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Archaeologist hopes to prompt discussion on solutions to problem of rising sea levels

SARASOTA — Uzi Baram decided it was time to start speaking out on the impact of rising sea levels after Hurricane Irma hit Florida last September.

“After Hurricane Irma, I have teenagers, they’re out of school for a week and a half, New College closed for a week and a half, damage was pretty severe, considering it was really far away from us,” said Baram, a professor of anthropology and director of the New College Public Archaeology Lab.

People have been dealing with and adapting to changing sea levels for millennia, Baram said Wednesday evening, shortly after his talk “Archaeology and Rising Sea Levels: Global Perspectives and Local Concerns,” to a crowd of almost 50 people at the May meeting of the Time Sifters Archaeology Society in the Geldbart Auditorium at Selby Library.

“This is the first draft of what I can say for this sort of public audience about these issues,” said Baram, who acknowledged that the presentation was essentially a literature review of available research.

Baram, a lifetime member of Time Sifters, plans to give a more refined version of his talk during the third annual Tidally United Summit, set for Aug. 9-11 at venues including the Mildred Sainer Pavilion at New College on Aug. 9, Payne Park Auditorium Aug. 10 and Historic Spanish Point Aug. 11.