John M. Goggin was the first chair of the separate Anthropology Department (UF, like some smaller universities, initially combined Sociology and Anthropology) and Florida’s first Anthropology professor. Although he conducted archaeological fieldwork, he worked as an ethnologist and historian, and thus exemplified the interdisciplinary approach to anthropology that UF’s anthropology department champions.
Goggin founded the Florida Anthropological Society. He served as its journal’s editor from 1949 to 1951.
Goggin focused on the interaction between colonists and natives in historical archaeology, with a geographic emphasis on Florida and the Caribbean. He engineered the controlled sampling technique that avoided damaging archaeological sites.