The Randell Research Center (RRC)
relies heavily upon its dedicated and
hard-working volunteers. Volunteers are an essential component of
the operation of the Randell Research Center, and the following
materials have been developed in order to provide an initial
orientation for prospective volunteers.
Volunteers may plan to come in on a regular schedule to help out in
the office or lab, or they may simply remain on the "on-call" list for
specific tasks, such as field work or labwork or special events, or
large-scale work days such as vegetation clearing or bulk mailing.
In any case, volunteers are asked normally to work at least one
shift each month they reside in Southwest Florida in order to remain
on the active roster.
Training and Enrichment
Volunteers will be offered regularly-scheduled training and
enrichment programs at the RRC or on the Pineland site, and
attendance is strongly encouraged. These sessions will normally be
presented by RRC staff. In addition, whenever visiting researchers or scholars
are present, both from the Florida Museum of Natural History or
elsewhere, training/enrichment sessions may also be scheduled for
volunteers. Written training materials will be
provided to all volunteers interested in specific jobs or tasks.
Nevertheless, volunteers are encouraged to read and study on their
own, and for this purpose books are available for use at
the RRC headquarters. Suggestions for additional topics or materials
are always welcome.
Volunteers should sign in and record the total hours they worked on
a volunteer timesheet for each shift or event. The timesheet will
normally be placed at the reception desk in a notebook, or in
another prominent location. This information is important for purposes of evaluation and for
writing grant proposals, and each volunteer should be responsible
for recording her/his hours in a timely fashion.
Calendar of Events
A calendar is maintained at the RRC headquarters with upcoming special
events, tours, meetings, training sessions, etc., and volunteers should
consult this calendar in order to plan their volunteer activities and time.
Volunteers should be pro-active in contacting the RRC when they are unable
to come in for scheduled work or complete planned tasks.
Volunteer activies at the Randell Research Center generally fall into one of
seven categories based on the needs of the RRC, as outlined below. These job
descriptions are not mutually exclusive, and each volunteer may participate
in one or more activities, depending on their interest, time, and physical
capabilities. All jobs are important elements of the success of the Randell
Center, and flexibility and participation in multiple activities
characterizes the ideal RRC volunteer.
with the visiting public at the Pineland site is important, even though
the Calusa Heritage Trail itself is self-guided. Once trained,
RRC greeters are scheduled for morning (10:00 a.m.-1:00 p.m.) or afternoon
(1:00-4:00 p.m.) shifts, and are stationed at the Pavilion with a display
table and sign-in sheet.
tourist season (January through April), guided tours of the Pineland site
are offered every Wednesday morning at 10:00 a.m. Docents lead both
weekly public tours and special tours for scheduled groups, including
schools, and work either alone or in teams of two to collect donations at
the Pavilion, lead the visitors around the site on a guided tour, and sell
books and other merchandise. Site tour reports are completed for
Office Work - The operation and
future growth of the Randell Research Center relies heavily on volunteer
assistance in performing a variety of office tasks at the headquarters
building. Volunteers are needed for everything from mailing and
filing, to desktop publishing, word processing, and many other tasks.
While conducting office work, volunteers may also help by answering the
phone and greeting visitors to the headquarters.
Site Clearing and Maintenance - The large tracts of
land managed by the Randell Research Center require time and labor
invested in vegetation clearing and landscaping, both at the Pineland
archaeological site and at the RRC headquarters property next to the Post
Office. Within the context of an overall vegetation master plan,
volunteers are needed for periodic work days in a variety of
locations, including the Brown’s and Randell Mound complexes, which are
too delicate and steep for mowing. Some areas will require more work
than others, since some portions of the site will be allowed to maintain a
largely natural appearance, while other portions will be more carefully
cleared and managed for aesthetic and safety reasons.
Fieldwork - As an important component of its research and education mission, the
Randell Research Center will conduct ongoing archaeological field
investigations at the Pineland site and elsewhere. Projects will range from
individual test pits in specific areas of interest at the site, to broader
and more systematic testing and excavation projects as needs dictate.
Research will be conducted year-round, including both field and lab
components. Fieldwork opportunities will obviously be affected by
weather and groundwater conditions, and will also be limited in order to
ensure that artifacts and other materials found are processed in the lab
and curated in a timely fashion. Field techniques will be
taught “on the job” to newer volunteers, all under the supervision of RRC
and Florida Museum staff archaeologists. Tasks will include everything from hand
excavation of shell and soil, to screening and sorting these materials.
Fieldwork will also include occasional research and collection trips
related to estuarine or terrestrial ecology, or to the development of
zooarchaeological and botanical comparative collections for the RRC lab.
Archaeological Labwork - All materials
recovered during archaeological field excavations must subsequently be
processed inside the RRC lab facilities, including both the “wet lab” in
the garage and the “dry lab” upstairs. In addition,
zooarchaeological and archaeobotanical comparative collections are being
developed for use by RRC researchers, requiring additional processing of
skeletal, shell, seed, and wood specimens. Some tasks will be as
simple as rough-sorting artifacts or labeling bones, but other techniques
will require more in-depth training, which will be provided to volunteers
who are interested and willing to make long-term commitments to volunteer
Special Events - The Randell Research
Center sponsors or participates in a number of special events throughout
the year, including public lectures, public festivals and fairs, and other
such events. Volunteer assistance is needed both in the preliminary
planning and preparation of such events, as well as in public contact
during the events themselves. Tasks range from staffing display
tables and selling merchandise to preparing and serving food or handing
out nametags. These events will be sporadic, and not part of the
regular weekly and monthly volunteer activities at the RRC.
Download Volunteer Information Form