Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Full Citation
Permanent Link: http://ufdc.ufl.edu/UF00090510/00035
 Material Information
Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Series Title: Friends of the Randell Research Center
Physical Description: Serial
Language: English
Creator: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Publisher: Randell Research Center, Florida Museum of Natural History, University of Florida
Place of Publication: Pineland, Fla.
Publication Date: September 2010
Copyright Date: 2010
 Record Information
Bibliographic ID: UF00090510
Volume ID: VID00035
Source Institution: University of Florida
Holding Location: University of Florida
Rights Management: All rights reserved by the source institution and holding location.


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Friends of the
Randell Research Center

September 2010 Vol. 9, No. 3

Pineland's Dark Ages

by Karen Walker Donna Surge, and Ting Wang

These days, climate change is center-stage. Understand-
ably most oFthe attention is on global warming and sea-level
rise. Many wonderwhat a warmer Future will be like in places
around the world, including southwest Florida. But what would
liFe in coastal southwest Florida be like iFthe opposite happened?
Pineland's ancient residents, a Ashing people, likely discovered
the answer to that question.
By A.D. 500, a lot oFpeople were living at Pineland and rather
profitably. But beginning aboutA.D. 550, a disruptive cascade
oFthree cooling events and sea-level Falls may have occurred
there, ending around A.D. 850. This, a working hypothesis, is
based on regional climate and sea-level records paired with
Pineland's archaeology. Much oFthis time span is often reFerred
to as the "Dark Ages" in European history in part because it
was a time oFcold climate, drought, Famine, and plague
("Vandal Minimum" is another name). People in many places
in the world experienced similar hardships. A Famous example
is that oFthe Mayan people, who were impacted by a series
oFdroughts culminating in the ninth century. Were these
centuries also a "Dark Age" For Pineland's residents?
Much oFthe excavated archaeological evidence says "yes."
While some oFus instantly think that a little cooling offin
subtropical south Florida surely was a good thing (and maybe
it was initially), we must consider that the associated condi-
tions oFsea-level Fall and possibly drought might have been
problematic, especially For people who depended on the shallow
waters oFPine Island Sound For Fsh and shellfsh. The evidence
is varied:
* a sudden and sustained availability and use oFmigratory
ducks For Food (indicating cooler temperatures);
a shift From black-mangrove Frewood to pine, and a
reduction oFavailable ribbed mussels (both suggesting
a drying oFwetlands);
a shift in house locations
From higher, landward
areas to lower, seaward .
elevations (suggesting- i
lowered water levels);
deposition oFmiddens on
dry land at elevations _

M ua ac rmUeladU UU 111F uu II e eaVy pIl L ur LiUe Luut, uly
Vandal Minimum climatic episode. (Drawing by M. Clark.)

that are below twentieth-century mean sea levels;
an overall reduction in diversity oFaquatic Foods and low
numbers oFthe salt-loving, non-Food crested oyster (both
indicating sustained lowered salinities suggestive oF
lowered sea level);
a reduction in available Food oysters, an increase in marine
snails (especially crown conch), and a decrease in available
Ash (all suggesting lowered water levels);
and perhaps most dramatically, the absence oF
archaeological deposits dating to A.D. 800-900
(indicating Pineland's temporary abandonment).
While these puzzle pieces have Fallen neatly into place, we
wanted to test ourworking hypothesis with an additional,
more direct line oFevidence For climate change at Pineland.
Because there is no existing local paleoclimate record, we
decided to develop one based on the geochemistry oFarchae-
ological shells oFsouthern quahog clams (Mercenaria
campechiensis) and otoliths oFmarine catfsh (Ariopsis Felis),
both plentiFul at Pineland. Both shells and otoliths record
chemical signatures oFthe water in which the clams and
catfsh lived. The signatures are preserved in archaeological
specimens and they can be "translated" into ancient water
temperatures and relative precipitation measures.
With support From the National Science Foundation, we
began the project Rrst by studying modern estuarine water
conditions along with a modern population oFquahog clams
and a Few catfsh specimens (see Friends oFRandell Research
Center newsletters Vol. 1, No. 3 and Vol. 2, No. 3). The results
oFthis work were used by paleoclimate scientist Donna Surge
and her graduate students as a comparative baseline. Mean-
while, the Florida Museum's Austin Bell systematically
organized and curated the extensive collection oFPineland
clam-shell and otolith specimens, and environmental archae-
ologist Karen Walker researched those collections, selecting
specimens to send to Surge's laboratory at the University oF
North Carolina. There, graduate studentTing Wang prepared
the specimens and then extracted carbonate powder From

