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Meet Your Tour Guide

Charles Zidar is the Director and Board President of the Museum or Archaeology, Paleontology and Science, Inc. (MAPS). He is also an Adjunct Instructor in the Humanities at Pasco Hernando State College. He worked for the Living History Museum at the Florida State Fairgrounds. He worked as the Assistant Cultural Affairs Manager for the City of Gainesville, Florida. He also worked for the Missouri Botanical Garden in St. Louis, Missouri and for North Carolina State Parks in Raleigh, North Carolina. He has degrees in Landscape Architecture from the Ohio State University, Columbus, Ohio (1991) and in Liberal Studies from the University of Oklahoma, Norman, Oklahoma (2006) where he studied plant use of the ancient Maya with a focus on plants in the Bombacaceae (Malvaceae) family. His thesis: Sacred Giants: Ethnobotany of the Bombacaceae by the Southern Lowland Maya was the impetus behind the creation of the botanical center of research on the Foundation for the Advancement of Mesoamerican Studies, Inc. (FAMSI) website. This work was featured on the cover of Economic Botany in the article Sacred Giants: Depiction of the Malvaceae Subfamily Bombacoideae on Maya Ceramics in Mexico, Guatemala, and Belize (Volume 63, Number 2, 3 April 2009), a work co-authored by Wayne Elisens at the University of Oklahoma. This work was featured on headline news for the BBC World News (Earth News, 5 June 2009). He is currently completing papers for the Journal of Ethnobiology with Richard Stepp at the University of Florida. He originally began his archaeological work on Greek and Roman sites in Greece and Cyprus. For the last decade he has worked in natural history museums completing work in Central and South America. He is completing manuscripts on water lilies, squash vessels, plants depicted on ear spools and plants and animals depicted on ancient Maya headdresses. He is completing his PhD at Leiden University (in the Netherlands). While working for museums in Florida and North Carolina, he has excavated dinosaurs from the Cretaceous through the Triassic, discovering new species unknown to science. He has traveled to over 45 countries consulting on museum projects and completing science-based research. He works with LanternFest Creative (LFC), creating animatronic dinosaur shows (and other events) around the world, recently completing large projects in the US, Dubai, and Singapore. He lives with his family in Tarpon Springs, Florida.


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