The Randell Research Center (RRC) is a program of the Florida Museum of Natural History, which has conducted research and education programs in Southwest Florida since 1983. The RRC has existed since 1996 when Donald and Patricia Randell gifted more than 53 acres of the Pineland archaeological site to the University of Florida Foundation.

Ruby Gill House
Ruby Gill House

This property is now mostly state-owned. The RRC leases an additional 8½ acres from Lee County. The County property contains environmentally and archaeologically significant resources, as well as the Pineland Post Office and the RRC headquarters in the historic 1920s Ruby Gill House. An additional 5 acres was added in 2015, which has allowed the expansion of the Calusa Heritage Trail to include the Smith (burial) Mound, its surrounding canal, and the Low Mound.

The Florida Museum of Natural History is located on the campus of the University of Florida in Gainesville. It was chartered in 1917 as the state’s official natural history museum and is fully accredited by the American Association of Museums. With more than 40 million specimens and artifacts in its permanent collections, the Florida Museum is the largest collections-based natural history museum in the southeastern United States. These collections are the foundation of the Museum’s scientific research and university teaching programs. The Museum also draws heavily upon its collections in meeting its public education mission through permanent and traveling exhibits as well as outreach programs, including the Randell Research Center, designed to inspire and educate the public about Florida’s natural history and rich cultural heritage.