As we celebrate our anniversary year, we are welcoming Annisa Karim as RRC Coordinator, Charlie Cobb as Director and Michelle LeFebvre as Assistant Director.

RRC co-founder and current co-director Karen Walker is turning her focus to organizing and archiving documents relating to the RRC, helping Charlie with the transition to Director, and completing academic publications. Charlie and Michelle bring diverse skills and interests that provide complementary strengths to guide the RRC and Annisa brings a wealth of experience to the daily operations.

two women stand at a wooden fence.
Cindy Bear shows Annisa Karim, incoming Coordinator, the beautiful view from atop Brown’s Mound. Photo courtesy of C. O’Connor

Annisa comes to us from the Lee County Department of Parks and Recreation, where she oversaw over 40 parks and facilities. She has an M.S. degree in wildlife ecology and conservation from the University of Florida. Her research focused on the use of tropical hardwood hammock systems by migrating birds, a project which help form conservation programs in the Florida Keys. Annisa also has a long-term involvement with the Florida Master Naturalist Program, is a certified arborist and has a certification in archaeological resource management training from the Florida Division of Historical Resources.

man stands in a field holding a rust-colored piece of metal about the 4” long
Charlie Charlie holds 16th century Spanish iron chisel found while metal detecting. The tool may be related to the Hernando de Soto expedition of 1539-1543. Photo courtesy of Ashley Dumas, University of West Alabama

Charlie is Curator of Historical Archaeology at the Florida Museum. His primary research lies in the archaeology of colonial southeastern North America focusing on interactions between Native Americans and Europeans. With Gifford Waters, collections manager for Historical Archaeology, Charlie developed a website and digital archive dedicated to the archaeology of Franciscan missions in Florida and just received funding from the National Endowment from the Humanities to build a digital archive related to the archaeology of St. Augustine. Charlie’s first foray into the Calusa region will be based on a grant that he, Gifford, and Michelle have obtained from the National Park Service American Battlefield Protection Program. (Friends newsletter Vol. 19, No. 3).

Read: The 1614 Spanish Campaign Against the Calusa

portrait of a smiling woman with blond hair
Michelle LeFebvre’s research has focused on coastal Florida and Caribbean islands. Florida Museum photo by Kristen Grace

Michelle is Assistant Curator of Archaeology at the Florida Museum. Her research interests are centered upon synthesizing archaeological fieldwork, laboratory analyses, museum collections, and community outreach to study ancient human-environment relationships. With a focus on coastal Florida and the Caribbean islands, she strives to inspire people to learn how the past can be used as a tool to better understand, appreciate, and protect current and future cultural and biological diversity. Michelle’s current south Florida archaeological projects include work in the Florida Keys and on Calusa Island (Friends newsletter Vol. 19, No. 1).

Read: Calusa Island Update

Michelle is also helping to establish the TESI Environmental Leaders Fellowship to help undergraduate students at the University of Florida learn about Florida’s environmental challenges and how they can contribute to community-based solutions.

This article was taken from the Friends of the Randell Research Center Newsletter Vol 20, No. 2. July 2021.