The Class of '98

By Dawn Pinder

The Aucilla River Prehistory Project attracts an amazingly diverse group of volunteers each year. The project draws energy from those who lend their expertise, personalities and enthusiasm to the endeavor. The “Class of ’98" is no exception. Here is a brief look at this multi-talented group of individuals.

BARRY ALBRIGHT has been a postdoctoral research associate at the Florida Museum of Natural History until his recent appointment as curator at the Museum of Northern Arizona, Flagstaff. He has been involved with several other field studies including sites in Texas, South Carolina, California, and Georgia.

TIM BARBER, a divemaster and underwater photographer in Tampa, has been with the project for three years. Tim feels “the Aucilla River Project has attempted to shed light on one of the most compelling questions in the natural sciences: to what degree did humans contribute to the late Pleistocene extinction?” Tim also worked on the 1997 Santa Fe River Survey.

JAN BLUE, of Tallahassee is an attorney with the Florida Legislature. She spends vacations backpacking in the West and in Alaska, and enjoys kayaking the rivers of North Florida. Jan says she is “very impressed by the dedication and level of experience of the staff and volunteers.”

CHARLES BROWN, of Lamont, Florida is a volunteer fire fighter and hazard management engineer. Although he was extremely familiar with the Aucilla River area, he found the ARPP to be “not only interesting, but an experience of a lifetime.”

SYLVIA BORGES, of Palm Harbor is a professional videographer and an avocational archaeologist.

DARRYL BYRD is a professional archaeologist from Baltimore, Maryland. She has a Master of Arts Degree in Maritime History and Nautical Archaeology and a Bachelor of Arts in History and Ancient Studies.

JENNIFER CANNON, of Gainesville, is an undergraduate student in Anthropology at the University of Florida.

BOB COUGHTER, 24, of Gainesville graduated with a Bachelor of Arts 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 life ways of the earliest Floridians.”

MELANIE DAMOUR. (see “Volunteer spotlight”).

JOHN DAVIDSON, 34, of Melbourne, has a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida. He has worked on the project for the last three years as a crew chief. John plans to attend graduate school in the future. He has also worked on projects with South Archaeology, Inc. of Gainesville.

PHILLIP DIGIROLAMO, 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 of Science 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 Project.


JOHN EVELAND, 62, of Monticello is a retired operating Engineer. He has been looking for fossils and artifacts for 25 years. John says the ARRP is “an outstanding effort by the professional and volunteer communities to recover, record and display the area’s ancient past.”

GRAYAL FARR, 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 last year of graduate school, majoring in archaeology at FSU. He has been involved in a number of field projects with Florida State University.

BOBBY FRANCIS, Tallahassee, FL.

WILLIAM GIFFORD, 49, of DeLeon Springs is a dive instructor. He has participated in over 25 natural science projects. He has shared his talents with the Aucilla project for the past four years.

JERRY GRAMIG, Jr., 36, of Gainesville, FL, holds a B.S. from the University of Florida and works as a senior portfolio analyst. He shares his love of archaeology with his wife, son and father, who have volunteered on various projects around Florida.

ANDY HEMMINGS, of Gainesville, recently completed his master’s thesis featuring the Paleoindian artifacts of Sloth Hole. Currently he is working on several more publications dealing with the Paleoindian tool kit of Florida.

JOAN C. HERRERA, from Gainesville, has an M.Ed. in Science Ed. and a Ph.D. in Zoology from the University of Florida. She is currently a lecturer in Core Biology at UF. She has been a divemaster with the ARPP for 9 years, and has worked on several underwater zoological and archaeological research projects

SUSAN HOLLYDAY, of Nashville, Tennessee is an avocational geologist who has volunteered at sites in South Carolina, Arkansas, Ohio, Tennessee and now, Florida.

MARY HUDSON, 39, 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 University of Florida. Mary says that the Aucilla Project has been “the most memorable experience of (her) life.”

RICK IMES, of North Ferrisburg, Vermont, is a writer, editor, naturalist and guide. He is “rapidly developing an interest in archaeology and paleontology.”

PETE IRIZARRY, of Tampa, is a mechanic for the U.S. Postal Service. Pete is a member of the Tampa Bay Fossil Club and the West State Archaeological Society.

