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
  • HurricaneSports

It was a good day for the Miami Hurricanes basketball team. They moved up to No. 6 in the AP Top 25 ...

Erykah Davenport and Shaneese Bailey made key plays back-to-back late in the game and four players s ...

1. MARLINS: Jeter's Fish trade Gordon. Stanton next?: While others spend -- like the Angels to ...

A six-pack of Hurricanes notes on a Thursday: ▪ With the first ever early signing period just two we ...

University of Miami coach Mark Richt and Wisconsin coach Paul Chryst sat on a stage poolside at the ...

Seeking a college experience within a diverse community, this graduate found her home away from home ...

Graduating with Comedic Timing ...

The top graduate from UM's School of Education and Human Development shines in the classroom. ...

‘Part-Time Junior’ Sculpts Her Way to a B.F.A. ...

Students in University of Miami’s School of Communication’s Orange Umbrella Student Consultancy garn ...

Hurricanes earn highest ranking since March 2013. ...

Walker IV recorded a career-high 26 points, seven rebounds in the win over Boston U. ...

The University of Miami women's basketball team earned an impressive 65-54 win over No. 20/23 K ...

After its longest break of the season thus far, the University of Miami women's basketball team ...

Miami senior wide receiver Braxton Berrios, a double major in finance and entrepreneurship, was name ...

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 in print on Tuesdays during the regular academic year.