News

University-owned archaeological site receives $100,000 grant

littlesaltsprings

SINKHOLE SITE: Because Little Salt Spring has a source of water that lacks oxygen, organic materials like wood, textile fragments, hair skin and brain tissue have been preserved there. Courtesy RSMAS.

A sinkhole containing several rare and endangered plant and animal species dating back as far as 12,000 years has recently received a much-needed donation.

The William and Marie Selby Foundation donated $100,000 in support of Little Salt Spring, one of the least explored archeological sites in Florida. The University of Miami was notified about the donation in late September 2008, but the official announcement was made Jan. 12, 2009.

It will be used toward the $1 million pool the university needs to start developing the Little Salt Spring Archaeological Project.

David Conklin, a graduate student at the Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science (RSMAS), said that future funding will have a huge impact on the site.

“It will allow us to meet our goals of having a worthy research facility to further study the spring and preserve the archaeological material,” he said.

Little Salt Spring, which covers approximately 111 acres in southern Sarasota County, contains artifacts that date back to early prehistoric times and can aid researchers in learning more about the earliest inhabitants of Florida.

The Selby donation will pay for a multipurpose building on-site with a classroom, laboratory and storage facility for artifacts.

John Gifford, an associate professor at the RSMAS and the principle investigator for the project, said the Selby Foundation money is only the beginning.

With more permanent buildings at the site, faculty and students will have easier access to the spring and the information it holds.

“Our goal is to pass this information on to the public,” Conklin said.

Douglas Ray, who played a central part in getting the Selby Foundation grant, said the donation will make an enormous difference to the University of Miami and to the scale of archeological investigation at the site.

“I have been planning for the past 25 years [for the spring to become]a major research center for prehistoric underwater archaeology in the Western Hemisphere,” Gifford said.

August 4, 2009

Reporters

Lonnie Nemiroff

Contributing News Writer


Around the Web
  • Miami Herald
  • UM News
  • Error

The Miami Hurricanes, still waiting for a starting quarterback to be named, are in the top 25 again. ...

Happy first day of school for everyone out there, including the University of Miami students. We jus ...

With the University of Miami season opener closing in, the next starting quarterback has yet to be n ...

The second fall scrimmage, closed to the media and public, is over. University of Miami coach Mark R ...

1. DOLPHINS: Fins any good? 'Dress rehearsal' may tell: Opening win, then lopsided loss. W ...

UM’s new chief academic officer holds some 40 patents, and in 2017 was inducted into the National Ac ...

University of Miami students and researchers are blogging during a month-long expedition in the Gulf ...

María de Lourdes Dieck-Assad, a world-renowned economist and former ambassador, fills a new role for ...

Through the U Dreamers Grant, DACA students find essential support as they pursue their college degr ...

UM students talk about their internships up north in a city that never sleeps. ...

RSS Error: A feed could not be found at http://www.hurricanesports.com/. A feed with an invalid mime type may fall victim to this error, or SimplePie was unable to auto-discover it.. Use force_feed() if you are certain this URL is a real feed.

TMH Twitter Feed
About TMH

The Miami Hurricane is the student newspaper of the University of Miami in Coral Gables, Fla. The newspaper is edited and produced by undergraduate students at UM and is published weekly on Thursdays during the regular academic year.