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Saint Augustine, Northeast Florida
Going public with archaeology for outreach, assistance to local governments, and service to the citizens and state of Florida. Visit our website at: http://flpublicarchaeology.org/nerc/
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Updates from Monitoring at Shell Bluff Landing

This December, Christmas came early for me as I found myself at Shell Bluff Landing at the GTM Research Reserve, helping with a small archaeological survey! For five years, I've been visiting the site, worrying about the erosion, and trying to document it as best as I could. Why not dig at the site sooner? Well, it takes a lot more than some curiosity and a shovel to do archaeology.

To conduct an archaeological survey, one must have a good research question; the means to do the fieldwork; the space and resources to clean, analyze and curate the artifacts; and most importantly, the follow-through to write a report about the work that was done and the results. And because Shell Bluff Landing is on State-owned land, you also have to apply for a permit to do the work, a process that includes showing the land managers and State Archaeologist's office you have all of the aforementioned in order.

Trowel in ground at last!
After documenting dramatic shoreline loss over the past year, I was able to coordinate some fieldwork with two of my colleagues from the Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research to better document the site before more loss occurs. We spent three days at the site in a whirlwind of documenting, collecting samples and setting up plans for better monitoring efforts in the future.

First, we relocated old rebar from a baseline for shoreline measurements installed in 1988. We were able to find all of the old rebar, measure the shoreline, and compare to the old numbers - almost 15 meters have been lost in some areas!

We used old maps, a metal detector and some good ol' fashioned sleuthing skills to find all of the old rebar.
Second, we clean up the eroding profile and mapped in the stratigraphy of the shell midden. We also removed a bulk sample of the shell midden to take back to the lab in Tallahassee. By removing all of the soil - not just taking the shell and artifacts recovered through screening - we can find smaller items like seeds, tiny lithic flakes and other objects that easily fall through the quarter-inch screen. This means we can learn a lot more about the site!

Shake, shake, shake - screening wet shell midden can put your arms to work.
Archaeology is all about documentation. We map and photograph every hole we dig.
Map faster! The tide is coming.
Muck boots required for removing this column sample.

Finally, we rounded out the project (on a very wet day) with a few shovel tests on the eastern portion of the site, to see how far the shell midden stretches in that direction.

On Thursday, we had help from HMS Florida Scout Marvin, who has helped monitor this site, among others, over the past year.

 We hope to continue measuring the shoreline to track changes. We'll have updates on what we learned about the midden after the bulk sample has been process and analyzed in the lab. Until then, go check out the site yourself at the GTM Research Reserve. And don't forget to file a HMS Florida Scout Report while you're there!

You can also see more of the project in Jessica Clark's story on the work from First Coast News.

Text and images by Emily Jane Murray, FPAN Staff.

Update on HMS Florida grant

Last week we learned our grant for additional funds to improve HMS Florida that was ranked 13 fell to 54. The first ranking was based on public hearings November 2 under the authority of the Florida Historical Commission. Last week Secretary of State Ken Detzer reordered the list in the grant book submitted for the 2018 budget. Below are a few documents we wanted to share with our HMS Florida volunteers and partners on the grant.
FPAN Executive Director William Lees response to Secretary Detzner view pdf.


Original rankings by Florida Historical Commission post November 2, 2017 public grant hearings, pdf of full list



Reordered list by Secretary of State published in the grant book week of December 11, 2017, pdf of full list


Other high ranked projects reordered by the Secretary:

DEP Fort Clinch ranked #2 fell to 51
FSU Mission San Luis ranked #3 fell to 52
Apalachicola Arsenal Museum ranked #10 fell to 53
St. Augustine Lighthouse ranked #17 fell to 55
Wakulla Springs Lodge ranked #26 fell to 56
Orange County Regional Center ranked #35 fell to 57

Overview information about our HMS Florida special category grant application :
  • Our grant would benefit every county in Florida. We are currently active in 42 and pledged a monitoring activity in every county as a result of the grant.
  • We requested $242,700 for a 3d scanner that can quickly map a site with pinpoint accuracy, a LiDAR puck to create high-quality aerial (via drone) laser-data to document site degradation, and funds to help manage the database and coordinate logistics for the program.
  • FPAN staff from all regions contributed to the grant including committments from our hosts: Flagler College, University of South Florida, Florida Atlantic University, and University of West Florida.
  • Scope of the grant included monitoring 500 sites on state owned land in an effort to assist land managers. We further proposed to digitally scan 24 of the most endangered sites to track macro and micro changes to the site during the duration of the grant. 
  • Activities during the grant would be reported in a glossy magazine for the public.
  • The Florida Historical Commission responded favorably to our grant, increasing funding to $432,700 to further support management of the database, further improve coordination, and boat fees to reach remote sites.