Ting Wang using the micro-
mill to collect samples
From Pineland clam shell.
(Photo by Z. Zhong.)

multiple shell/otolith layers using a
computerized micromill. Samples oF
powder From the Arst group oFspeci-
mens, those dating to the A.D. 450-
850 period, were then analyzed.
BrielRy, here are the results. Speci-
mens M-9 and A-9 (M = Mercenaria
clam, A = Ariopsis catfish) come From
SurFClam Ridge and date to A.D. 450-
500; A-9 recorded the warmest
temperature oFall specimens, corre-
lating well with a time just prior to the
Arst sea-level Fall. M-7, A-7, M-6, and

Graph showing relative sea level,
time, and samples From Pineland.

M-4 From Old Mound indicate cool and
mostly dry conditions correlating with
the A.D. 500-550 Fall. From Brown's
Complex (BC), M-8 and A-8 date to the
A.D. 600-650 increment and indicate
relatively warm and wet conditions,
which supports a temporary recovery oF
wetlands (indicated by ribbed mussel
shell and black mangrove wood counts)
and correlates with a rebound in sea-
level. M-2, A-2, and M-l, also From BC,
date to A.D. 650-700 and indicate the
coldest and driest conditions, corres-
ponding to the second Fall in sea level.
M-5 is From the latest midden oFthis
period in BC and dates to A.D. 700-750.
It indicates a continuation oFdry
The geochemical results support the
earlier archaeological Andings. A picture
emerges oFa people adjusting to episodic,
deleterious changes in their land and
estuarine environments. But with the
Anal punctuated drop in water trans-
lating into a largely dry Pine Island
Sound, Pinelanders leFL their home site.
Ultimately, people dependent on Ash

Pine Island Sound during an excep-
tionally low tide. (Photo by W. Marquardt.)

and shellRsh must Follow their livelihood.
We speculate that they moved to the
Farwestern part oFPine Island Sound.
One possible relocation site is Useppa
Island, where a midden dense with high-
salinity molluscan shells dates to the
ninth century A.D. Wang will be analyzing
a clam shell and a catRsh otolith From
this context in the coming months.
The Pinelanders later returned to their
ancestral home, but it was not until
about A.D. 900, when sea water once
again Riled Pine Island Sound, bringing
with it teeming populations oFFsh and

Recent History of the Pineland Community

Part 5 in a series

by Bill Marquardt

A recent inquiry to our web site asked
for information on the history ofthe
Pineland community. Here is the final
offive installments, this one Focusing
on the past 20 years and the Randell
Research Center.

Impressed by the interest and
involvement oFthe community and by
the research and educational potential
oFtheir Pineland property, in 1994
Patricia and Donald Randell donated
about 53 acres to the University oF
Florida Foundation. In their honor, the
property was named the Randell Research
Center. It was the understanding and
expectation oFthe Randells that their
gift property would be sold to the State
oFFlorida. Proceeds From the sale would
be used to endow the Center's research
and education programs, to be operated
by the Florida Museum oFNatural History.
The property was eventually sold to the
State in 2003, and the Museum was
named manager oFthe site.

In 2000, led by the Stans Foundation,
Funds were donated toward a teaching
pavilion, public restrooms, a parking area,
and the Arst phase oFan interpreted
walking trail. These Funds were matched
by the State oFFlorida, and construction
began in 2003 on the Arst oFtwo
building phases. Additional Funds were
raised From 2003 to 2005, and were
again matched by the State oFFlorida,
enabling completion oFthe classroom
and a book and giFr shop at the pavilion
in 2006.
Grants deFrayed much oFthe RRC's
operating expenses From 2001 to 2005,
including an especially generous gift
From the Maple Hill Foundation. In
January 2001, Lee County purchased
the 8.5-acre property containing the
historic Ruby Gill House, the Pineland
Post OFRce, and archaeologically and
environmentally sensitive wetlands. The
University oFFlorida leased the property
From the County on behalFoFthe RRC,
and in September 2001 the Gill House


Patricia and Donald Randell (Fore-
ground) pose with then-UF president
John Lombardi and his wife Cathryn
at the conclusion oFan appreciation
banquet, August 12, 1994. (Photo by
Harmon Photographers, Fort Myers.)

at 7450 Pineland Road opened as the
RRC's headquarters. In January, 2002,
we began a new quarterly newsletter
For members oFthe Friends oFthe
Randell Research Center. The issue that
you are reading is the 35th. All back
issues are archived at www.Rmnh.ul.


