GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Florida Museum of Natural History Curator of Archaeology Jerald T. Milanich will share stories and antics from his newly released book from 2-3 p.m. Feb. 19 as part of the Florida Museum’s Science Sunday lecture series. Following the lecture, Milanich will offer a book signing. Books are available for purchase in the Florida Museum’s Collectors Shop.

Milanich’s book, “Frolicking Bears, Wet Vultures and Other Oddities: A New York City Journalist in Nineteenth-Century Florida,” compiles the wanderings and musings of Amos Jay Cummings as he explores the Florida frontier in the late 1800s. Through his book, Milanich uncovers how Cummings’ writing about “bruins and buzzards; rednecks and racists; murderers and mosquitoes; rich soils and poor souls” reveals the untamed frontier that once was Florida.

Science Sunday allows adults to enjoy stimulating lectures while children are entertained with free, age-appropriate activities on related themes guided by Florida Museum docents and staff. Children will be returned to parents following the lecture and prior to the book signing.

During his career, which spans more than three decades, Milanich has published more than 190 books, articles and other publications, received 64 academic grants and supervised more than 100 graduate students — many who currently practice archaeology in Florida and throughout the Americas. His role as Bullen Series editor for the University Press of Florida, as well as other editorial positions, have helped disseminate Florida archaeology information globally.

Media Contact: Paul Ramey, (352) 846-2000,
Writer: Emily Banks