302 volunteers monitored changes to 650 sites as of 12/20/17.
At this time we have little information as to why the grants were reordered or if anything can be done to restore the Florida Historical Commissions recommendations. If you are interested in the statute and guidelines related to authorization of rankings, the statute language can be found online here and  the guidelines here (page 11, point 8). FPAN offices will reopen January 2 and we will continue to share what information becomes available.


We want to thank the individuals and organizations that pledged their support for this project for our grant application:

Rep. Cyndi Stevenson, Florida House of Representatives 
Dr. Paul N. Backhouse, Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Museum and Tribal Historic Preservation Office
Mr. William M. Stanton, Florida Department of Environmental Protection 
Dr. Michael Shirley, GTM National Estuarine Research Reserve
Mr. Peter De Witt, Bureau of Land Management 
Dr. Kenneth E. Sassaman,University of Florida 
Mr. Christian Davenport, Palm Beach County
Ms. Crystal Geiger, St. Johns County 
Ms. Amy E. Griffin, St. Lucie County 
Mr. Lonnie Mann, Panhandle Archaeological Society 
Dr. Nancy I.M. Morgan, Goodwood Museum and Gardens 
Ms. Melissa Wyllie, Florida Trust for Historic Preservation 
Dr. Zackary I. Gilmore, Rollins College 
Dr. Kyle Freund, Indian River State College 
Mr. Brian L. Polk, Volusia County Historic Preservation Board 
Mr. Patrick Dwyer, Heritage Monitoring Scouts Volunteer 
Ms. Melissa DePriest, Indian River State College
Ms. Linda Chandler, St. Augustine Archaeological Association

For more information on HMS Florida www.fpan.us/hmsflorida, please visit our website or view our annual report also posted on this blog. For more information on the Division of Historical Resources special category grants, visit DHR's grants news page.

Shell bluff landing- forground image shows monitor recording well pre Hurricane Matthew 9/28/2016, post Matthew 10/12/16 and in the background post Irma 9/20/17.

Text and images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

Annual Report for Heritage Monitoring Scouts 2016-2017



Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida)
Annual Report August 1, 2016- July 30, 2017
Sarah Miller | Florida Public Archaeology Network | December 12, 2017

HMS Florida Launches in 2016

Historical resources in Florida are in danger from impacts of climate change including increased storm surge and sea level rise. An estimated 16,015 historical resources will be impacted by a 1 m (3.3 foot) rise in sea level with numbers reaching 34,786 in a 2 m (6.6 foot) rise scenario. More information is needed to identify and manage these threats, and more awareness of the issue is needed to increase public participation in solutions to this program.

In 2016 the Florida Public Archaeology Network launched Heritage Monitoring Scouts (HMS Florida), a citizen science program focused on tracking changes to heritage sites at risk, particularly those impacted by climate change in the form of erosion and sea level rise. Over the course of the year 233 people applied to become Heritage Monitoring Scouts, agreed to the ethics statement to do no harm to sites, and received monthly updates on training and resources. Scouts monitored 312 sites during the first year at a rate of 26 sites per month since the launch.


Program Accomplishments 2016-2017

Tidally United
The first “Tidally United: Cultural Resources Shoreline Monitoring and Public Engagement Summit” took place August 5-6, 2016 at Flagler College in St. Augustine. Presenters and partners for the summit came from other FPAN hosting institutions (UWF, FAU, and USF), the Florida Trust for Historic Preservation, the National Park Service including the Southeastern Archaeological Center, the City of St. Augustine, and other private firms. The summit drew 100 registrants for the formal sessions on Friday and 42 participants for the informal tours and workshops on Saturday.

After the summit FPAN staff sent a postcard to elected officials to inform them that professional archaeologists, preservationists, and especially the public are gravely concerned about impacts of climate change on cultural resources.