In December, 2004, we opened the
"Calusa Heritage Trail," a project Funded
in part by a grant From the Florida
Division oFHistorical Resources and
sponsored by a leadership gift From
Dwight and Susan Sipprelle. In 2006,
the Randell Research Centerwas desig-
nated an official stop along the Great
Calusa Blueway, a Lee County-sponsored
marked canoe and kayak trail.
Pineland suffered a direct hit From
powerFul Hurricane Charley on August
13, 2004, causing severe damage to the
Ruby Gill House, a significant loss oF
vegetation at the Pineland site, and a
three-month delay in opening the Calusa
Heritage Trail. The Pineland Marina's
buildings and the Mote Marine Reld house
were completely destroyed and later
demolished. The marina was eventually
rebuilt, reopening in 2008. The Tarpon
Lodge was severely damaged, but was
restored, reopening on December 30,
2004.The Frst dinnerguests were Former
president Jimmy Carter, his wiFe, and
extended Family. The Carters also visited
the Calusa Heritage Trail.
The Wilson sisters' house and the
cottage on Randell Complex Mound 2
were damaged heavily by Hurricane
Charley, but were subsequently repaired
and are still occupied today as rental
property For the Randell estate. Twin
boat houses built by Graham and Mary
Wilson were dislodged From the Tarpon
Lodge dock and hurled into Pine Island
Sound by Hurricane Charley. They were
salvaged by the Lodge owners, moved
to dry land, connected together, and
renovated as an additional rental unit
now known as "the Boathouse."
Citrus canker invaded the groves oF
South Florida in the aftermath oF

Charley, and traces oFthe plant disease
were Found near our citrus trees in
November 2004. UnFortunately, this
meant the mandatory destruction oF
the thriving citrus trees on the RRC
property as well as those oFour neigh-
bors, erasing the last vestiges oFthe
once thriving groves that dominated
Pineland in the early twentieth century.
We replanted with 40 new citrus trees
in December, 2007, but it will be many
years beFore the grove matures.
On December 15, 2005, the Gill
House and Pineland Post OFFice were
added to Lee County's List oF
Designated Historical Resources. A
grant From the Florida Division oF
Forestry helped with reForestation and
habitat restoration oFthe Pineland Site
Complex in 2006 and 2007 In 2005,
2006, and 2008, grants were received
From the Lee County Historic
Preservation Board to Frst stabilize the
Gill House and post office, then to
create a master historic-preservation
plan For the Gill House and to rehabili-
tate it. Architect Linda Stevenson
created the master plan and Bob Rude
provided structural engineering consul-
tation. Funds were also received From
the Lee County Tourist Development
Council, the Arts and Attractions Fund
oFthe Southwest Florida Community
Foundation, and many private citizens,
including leadership gifts From Paul and
Warren Millerand Dwight and Susan
Sipprelle. Rehabilitation oFthe Ruby Gill
House was completed by general
contractor Dale Schneider in May, 2010
(see RRC Newsletter, volume 9, no. 2,
June, 2010).
The Pineland Archaeological Site was
designated a Lee County Historical

Resource in January, 2008. It was
already listed in the National Register oF
Historic Places. In 2009, we restored
the old damaged dock across the street
From the Randell Mound, creating an
observation pier For the enjoyment oF
the public. Today the Randell Research
Center hosts over 3,500 visitors at the
site each year, and provides educational
programs For public and private school
We value the heritage oFthe Pineland
community as well as that oFGreater
Pine Island. Pineland has been a recog-
nized community since its Frst post
office was established in 1902.The RRC
has been a part oFPineland For 16 years
- 15% oFPineland's modern history -
but our Calusa Heritage Trail celebrates
the 2,000 years oFPineland's human
history, From early Native American
AsherFolk to the diverse community oF
today. Presently, all three RRC employ-
ees live on Pine Island. Our classroom
complex was built by a Pine Island
contractor. Another Pine Island contrac-
tor rehabilitated the Gill House. Pine
Island businesses help maintain our
properties and equipment, and Pine
Island caterers supply our special
events. Pine Island people have been
unFailingly supportive, giving Freely oF
their time and donating resources.
Voted the #1 tourist attraction on Pine
Island For Four consecutive years by
readers oFthe Pine Island Eagle, the RRC
continues to beckon visitors From near
and Far to experience Pine Island and to
appreciate it as we do. We hope to be a
part oFthe Pineland community For
many years to come, and we hope that
you will come and visit soon.V

New and Renewing Friends of the RRC
May 26 through july 31, 2010
(Please let us know ofany errors or omissions. Thank you For your support.)

