The Class of '96

By Mary Hudson and Dawn Pinder

We are always amazed by the wide variety of volunteers who show up at the Aucilla each year. A diverse group of individuals is always there to lend their expertise, personalities and enthusiasm to the project. The "Class of '96" is no exception. Here is a glimpse of this multi-talented group of individuals.


TIM BARBER, 50, a retired race car technician, now works as a divemaster and underwater photographer in Tampa. He has long been an avocational paleontologist. Tim says "for me, the project is an opportunity to learn from a great group of folks."

JODY BARKER, of Orlando works as a welder. Jody sees the Aucilla Project as "a great chance to enhance the cooperative spirit between the professional and amateur."

VINCENT BIRDSONG, 27, of Tallahassee is currently working toward a Master's Degree in anthropology at Florida State University. He has worked on a number of archaeological projects ranging from archaic through late 19th century in the Mid Atlantic Region. Vincent sees the Aucilla Project as "truly unique."

RHONDA BREWER, 30, of Jacksonville is a first semester graduate student in archaeology/anthropology at Florida State University. In addition to this project she has also been involved in work at Fort Jefferson, Dry Tortugas.

LANCE CARLSON, 21, of Gainesville is a fulltime student at the University of Florida. In May, he will graduate summa cum laude (highest honors) in both anthropology and geography. He has been involved with other projects including the Cornell University underwater archaeology field school in Portsmouth, Maine. Lance served as Underwater Technology Specialist to the ARPP for the '96 season.

BRINNEN CARTER, 29, from Deland, holds a B.A. degree from Bowdin College, an M.A. degree from Texas A&M and is pursuing a Ph.D. from the University of Florida. He has been with the project since 1988.

DIANA DAVIS COLEMAN, 34, is an environmental attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee. Diana is an avid diver and amateur paleontologist. She says "participating on this project was quite an adventure. I enjoyed the camaraderie and willingness of the crew to answer questions."

BOB COUGHTER, 22, of Gainesville earned his Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from the University of Florida. He has also been involved in a project in Panama and a survey in southwest Florida. Bob states "the project (ARPP) continues to prove its importance as a source for gaining insight into the lifeways of the 'earliest Floridians.' "

JOHN DAVIDSON, 32, of Melbourne, has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida. He says "I've volunteered to do lab work several times at the Florida Museum of Natural History, but this is my first chance to actually do field work ' "

JASON DEES, 17, of Orlando is currently a high school sophomore. He has spent a great deal of time visiting museums and hunting for fossils. Jason "had a great time and can't wait to get back" to the ARPP field season.

PHILIP DIGIROLAMO, 27, currently a resident of Gainesville, received a Bachelor of Science Degree in Geology from the University of Massachusetts, and is now working toward a Master's Degree in Vertebrate Paleontology at University of Florida. He is excited to apply himself in the great tradition of volunteer/scientific research on the Aucilla River Prehistory Project.

PETER FRANK EDWARDS, 28, of Tallahassee has a B.A. in Anthropology from the College of Charleston and is completing an M.A. in anthropology from Florida State University. He has also spent time as a volunteer at Dill Plantation and the Nathaniel Russell House site in Charleston, South Carolina and on an unidentified wreck at Dry Tortugas.

GRAYAL FARR, 53 of Winter Haven, retired from the Army after 26 years of service. He holds a B.A. in history from Florida State University and has completed his first year of graduate school, majoring in archaeology at FSU. Grayal says he "never wanted to be anything but a soldier or an archaeologist."

BROOK GEORGE, 24, of St. Petersburg, FL, holds a B.A. in Religious Studies and is currently working on a Master's Degree in the same field of study. He worked two field seasons at the excavation at Sepphoris, Israel. Brook is currently writing a book on the development of religion from a socio-behavioral standpoint, which is proving quite controversial.

WILLIAM GIFFORD, 47, of DeLeon Springs is a dive instructor. He has participated on over 25 natural science projects.

STEVE GLOVER, 48, has a B.A. degree in English. He is retired from an advertising and graphic arts career. After spending time on the project Steve comments "I now have a notion of the magnitude of the work we have to do."


ANDY HEMMINGS holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the Univeristy of Arizona in Tucson and is currently working on his Master's Thesis featuring the archaeology and paleontology of Sloth Hole. He has been involved in a number of projects in the western United States and Florida.

JOAN HERRERA holds a B.S. Degree in Animal Science, a M.Ed. in Secondary Science Education and Curriculum, and is currently completing a Ph.D. in Zoology at the University of Florida. She has served as Divemaster for several University projects.

STAN HORD, 36, of Barberville, FL, is a broker and grower of decorative foliage. He has been involved in several Florida projects including the DeLeon Springs survey and the Markham Florida Riverboat survey. While in junior high school Stan did work for the West Texas University Paleontology Department.

MARY GOUCHNOUR HUDSON, 37, is a Radiation Therapist in Gainesville. She is currently enrolled at Santa Fe Community College as an Anthropology major and plans to continue studies at the University of Florida. Mary says an opportunity to be a part of this project is "a privilege and a blessing." As a newlywed, Mary is currently diving into new territory.

TOM KELLEY, 46, of Miami, currently lives in Tallahassee where he is a residential contractor. When not pursuing his interest in archaeology, Tom loves to fish.

