foundational. Combined with the faculty’s pragmatic approach, it was revolutionary to my way of thinking. The work that I do today as an anthropologist and archaeologist, from excavating lost shipwrecks on the Crimean coast to recovering some of the earliest human materials found to date in North America, would be impossible without this foundation. My colleagues and I regularly work with projects and datasets that are truly global in nature: linguistically, geographically and psychologically. We do this to piece together the stories of some of the world’s first explorers, entrepreneurs and regular folks too; for history is not just about the victors and the prominent individuals or events – it’s about all of us, and all who came before us. We believe in rekindling the fast-dying memories of the first people to come to North America, or the people who persevered to make the United States what it is today, or the bold seafarers who colonized and traded across the vast waterways of the world.

"I stand firm in my belief that while all perspectives are worthy of attention and respect, no one perspective can truly define history, or an event or person within it. We are a multicultural world that is most clearly observed through a multicultural lens, one willing to strive to see the connections that so strongly, yet often almost imperceptibly bind us together. I believe that all disciplines have something to offer each other, and that working together as students of life, as researchers, as teachers and above all as global citizens we will bring the world to a place of tolerance, peace and beauty as yet unseen. Much of this belief, and the work that has come from it, was tempered in my years with CII. And I am eternally grateful.”


John Albertson attended Memorial High School in Eau Claire, Wisconsin from 1998 to 2002. After graduation he attended Gustavus Adolphus College in St. Peter, Minnesota where he began studying Classics and History. While enrolled there he completed semester courses at both the Intercollegiate Center for Classical Studies (ICCS) and John Cabot University in Rome. During the summers, he participated in terrestrial and underwater archaeological field schools through the Centre for Underwater Archaeology (CUA) at the National Taras Shevchenko University of Kiev at Novy Svet and Sudak, Crimea, Ukraine and worked as a Ranger at Philmont Scout Ranch in Cimarron, New Mexico. He graduated with a B.A. cum laude in 2006, and that summer left for Hiroshima, Japan to begin a one-year term teaching English through the Japanese Exchange Teaching (JET) Programme. Over the next three years he traveled and worked around the world, spending one year living in Istanbul, Turkey and teaching English at Beykent University and continuing to work with CUA.In the autumn of 2010 he entered the graduate program in Nautical Archaeology at Texas A&M University in College Station, Texas. While pursuing graduate studies he has worked at the University’s Nautical Archaeological Conservation Research Laboratory (CRL), and has continued to work with CUA in Ukraine in affiliation with the Institute of Nautical Archaeology (INA). In addition, he has worked on INA projects at the Bodrum Research Center (BRC) in Bodrum, Turkey and Port Royal, Jamaica, and has worked on both terrestrial and submerged archaeological sites in Florida with the Center for the Study of the First Americans (CSFA) at Texas A&M. He now works as an archaeological Conservator and Field Technician at the Mississippi Valley Archeology Center (MVAC) at the University of Wisconsin, La Crosse, while continuing collaborative research with CUA.