Supporting Members
Bill Pretsch
Contributing Members
Paul G. Benedum, Jr.
Janice Brink
Stan E Mary Farnham
Nancy Glickman

Peggy E Barney King
Diane E Dick Maher
Jerald T Milanich
Margi B. Nanney
Lee A. Newsom
Denege Patterson
John E Sally van Schaick
Family Members
John E Sara Dietler
Amy M. Gallagher

Stephen E Marion Hall
Carol McGuinn E Roach
Jacob E Arlene Miller
Ilene SaFron
Bill Spikowski E Alison
Ruth C. Walker
David E Debra Williamson
Individual Members
Stephen F. Chupack

Lois E. Clarke
Guy P. Fischer
Louis Franks
Carolyn Graham
Lee D. Harrison
David Hurst
Lona Meister
DavidJ. Meo
Edward T. Winn


SRandell Research Center
PO Box 608
Pineland, FL 33945-0608
Forwarding Service Requested

U.S. Postage
Pineland, FL
Permit No. 26


We are very pleased to welcome
Cindy Bear to the Randell Research
Center. She steps in to manage the
book store and lab, and coordinate
tours and special events as Michael
Wylde departs For his graduate studies
in Gainesville.
A RFLh-generation native Floridian,
Cindy's Rrst experience with the RRC
was during the1989 "Year oFthe Indian"
project when she and other teachers in
the Lee County School District's
Environmental Education Program led
students on site tours. For 20 years,
Cindy Facilitated Reld trips, classroom
presentations, and teacher workshops
as a Resource Teacher For the EE
Program. Her involvement with RRC
continues to the present day, including
service on the advisory board, and
volunteering Fora variety oFactivities.
In January, she and husband Charles
were married atop the Randell Mound.
"We did our best to honor the Calusa
with our ceremony," Cindy says, "A conch
shell horn called us to gather, we shared

Cindy Bear
Joins RRC

papaya Fruit, and a Friend delivered a
Native American blessing. We stopped
short oFdecorative body paint, however!"
Cindy holds a Master's degree in
Science Education, a Bachelor's in
WildliFe Ecology, and has often been
dubbed the "Owl Lady" due to her 20
years oFstudies and conservation work
with Cape Coral burrowing owls. Always
quick with a smile, Cindy says she is
most looking Forward to "riding my
bicycle to work and getting to know the
remarkable volunteers and members
who have contributed so much to the
Center." You can reach Cindy via email
at rrccindyt~rancenter.comcastbiz.net
or phone at 239-283-2157.

RRC News

Editor: William Marquardt
Writers: William Marquardt
Donna Surge
Karen Walker
Ting Wang
Production: GBS Productions
Gift Shop E Tour Information:




l, ur 1983l Chevy piku will notI ll["

pass LiFr ir e inspect i o llhis lyear

Send questions or comments to:
Randell Research Center
PO Box 608
Pineland. FL 33945-0608
Telephone: (239) 283-2062
Fax:(239) 283-2080
Email: randellcenter2(Drancenter
S comcastbiz net
Website: www flmnh ufl edu/RRC/



-- Friends of the

J __ Randell Research Center
Pineland, Florida September 2010
Phone 239/283-2062
Email: randellcenter2(prancenter.comcastbiz.net

Dear Friend,

You are cordially invited to join, or renew your membership in, the RRC's support society, Friends ofthe Randell
Research Center All Friends oFthe RRC receive a quarterly newsletter and Free admission to the Calusa Heritage
Trail at Pineland. Supporters at higher levels are entitled to discounts on our books and merchandise, advance
notice ofprograms, and special recognition. Your continuing support is vital to our mission. It means more
research, more education, and continued site improvements at the Randell Research Center. Thank you.


