An extraordinary event took place on St. Catherines Island in the spring of 2014. A convocation brought together Spanish Borderlands scholars from across the United States, Franciscan historians, archaeologists, and Indians for an enlightening meeting. Twenty-seven celebrated Spanish Borderlands scholars joined forces on St. Catherines Island, including nine Franciscan Friars (board members of the Academy of American Franciscan History), 14 academic Borderlands archaeologists/historians representing universities and museums from across the country, and a film crew from the Hispanic Research Center at Arizona State University.
The purpose of this convocation was spiritual and intellectual, providing a chance to visit each other’s worlds and to personalize Borderlands experiences from varied points of view. TheFranciscans came to St. Catherines Island to connect spiritually with one of the oldest churches in North America, a place where two of their Franciscan brothers were martyred in 1597. The academics were there to learn more about a successful mission experience that lasted on St. Catherines Island for at least a century. Native American scholars brought with them a variety of perspectives that sometimes diverged markedly from Franciscan
Date: March 9 – 11, 2014
Archaeological excavations typically recover multiple biological proxies reflecting both the seasonal behavior of people and the biological resources they exploit. Questions of seasonality are embedded within most archaeological studies of settlement patterns, resource availability, impact on resources, and social complexity. In the Fifth Caldwell Conference, researchers from seven states tackled the issue of microchronology, with particular reference to the archaeology of St. Catherines Island.
Date: May 14 – 16, 2010
The field of geoarchaeology has typically been defined as either geology pursued within an archaeological framework or (sometimes the reverse) as archaeology framed with the help of geological methodology. Either way, the formalized objectives of geoarchaeology define a broad range of pursuits, from placing archaeological sites into relative and absolute temporal context through the application of stratigraphic principles and absolute dating techniques, to understanding the natural processes of site formation, to reconstructing the landscapes that existed around a site or group of sites at the time of occupation.
March 27-29, 2009.
Co-sponsored by the American Museum of Natural History and the St. Catherines Island Foundation and held on St. Catherines Island (Georgia), May 9-11, 2008, the Third Caldwell Conference invited the participants to engage the appropriate archaeological data from the American Southeast, specifically addressing the nature of change during the late Archaic-early Woodland transition.
Date: May 9-11, 2008
Archaeologists have long known that important changes took place in aboriginal ceramic assemblages of the northern Florida, Georgia, and South Carolina coast after the arrival of Europeans. New pottery designs emerged and aboriginal demographics became fluid. Catastrophic population loss occurred in some places, new groups formed in others, and movements of people occurred nearly everywhere. Although culturally and linguistically diverse, the native inhabitants of this region shared the unwelcome encounter with Spanish people and colonial institutions, beginning in the early decades of the 16th century and continuing into the 18th century.
Date: March 30-April 1, 2007.
Gale A. Bishop, Retired, Georgia Southern University, B. Rollins, University of Pittsburgh, Fred Rich, Georgia Southern University, R. Kelly Vance, Georgia Southern University.
The Island has had a complex accretional and erosional history, much of which has been deduced from stratigraphy and landform analyses. Lying at the head of the Georgia Bight, with no landward influx of fluvial sediment, St. Catherines preserves a record of condensed sedimentation and is hence, a sentinel island for the Southeastern USA. It is intimately associated with the other Golden Isles, barrier islands fringing the Georgia Coast. St. Catherines has been used as a model for heavy mineral exploration and is a prominent landmark in southeastern Georgia and northeastern Florida. A long history of geologic study of the Island and its origin has culminated in the current status of our knowledge. The Island history has been studied for decades and has been the subject of numerous geological, palynological, sedimentological, and stratigraphic investigations. Human history is intimately intertwined with the natural history of the Island; this was the subject of informal discussions.
Date: March 26-28, 2007.
On January 15-18, 2005, Sea Turtle Conservancy and the St Catherines Island Foundation brought together a group of 18 leading experts on leatherback research and conservation from ten countries to discuss Atlantic leatherback turtles, Dermochelys coriacea. The Retreat was held at the incomparable location of St Catherines Island in Georgia, USA.
Date: January 15-18, 2005
In 1986 Frank Larkin of the SCI Foundation and Dr. William Conway of the NYZS (today’s Wildlife Conservation Society) invited representatives from American and European research and conservations institutions (who were active in Lemur conservation at that time) to visit SCI for a Lemur Workshop. At the conclusion of the workshop a list of questions (rather than recommendations) were sent to the Minister of Natural Resources in Madagascar. At that time Madagascar was pro-Soviet and western scientists were not allowed to visit except for special cases.
The Natural Resources Minister replied with a request to be invited to SCI the following year for another workshop. He and three other ministers of the Prime Minister’s cabinet attended from Madagascar. Two Malagasy PhDs also attended. Both had received their degrees from Duke University during an earlier and more cooperative period. The result of the second workshop was the signing of the 1987 SCI Accord which allowed for Western scientists to again visit Madagascar, made provision for Lemur conservation efforts throughout the country and led to the development of projects dealing with bird, and reptile survival.