Established in 1983, the Florida Museum of Natural History’s South Florida Program investigates, reports on, and conserves knowledge of the past environments and cultures of South Florida.
Florida Museum research in South Florida and surrounding regions addresses and informs issues of (1) human interaction with the changing environment; (2) the emergence of social and political complexity; (3) cultural genesis in the multi-ethnic, post-1492 New World. These projects offer information of interest not just to professional scholars, but also to the public, and are thus well suited to public programs and museum exhibits.
Since 1983, research in the South Florida Archaeology and Ethnography Program has resulted in the most systematically obtained and intensively studied collection from the domain of the ancient and extinct Calusa Indian people in southwest Florida and other groups from the greater south Florida region.
Of special interest, the Pineland collection consists of artifacts, human-environmental specimens/samples, and associated records/products. It also includes complementary historical and oral-historical records that are important for preserving the local history of the community of Pineland, and helping local citizens to maintain a sense of place in what is one of the fastest-developing parts of Florida. The Florida Ethnographic Collection contains artifacts associated with the Seminole and Miccosukee people, dating from the mid nineteenth through the late twentieth centuries, as well as correspondence, documents, and photographs accumulated by W. Stanley Hanson.
The South Florida Archaeology and Ethnography Program is directed by Michelle LeFebvre, Assistant Curator, assisted by Karen Walker, collections manager. Collections curated under this program are archaeological (artifacts, specimens, and documents) and ethnographic (materials associated with the Seminole and Miccosukee Indian people). LeFebvre and Walker are assisted by graduate students, undergraduate students, interns, and volunteers. Walker also co-directs the Randell Research Center, a research and education center located in Pineland, Florida, near Fort Myers.
This web site was originally compiled by William Marquardt, Curator Emeritus, with contributions from Karen Walker, Merald Clark, Ann Cordell, Pat Payne, Darcie MacMahon, and Jeff Gage. Ongoing website development is overseen by Michelle LeFebvre, Karen Walker, and Brittany Mistretta.