William H. Marquardt
Randell Research Center

Please check the membership level you prefer, and send this Form with your check payable to U. F Foundation, to:

Membership Coordinator a Randell Research Center a PO Box 608 a Pineland, Florida 33945

" Individual ($30) and Student ($15): quarterly Newsletter and
Free admission to Calusa Heritage Trail
" Family ($50): The above + advance notice and 10% discount on
children's programs
" Contributor ($100-$499): The above + annual honor roll listing in
newsletter + 20% discount on RRC publications and merchandise
" Sponsor ($500-$999): The above + invitation to annual
Director's tour and reception
Permanent Address



City / State / Zipcode
Seasonal Address (so we can send you your newsletter while you are away)



City / State / Zipcode
Use my seasonal address From to


" Supporter ($1,000-$4,999): The above + listing on annual
donor plaque at Pineland site
" Sustaining Members ($5,000-$19,999), Benefactors
($20,000-$99,999), and Patrons ($100,000 and above)
receive all oFthe above + complimentary RRC publications and
special brieFings From the Director.

4, 1'


The Randell Research Centeris a program oFthe Florida Museum oFNatural History, University of Florida.

Books, Videos, Cards, and RRC Gear

The Calusa and Their Legacy: South Florida People and Their Environments
by Darcie A. MacMahon and William H. Marquardt, U. Press oFFlorida, hardcover, $39.95
Sharks and Shark Products in Prehistoric South Florida
by Laura Kozuch, Monograph 2, softcover, $5.00
The Archaeology oFUseppa Island
edited by William H. Marquardt, Monograph 3, hardcover $35.00, softcover $20.00
New Words, Old Songs: Understanding the Lives oFAncient Peoples in
Southwest Florida Through Archaeology
by Charles Blanchard, illustrated by Merald Clark, hardcover $19.95, soFLcover $9.95
FisherFolk ofCharlotte Harbor, Florida
by Robert F Edic, hardcover, $35.00
Florida's First People
by Robin Brown, Pineapple Press, hardcover, $29.95
Missions to the Calusa
by John H. Hann, U. Press oFFlorida, hardcover, $35.00
Florida's Indians
by Jerald T Milanich, U. Press oFFlorida, softcover, $19.95
Archaeology ofPrecolumbian Florida
by Jerald T Milanich, U. Press oFFlorida, softcover, $27.95
Classic Cracker: Florida's Wood-Frame Vernacular Architecture
by Ronald W. Haase, Pineapple Press, softcover, $14.95
I-Land: At the Edge oFCivilization
by Roothee Gabay, a part-Fantasy, part-historical novel based in the Calusa domain, PublishAmerica Books,
Song oftheTides
byTom Joseph, a historical novel about the Calusa, U. oFAlabama Press, $19.95
Eyes ofthe Calusa
by Holly Moulder, a historical novel For young readers, winner oFthe silver medal in young adult Fiction From the
Florida Publisher's Association, White Pelican Press, $8.95
The Crafts oFFlorida's First People
by Robin Brown, a step-by-step guide to making Florida Indian tools and containers (Forages 10 and up),
Pineapple Press, softcover, $9.95
Images From the Calusa Heritage Trail
Art by Merald Clark, 4"-x-6" postcards, Full-color, set oFll cards, $4.50
The Domain ofthe Calusa: Archaeology and Adventure in the Discovery oFSouth Florida's Past
DVD video, $12.95
Expedition Florida: Three-Program Set (From Exploration to Exhibition,
The Wild Heart oFFlorida, Wild Alachua)
DVD video, $24.95

[-NU -E

















________ $_


RRC logo hat $20.00
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton staffshirt
Specify size (S, M, L, XL) and color (cream or blue-denim) $35.00
RRC logo short-sleeve cotton T-shirt
Specify Adult size (S, M, L, XL) $15.00 / Specify Child size (XS, S, M) $12.00
RRC logo tote bag $10.00
RRC logo coffee mug $10.00 Fri

To place order, make check payable to
U.F Foundation and mail to:
Randell Research Center
PO Box 608 Name (please print)
Pineland, FL 33945.
Mailing address (ple
Questions? 239-283-2157 Mang address
E-mail: randellcenter2(arancenter.comcastbiz.net

Total For items ordered:
ends ofthe RRC who give at the $100
rabovemaydeduct20% Discount:-
Florida residents add sales tax:
Shipping: Add $3.50 For First item,
$0.50 For each additional item:

__________ $


__________ $


ase print):

Zip code (please print):_


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