Cutthroats in STREAM: Michael Krivor '85

Underwater archaeologist Michael Krivor ’85 knows his career is unique. But then again, he says, so was his Community School education.

“Community School taught me to be an individual,” said Michael, whose job takes him around the world in search of historic shipwrecks. “I have never really followed the status quo, especially when it comes to my career. The education one receives at Community School is unique in that it is personal. You are not just a face in a crowd of students; you are an individual. It was this education that fostered me to look for a career equally as unique.”

After graduating in 1985, Michael headed to Humboldt State University, where he developed a passion for scuba diving during his second year. His love for being in the water led him to a program that allowed him to develop his own degree in Underwater Archaeology. Following graduation in 1990, he worked in the fisheries business in Alaska and backpacked through Costa Rica before pursuing his masters in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology at East Carolina University. His first stint as an underwater archaeologist was based in Memphis, Tennessee, where he remained for 10 years. In 2006, he moved to Florida and co-founded the Maritime Division for another cultural resource management company, now considered the largest underwater division of any archaeological consulting firm in the United States.

Trotting the globe in search of shipwrecks might sound like a fantasy, but, according to Michael, there is a lot more behind the scenes than meets the eye. “It’s a very specialized line of work. I conduct all sorts of investigations, including remote sensing surveys, diver identifications, excavation, and analysis. Last year, I worked in Palau and Papua New Guinea for the Defense POW/MIA Accounting Agency assisting in the recovery of airmen from submerged WWII plane wrecks. It was very humbling work. From Madagascar, to the Turks and Caicos, to Argentina, the work I do helps in preserving our maritime heritage around the world.”

When Michael first stepped into this line of work, he was traveling 250-plus days a year. Today, he picks and chooses his projects, but the love of experiencing new cultures, new places, and meeting new people never gets old, and this passion has its roots in Community School.

“During my Senior Project, I traveled to a small island called Culebra off the coast of Puerto Rico and studied nesting habits of sea turtles,” Michael explained. “That experience really laid the foundation for my desire to travel and see the world.”