Statewide Preservation Award
 The Tidally United Summit (#TidallyTuesdays) Video Series was awarded a Florida Trust Statewide Preservation Award in the Media category. The award recognizes outstanding heritage education programs that deal with historic preservation or history. The video series ensures the benefits of the Tidally United summit lived beyond the single day of presentations and continue to reach out to those who were not able to attend.

Currently, YouTube hosts14 presentations that the public viewed 260 times. The video series will continue to be promoted as part of HMS Florida trainings and events. This has surpassed the 97 registrants who attended the Tidally United summit. The videos reached over 2,700 people on the FPAN Northeast Facebook page alone. You can view the presentations posted on YouTube by clicking here.

Florida Heritage at Risk Exhibit

Just in time for Florida Archaeology Month 2017, FPAN staff from multiple regions worked together to interpret the sites at risk issue in the form of a traveling exhibit. The purpose of the exhibit is to raise awareness of impacts of climate change on archaeological sites and highlight public engagement to monitor changes over time. It will add a previously unseen topic to the archaeology exhibit landscape at public days and professional conferences and help recruit monitors from across Florida.

The initial exhibit, hosted by the Destination Archaeology Resource Center (DARC) at the FPAN Coordinating Center in Pensacola, features two portable banners giving an overview of the issues as well as several panels illustrating current HMS case studies in variety of FPAN regions. One portable banner defines the problem of heritage at risk and the second describe the process along with tools for monitoring. Artifacts on exhibit show what artifacts HMS scouts are likely to encounter during monitoring activities. A mounted iPad linked to the HMS reporting page allows for visitors to monitor a 3D image of the Shell Bluff Landing Site in St. Johns County. 

The exhibit team included project leaders Sarah Miller and Kevin Gidusko who generated initial text and coordinated between team members; DARC Director Mike Thomin curated the exhibit in Pensacola and advised on traveling/marketing strategies; Becky O’Sullivan for graphic design and developing digital components; Rachael Kangas, Nigel Rudolph, Jeff Moates, Sara Ayers-Rigsby, and Emily Jane Murray who helped provide case study text and images. Subject experts and volunteers provided quotes illustrated on exhibit panels. If you or your organization is interested in hosting the exhibit, please contact Mike Thomin.


Cemetery Dash

Each month Emily Jane Murray sends out a Scout Update report and issues a challenge to motivate volunteers to get out and monitor sites old and new. In October 2016 she issued the Cemetery Dash challenge to encourage scouts to monitor historic cemeteries. The results were impressive with 32 cemeteries monitored in October, and 67 in total by the end of 2016. Rachael Kangas presented the results of monitoring historic cemeteries during the Cemetery Resource Protection Training Conference held in St. Augustine in June 2017.
  
Public Engagement

Engagement Levels  
As a public engagement program, HMS Florida is evaluated beyond how many sites are visited each year using Rosenblatt's engagement pyramid model. Since the launch in August 2016, just over 15,000 people are observing and following the program measured by members of the EnvArch Facebook page and page views on the HMS Florida landing page or associated blog posts. A total of 233 people signed up for the program, thus endorsing the program by signing up. Seventy-six scouts are contributing to the program by submitting monitoring forms, and of these 13 are demonstrating owning by submitting more than 10 forms. Six scouts, currently FPAN staff, are leading the program by conducting outreach and training. 



Summary of Engagement Outcomes
  • 233 applications received and accepted, all have signed ethics statement
  • Applicants from 36 counties in 87 different Florida communities, 3 out of state
  • 312 site monitored 2016-2017
  • Data gaps- 19 sites reported not listed on the Florida Master Site File (16 cemeteries, 1 mound, 1 archaeological site, 1 memorial)
  • 76 Contributing Scouts (1+ site monitored) 
  • Benefits of signing up: contact information, why joined, ethics box checked, scout updates, communication, commitment.
  • 13 Leading and Owning Scouts (10+ sites): 7 non-FPAN staff; 6 FPAN staff
    HMS Florida landing page and sample of training opportunities.

HMS Florida volunteers residence by county.

HMS Florida Sites monitored by county.

Location of HMS Florida training events by county.




HMS Scouts, monitored sites, training events and partnerships by county. Note: not everyone monitors in the county where they reside.

A majority of sites monitored are on state-owned lands, followed by private, city, county, and federal.


