Forensic Anthropology Field School - Directors
Forensic Anthropology Field School
Albania, Greece, and Romania
May 21 - June 14, 2013
Profiles of Course Directors
Thomas A. Crist, Ph.D.
Dr. Crist is Professor of Anatomy and Anthropology at Utica College in Utica, NY.
Previously Director of Archaeological Services at Kise Straw & Kolodner Inc. in Philadelphia and now a consultant to URS Corporation, Dr. Crist has served since 1990 as the Forensic Anthropologist for the Philadelphia Medical Examiner’s Office. He is a member of the U.S. Public Health Service’s Disaster Mortuary Operational Response Team (DMORT) and served two deployments assisting in the recovery and identification of victims from the World Trade Center attacks in 2001. Since 1992, Dr. Crist has been an Adjunct Professor at the School of Dental Medicine at the University of Pennsylvania, where he co-teaches an annual short course in Forensic Dentistry and Anthropology every spring. In 1994, Dr. Crist was one of three co-founders of the American Academy of Forensic Science’s Young Forensic Scientists Forum and served as the group’s first secretary.
Dr. Crist earned his Doctorate in Biological Anthropology from Temple University in 1998. He also holds a Master of Arts in Anthropology/Public Service Archaeology from the University of South Carolina (1990) and a Bachelor’s degree in Archaeology and Classics from Rutgers College (1987). Dr. Crist has directed over 20 historical cemetery excavations throughout the United States, including in Philadelphia the Tenth Street First African Baptist Church Cemetery, Revolutionary War burials at Washington Square, the Blockley Almshouse Burial Ground, the Second Presbyterian Church Cemetery, and the first Philadelphia Almshouse Burial Ground. He also directed excavations and has analyzed human remains from Chambers Street in Lower Manhattan; the Spring Street Presbyterian Church Cemetery in Greenwich Village; the Wampanoag Burial Ground at Martha’s Vineyard; Historical Cemeteries 86 and 88 in Johnston, Rhode Island; the Portsmouth African-American Burial Ground in New Hampshire; and the earliest French colonial burial ground discovered to date in the New World at St. Croix Island, Maine. The Discovery Health Channel’s series Skeleton Stories featured two of Dr. Crist’s projects in separate episodes that premiered in the fall of 2006.
Dr. Crist has been accepted as an expert witness and testified in hearings and criminal trials in the Criminal Court and Orphans’ Court of Philadelphia as well the Supreme Judicial and Superior Courts in York County, Maine. He is the author of more than 100 professional publications and cultural resources reports including topics in forensic anthropology; African-American bioarchaeology; paleopathology; historical urban archaeology; public involvement; and educational outreach efforts, especially among minority descendant communities.
John H. Johnsen, Ph.D.
Dr. Johnsen is Professor of Anthropology and Dean of the School of Arts and Sciences at Utica College, where he has been a member of the faculty since 1977.
A specialist in medical and ecological anthropology, cross-cultural healing, the cultures of Eastern Europe, and the Native American cultures of New York, Dr. Johnsen is currently engaged in research on societal responses to the restoration of wolves to the Adirondack Park in upstate New York. He is one of the planners of Utica College’s Young Scholars Liberty Partnerships Program with the Utica School District and serves as President of its Advisory Board.
Dr. Johnsen received his Bachelor’s and Master of Arts degrees in Anthropology from Case Western Reserve University, where he studied with renowned paleoanthropologist Milford H. Wolpoff. He earned his Doctorate in Anthropology at the State University of New York at Buffalo in 1980. His dissertation, “Doctrinal Diversity in Two Religious Organizations,” revealed profound doctrinal heterogeneity among congregants masked by various social devices in a hierarchical Lutheran church structure when compared to the substantially less diversity presented by a more egalitarian Quaker meeting where discourse and debate is emphasized and valued.
Among Dr. Johnsen’s publications is an article in Social Science and Medicine titled “Toward a Critical Medical Anthropology” which he co-authored with Hans Baer and Merrill Singer in 1986. This article is now recognized as a seminal piece in the development of a critical and politically-oriented theoretical orientation in medical anthropology.
In 2000, Dr. Johnsen spent the spring semester as an Invited Scholar at the Institute of American Studies at Jagiellonian University in Krakow, Poland, an experience that resulted in several articles on aspects of Native American history for a Polish academic audience.
Drs. Crist and Johnsen offered their first anthropology field school in Albania in 2004. Since then, over 50 students from the United States, Canada, South Korea, Albania, and Spain have participated in their annual expedition, which includes components in Greece and Romania. In 2007, Drs. Crist and Johnsen presented “Introducing Forensic Anthropology to Albania Using the Problem-Based Learning Model” at the annual conferences of both the American Academy of Forensic Sciences and the Society for Cross-Cultural Research.