ALYSSA MARTINELLI, 25, is an undergraduate in anthropology at Florida State University. The ARPP is her first field experience. She is "very proud to be associated with this project and learned a lot during my time here."

BILLY MAY, 69, works as a dentist in Richmond, VA. He has been involved with many projects all over the world including the Dry Tortugas, Bermuda, Ethiopia, Kenya, Belize, Turks and Caicos. Of this project he says it's the "greatest experience of my life."

LINDA MCCANDLESS, 44, works for USDA Agricultural Research Service Center for Medical/Veterinary Entomology as a research technician for stored grain pests. Recently she participated in Paleofest at the Museum of Natural History. She says she "is very glad to be part of the circus."

CHUCK MEIDE, 25, is working on his Master's Degree in Anthropology at Florida State University. He is studying underwater archaeology and teaches several underwater field research classes at FSU. Chuck has worked on dozens of underwater sites including shipwrecks in the Dry Tortugas, Mobile Bay, Alabama, and Texas.

MATTHEW MIHLBACHLER, 24, of Sigel, IL, has a B.A. degree in Anthropology and is currently working toward a Master's degree in Zoology at the University of Florida. He has been involved with various projects in Illinois and Maboko Island in Kenya. Matt sees the ARPP project as "an opportunity for students to leap ahead of their peers in research ability."

KIMBERLY MONK, 21, of Toronto, Ontario, Canada, currently works as a scuba instructor. She plans to pursue a degree in Anthropology. Kimberly feels that ARPP "has to be the greatest project experience that an aspiring nautical archaeologist could ever be a part of."


MARK MUNIZ, 23, of Gainesville, is currently enrolled in graduate studies at University of Florida, seeking a Master's Degree in Archaeology. During the '96 season Mark headed research on Little River. He believes work done on the Aucilla River will have a major impact on current knowledge of Paleoindians in the Western Hemisphere.

DON MUNROE, 46, holds a degree in Nuclear Engineering and works at the University of Florida as a radiation safety officer. This is Don's third year working on the project.

MICHAEL NOLAN, 34, of Pierson, FL is a broker and grower of decorative foliage. He has also volunteered with the DeLeon Springs Survey. In the fall of '96 Mike became the proud father of a beautiful baby boy.

THADRA PALMER, 21, is a full-time student at Florida State University working towards a B.A. in Anthropology. She has been involved in a variety of other projects while at FSU including Little Salt Springs and Marathon wrecks. Thadra is excited about the ARPP project and "can't wait 'til next season."

TANYA PERES, 23, is a graduate student in Anthropology at Florida State University. She is currently analyzing faunal material from the Page/Ladson site for her thesis. Tanya is an Archaeological Technician with the National Park Service, Southern Archaeological Center.

DAWN PINDER, 39, is President of Innovation Consultation, Inc., a Jacksonville consulting firm. She holds a Master's Degree in Social Work from Florida State University. This is her second year with the project where she lends her talents to managing the field office when not working the screendeck.

EUGENE ROWE, 67, a retired veterinarian from Richmond, VA., has been on close to 50 scientific projects worldwide, most with Earthwatch of Watertown, MA. The ARPP is one of his favorites because of the "good science and methods." Gene thinks "we are near some important revelations."


JO ANN SUGGS, of Brandon, FL, is a full-time housewife who raises turkeys and is "big on flowers." She and her husband Melvin have a second home on the Aucilla where they plan to retire. Jo Ann showed quick reflexes during the summer field session when she dodged a snake that came up through the dredge and onto the screen.

MELVIN SUGGS, of Brandon, FL, works as a technician (mechanic) with Reynolds Metal Company. He loves to fish and turkey hunt, and raises turkeys to gain insight into their behavior in the wild. Melvin and his wife Jo Ann plan to retire to the Aucilla River. Melvin says while at the ARPP, he "didn't meet anybody he didn't like."

DAVID THULMAN, 41, is an environmental attorney with the Florida Department of Environmental Protection in Tallahassee. He has always been interested in paleontology and prehistoric archaeology, and this project is a perfect mix of both. "The people are terrific and the science is great, and except for the bugs, the setting is beautiful." He hopes to participate for years to come.

SUSAN TUTTLE, 52, holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a Master's Degree in Special Education from FSU. This is her first experience in the field, and she says "it is wonderful to be there." In her spare time Susan enjoys sailing, painting and flying.

BINION WILLIAMS, 54, of Jacksonville is a Production Controller at Jacksonville Naval Air Station. He holds a B.S. in Business Administration. Bin likes to spend his free time outdoors hunting, boating, fishing and camping. The ARPP gives him one more excuse to pitch his tent.

FRANK WILLSON, 69, of Lake County, FL, has a B.S. in chemical engineering and is retired from the petrochemical industry. This is the second year on the project for Frank and his wife Lois. Frank has also volunteered for the DeLeon Springs Project.

LOIS WILLSON, 65, is a retired legal secretary. Lois is always welcome on the project because of her incredible cooking skills. The crew never goes hungry when Lois is on "kitchen duty."

BRIAN WOODS, 29, of Northern Ireland now lives in Minneapolis, MN, where he works in the banking industry. He holds a B.A. in history from the University of Minnesota and an M.B.A. from the University of St.Thomas in Minneapolis.