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Florida Public Archaeology Network associate director presented 2015 Senator Bob Williams Award

Dr. Della Scott-Ireton, Associate Director of the Florida Public Archaeology Network, received the 2015 Senator Bob Williams Award on March 11, 2015 at the annual Florida Heritage Awards ceremony in Tallahassee for her contribution to exceptional historic preservation in Florida. Dr. Scott-Ireton has worked in Florida for the past 20 years, encouraging communities to value and preserve archaeological sites on land underwater and developing educational programs for divers.

“President Judith Bense, who was a professor during my time at UWF, always stressed the importance of involving the public in everything we explore as archaeologists,” said Dr. Scott-Ireton. “I’ve been able to see a lot of growth in terms of people valuing shipwrecks and their role in our history. People are exploring them just as they would a museum on land, with a focus on preservation, and I’m so glad I’ve been able to contribute to that mindset.”

The 2015 Senator Bob Williams Award reflects the value of Dr. Scott-Ireton to both the local community and the archaeological community. She has worked with the Pensacola Shipwreck Survey, UWF Historic Trust, Florida Bureau of Archaeological Research and the government of the Cayman Islands. Currently, she is a board member of the Society for Historical Archaeology, a member of the Register of Professional Archaeologists and is appointed to the Marine Protected Areas Federal Advisory Committee. Her research has created a lasting legacy that will be felt for generations to come.

“I hope that others who come after me will see the value of the programs that the FPAN staff has instituted and that our work will be recognized as important,” she said. “We work closely with state and local governments and civic organizations to showcase how the projects we do are all inter-related and involve the public.”

Dr. Scott-Ireton’s passion for public interpretation of maritime cultural heritage, both on land and underwater, and training and engaging avocationals in archaeological methods and practices is showcased in this award. To increase respect for the underwater cultural heritage, she has developed the Heritage Awareness Diving Seminar and the Submerged Sites Education and Archaeological Stewardship programs.

Dr. Scott-Ireton graduated from UWF with a bachelor’s degree in anthropology and a master’s degree in historical archaeology. She also holds a master’s in international relations from Troy University and a doctorate degree in anthropology from Florida State University. She is a certified scuba instructor with the National Association of Underwater Instructors and a registered professional archaeologist.

For more information about FPAN visit, http://www.flpublicarchaeology.org.