On Thursday, March 23rd at 5 pm, Dr. Ken Sulak will give his talk titled: “The Primordial Suwannee River Ecosystem – A Tale of Irreversible Human Impact.” The talk tells the story of human impact on the river, centered on the story of the Gulf Sturgeon.

Dr. Sulak is a research fish biologist emeritus, recently retired from the U.S. Geological Survey. He has 40 years of experience in fish research and conservation biology and has written and lectured widely on a wide range of topics. One focus of his research has been the Gulf Sturgeon, which he will share with us on Thursday.

Saturday’s program (March 25 at 10:30 am) will feature Dr. Ken Sassaman, who will give his annual update on the archaeological studies going on in the Lower Suwannee and Cedar Keys National Wildlife Refuges: “Terraforming: What We Now (Think We) Know about the Ritual Economy of Shell Mound (and other news of interest).”

The Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey has spent the past year trying to make sense of the large volume of information collected from Shell Mound and surrounding sites. We now appreciate that there was a heightened level of terraforming from AD 400-650, when Shell Mound thrived. Oyster shell midden was mined and repurposed to construct the south ridge of Shell Mound, a new burial mound east of Shell Mound, and a fish trap at Richards Island. Evidence for terraforming is put into the context of a ritual economy at Shell Mound involved the gathering or people from throughout the Gulf Coast of Florida and beyond. Other new findings will be reviewed.

Dr. Sassaman launched the University of Florida’s Lower Suwannee Archaeological Survey in 2009, and he has given us a report on the findings each year since then. We always look forward to hearing his new information, and this year will be no exception.


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