As a newly transplanted Chicago teenager, Deborah Carlson thought adapting to life in North Carolina would prove insurmountable. Then her parents insisted that she study Latin, which seemed at the time like a fatal blow. But in high-school Latin she discovered the world of Caesar, Ovid, and Pliny. The experience fostered in her a deep love of Greco-Roman antiquity, which she studied at the University of Arizona. After finishing her M.A. in 1995, Carlson taught Roman art and archaeology at Arizona for one year and then decided to pursue a degree in nautical archaeology at Texas A&M University. There, she earned the opportunity to work with George Bass as assistant director of a Greek shipwreck excavation off the coast of Turkey at Tektaş Burnu. Her 2003 appointment as the first female of A&M's nautical archaeology faculty has given her the chance to train and advise the next generation of students, including a community of vibrant young women. She has assisted in the direction of both terrestrial and underwater excavations in Italy, Greece, and Turkey, and has served as the Archaeological Director of Institute of Nautical Archaeology’s excavation of an early-first century B.C. Roman shipwreck at Kızılburun, Turkey, and as the Assistant Director of INA’s work on a Classical Greek ship at Tektaş Burnu, Turkey. She has received various awards for her work, was the 2003/2004 recipient of the AIA’s Olivia James Traveling Fellowship, and a 2010/2011 AIA Joukowsky Lecturer.