Majority of sites monitored during 2016-2017 are prehistoric sites.


HMS Florida volunteers monitored predominantly archaeological sites, but they also monitored a significant amount of historic cemeteries and a growing percentage of historic structures.


An overwhelming majority of site locations visited by HMS Florida volunteers were verified. In a few instances, the site location needed to be updated on the FMSF form and 4% of sites could not be located.


Media Coverage 
Print and social media sites frequently reported on HMS Florida activities during the initial year:

Call to Action

Major Weather Events 

HMS Florida launched just as the 2016 Atlantic hurricane season swung into full force. Hurricanes Matthew and Hermine provided a windfall of data and opportunity to rigorously test the first version of HMS Florida. Both storms generated coastal flooding and inundation of areas that was a shock to many communities, especially St. Augustine in the aftermath of Hurricane Matthew. Lessons learned from these storms created opportunities to reevaluate HMS Florida reporting procedures and allowed us to measure in some areas for the first time the impact of major storm events on cultural resources. While monitoring sites after the storms proved valuable, it is essential to get out and monitor impacts prior to the next hurricane season. At the time of writing Hurricane Irma has substantially impacted many areas of Florida and those findings will be reported in the 2nd annual report for HMS Florida.


 


Underserved Communities

HMS Florida is active in all counties (see below) except the following: Baker, Bay, Calhoun, Columbia, DeSoto, Dixie, Gadsen, Gilchrist, Glades, Gulf, Hamilton, Hardee, Highlands, Holmes, Indian River, Jackson, Lafayette, Liberty, Madison, Okaloosa, Okeechobee, Polk, Union, Walton, WashingtonThe second year of HMS Florida will aim to expand to every county in Florida by either an active volunteer, site monitored, training event, or identified program partner.

Increased Funding and Programmatic Support of HMS Florida

At present HMS Florida is supported by the regular operating funds of the Florida Public Archaeology Network. With additional funding HMS Florida would improve with accurate and time saving survey equipment, increase program access to submerged and partially inundated sites along the coast by boat, monitors for collecting environmental data from submerged sites, and essential database and program management as interest in HMS Florida continues to rise.


FPAN staff submitted a Department of State Special Category Grant to augment funding in 2018.
Improved Access and Quality Control of HMS Florida Database  

HMS Florida launched using basic Google Doc Forms and auto-fill spreadsheets to manage lists of volunteers and submitted scout reports. During the second year of the program, FPAN hopes to implement a major update to the HMS Florida database using open source database management software, ARCHES 4.0. The ARCHES database management system will allow for total data control of everything from Scout profiles to long-term statewide updates on monitored sites. Migration to the ARCHES server will allow scouts to search for sites by geographic areas, help land managers improve annual reporting, and make communication between program managers and volunteers more engaging. The database will include archaeological sites, historic cemeteries, historic structures, and other cultural resources at risk in Florida.  



HMS Florida Partners by county

BREVARD
Florida Solar Energy Center
Sams House at Pine Island Preserve
Space Coast Science Education Alliance

BROWARD
Native Learning Center

CHARLOTTE
Charlotte History Center
CITRUS
Gulf Archaeology Research Institute
CLAY
Clay County Archives
COLLIER
Rookery Bay NERR
DADE
Florida International University

DUVAL
University of North Florida
ESCAMBIA
Destination Archaeology Resource Center
Goat Lips Chew and Brewhouse
University of West Florida
FLAGLER
Bings Landing County Park
Marineland Dolphin Adventures

FRANKLIN
Apalachicola National Estuary Research Reserve

HENDRY
Ah-Tah-Thi-Ki Seminole Indian Museum
Seminole Tribe of Florida Tribal Historic Preservation Office

HILLSBOROUGH
University of South Florida

LAKE
Trout Lake Nature Preserve

LEE
Randell Research Center
Cape Coral Library
Koreshan State Historic Site
South County Regional Library

MANATEE
Emerson Point Preserve
Manatee County Parks and Recreation
Time Sifters Archaeological Society
NASSAU
Amelia Island Museum of History
City of Fernandina Beach
Fort Clinch State Park
ORANGE
University of Central Florida, Department of Anthropology
PALM BEACH
Florida Atlantic University

PINELLAS
Central Gulf Coast Archaeological Society
Weeden Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center

