Dr. Paul F. Johnston, Scientific Diver and Curator of Maritime History at the National Museum of American History, is our headlining Smithsonian scholar of exploration. He will present on the early days of shipwreck exploration at the Smithsonian and the colorful archaeologists who undertook this important work.
Dr. Johnston has been pursuing his lifelong passion of hunting down and excavating shipwrecks. Inspired as a boy in part by the hit television series Sea Hunt, he has become something of a real life “Mike Nelson” – traveling the globe as a modern-day explorer, scientist, diver, researcher, and curator of the first order. He is an active advisor to a host of important agencies and boards – both national and international – that work to preserve and illuminate the world’s maritime treasures.
Dr. Johnston’s recent work at the Smithsonian includes research about American slave shipwrecks, research on the wreck of the Royal Yacht of Hawaiian King Kamehameha II, and the integration of a 4,000 object collection from CIGNA Corporation in the Smithsonian Collections.