SUSAN KANE is an undergraduate student in Anthropology at the College of Charleston, South Carolina. She has worked at a variety of field sites in South Carolina as part of her studies.

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

DAVID KENDRICK is currently from California. After completing his Ph.D. in Paleontology at Harvard and marrying Nan Arens, they moved to Berkeley. David serves as a research associate and Nan is on the faculty at UC Berkeley. In June, 1998 David returned to the museum in Gainesville to complete his chapter on the geology of the Aucilla River.

CARL LITTLEFIELD, (see “Rep. Carl Littlefield dives...”)

GREGORY LUNA, of Tucson, Arizona, is a professional archaeologist with the Western Archaeological and Conservation Center, National Park Service. He has extensive field research experience in Arizona, Utah, New Mexico, Colorado, California, Mexico and Belize.

JEFFREY MARLOW, of Wilmington, North Carolina, works as a hydrographic surveyor. He worked with the project in both the spring and fall last year. He “enjoys the enthusiasm and camaraderie of (his) fellow volunteers in this fascinating endeavor.”

JAMES MCCLEAN is currently a graduate student in Underwater Archaeology at Florida State University. He assisted with the Southern Belgian Upper Paleolithic and Wakulla Springs surveys. James’ primary interest is in watercraft and its role in migration.

ALYSSA MCMANUS has a Bachelor of Arts degree in Anthropology from Florida State University. “The research is important and should continue for many seasons to come. Project participants have become some of my closest friends.”



MATTHEW MIHLBACHLER, 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 paleontology projects in Florida and Maboko Island in Kenya.

MARK MUNIZ, of Boulder, Colorado, is seeking a Ph.D. in Archaeology from the University of Colorado. Mark has participated in numerous archaeological projects in Florida, South Carolina, and New Mexico. He has also made several public presentations on behalf of the ARPP.

DON MUNROE (see “Volunteer spotlight”)

MICHAEL MURRAY, of Boise, Idaho, is a professional diver and sales and repair technician. Michael has previous experience in field research projects at the Tolo Lake Mammoth Project and Pipe Wreck sites.

JEREMY OGLE, 25, is an undergraduate student at the University of Florida working towards a B.A. in Anthropology. He says “this project is the most exciting project I have been involved with.” Jeremy also spent time this summer in the Yucatan studying Maya sites and will also be spending a summer working at a Paleoindian site in Oregon.

THADRA PALMER, 23, is a fulltime student at Florida State University working toward a M.A. in Anthropology. She has been involved in a variety of other projects while at FSU including Little Salt Spring, Marathon wrecks, the Virgin Islands, and Italy.

DAVID PICKAR, of Portland, OR, completed undergraduate studies in 1998 at the University of Oregon. David has been involved with field projects in the U.S., Italy and Belgium.

JEWEL POZEFSKY, of Altamonte Springs, holds a Master of Arts degree in Mathematics and lists her profession as amateur paleontologist. She has been involved with the Florida Museum of Natural History and the Queensland Museum in Australia.

BILL REED, 28, is a recent graduate of the University of Florida with a major in History and Anthropology.

KELLY ROBERTS, Perry, Florida.

MIKE SAWATZKI is a student at the University of Florida with a major in Creative Photography and a minor in Anthropology. He plans to continue his education to obtain a Master’s Degree in Archaeology. Mike has also assisted in field research at Mammoth Cave, Kentucky.

MICHAEL SIMPSON is a Metro Dade Fire Department Haz-Mat Paramedic. He is also working on a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Public Administration. This was Michael’s third season with the project.

LEE SMITH, of Palm Harbor, is a former state park ranger and now works as a professional videographer. DAVID THULMAN, 43, 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, of Crawfordville, FL, holds a B.A. in Anthropology from the University of Florida and a Master’s Degree in Special Education from FSU. In her spare time Susan enjoys sailing, painting and flying.

SUSAN VERBERG-BOONSTRA, recently from the Netherlands, is currently a high school biology teacher in Gainesville. She saw the Aucilla Project as “a chance of a lifetime!” Susan enjoys collecting animal skulls, minerals and fossils.

BINION WILLIAMS, 56, of Jacksonville is a retired production controller. 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.

ERIC WILSON, 28, of Miami, is an undergraduate at the University of Florida, finishing his B.A. in Anthropology. Eric hopes to pursue graduate research at Florida State University in the Program in Underwater Archaeology.