PUTNAM
Log Cabin Winery
SARASOTA
New College
ST. JOHNS
Flagler College
Flagler College Archaeology Club
GTM Research Reserve
Guana River Wildlife Management Area
Historic Tours of America
Northeast Florida Aquatic Preserves
St. Augustine Archaeological Association
St Johns County Environmental Division
St. Johns County Public Library

ST. LUCIE
Richard E. Becker Preserve
St. Lucie Parks and Recreation
VOLUSIA
New Smyrna Museum of History
Town of Ponce Inlet
STATEWIDE/NATIONAL
Environmental Remediation and Recovery, Inc.
Florida Archaeological Council
Florida Coastal Office
Florida Department of Historical Resources
Florida Trust for Historic Preservation
National Park Service

  
Table 1. Scouts by County

County
Applied Scouts
Contributing Scouts (1 site visited)
Owning Scouts (10 sites visited)
Leading Scouts
Sites Monitored
Trainings held
# program partners
Alachua
1
2


1


Baker







Bay







Bradford




2


Brevard
10
2


1

3
Broward






1
Calhoun







Charlotte
5
2


9
2
2
Citrus






1
Clay
3
3


11
2
1
Collier
2



2

1
Columbia







Dade
1
4

1
12

1
DeSoto







Dixie







Duval
13
4


7
1
1
Escambia
4
2


2

3
Flagler
2
2

1
12

2
Franklin
3



3

1
Gadsen







Gilchrist







Glades







Gulf







Hamilton







Hardee







Hendry

1


2

2
Hernando
1






Highlands







Hillsborough
18
4




1
Holmes







Indian River







Jackson







Jefferson
1
1
1

80


Lafayette







Lake
3





1
Lee
26
10
2
1
26
2
4
Leon
5
2


14


Levy




6


Liberty







Madison







Manatee
15
3


8
2
3
Marion
1
1





Martin
1






Monroe




1


Nassau
5
2
2

13
3
3
Okaloosa







Okeechobee







Orange
9
1


2
1
1
Osceola
2






Palm Beach
6
1


1

1
Pasco
3






Pinellas
22
3


7
2
2
Polk







Putnam
3
6


18
1
1
St. Johns
25
11
1
3
58
7
9
St. Lucie
5



3
1
2
Santa Rosa
2






Sarasota
12
1



1
1
Seminole
3



2


Sumter
1






Suwannee
1






Taylor
1






Union







Volusia
14
7


9
2
2
Wakulla
1
1
1




Walton







Washington







Out of State or UID
3





6

233
76
7
6
312
27
26

ACKNOWLEDGEMENTS

HMS Florida would not be possible without the hard work of all FPAN staff across the state: William Lees, Della Scott-Ireton, Mike Thomin, Barbara Clark, Tristan Harrenstein, Jeff Moates, Kassie Kemp, Brittany Yabczanka, Nigel Rudolph, Rachael Kangas, Sara Ayers-Rigsby, Mal Fenn, Robbie Boggs. Extra special thanks to Nicole Grinnan for web updates and Becky O’Sullivan for being a GIS and graphics goddess. And if it were not for Emily Jane Murray and Kevin Gidusko, HMS Florida would have never happened. Thank you for your expertise, enthusiasm, patience, and synergistic energy on this monumental project.

We also want to thank the Bureau of Archaeological Research in Florida's Division of Historical Resources were instrumental to the success of the first year and our shared future vision: State Archaeologist Mary Glowacki, Julia Duggins, Franklin Pierce, and Ryan Duggins; Vincent Birdsong at Florida Master Site File; David Morgan and Margo Schwadron at Southeast Archaeological Center (NPS); Ken Sassaman at University of Florida. Planners Adrienne Burke and Jenny Wolfe. Randell Research Center, Sams House Sanctuary, Florida State Parks, Jupiter Lighthouse ONA (BLM), GTM NERR and aquatic preserves across Florida. William Stanton, Florida State Parks.

And the 233 HMS Florida volunteers currently monitoring heritage sites in Florida.


Text and images: Sarah Miller, FPAN staff

Based on "HMS Florida Year in Review, 2016-2017," paper presented at Tidally United 2017, held at the Seminole Tribe's Environmental Learning Center in Hollywood, Florida.

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