The Florida coast has been assaulted by humans and nature in ways we are just beginning to understand. UNF is uniquely positioned to take a lead role in determining the impacts of many current risks to coastal systems, such as hurricanes, pesticide runoff, over fishing and invasive species. These impacts affect the aesthetics of the coast, recreation, development, and many commercial enterprizes in both local and national communities. Recent algal blooms in the St. Johns River brought this to the attention of the Jacksonville community, when recreational and commercial use of the river, and in some cases simply proximity, led to illness among some Jacksonville residents. Why did these blooms occur? Why now? What can we do to prevent or lessen their
impact in the future?
The recent high profile hurricane seasons have also brought attention to coastal issues. We currently have little idea as to what the short- and long-term impacts of past and inevitable future hurricanes have on local and regional plants and animals. Other recent high-profile news items include the discussion of drilling for oil closer to Florida’s Gulf Coast and wetlands development, both locally and nationally. These are the very issues that UNF Biology faculty members think about every day.
With the focus afforded by Flagship status, our faculty’s day to day research and teaching efforts can have a significant positive impact on the future of the First Coast. These are the types of important questions that a Flagship Program in Coastal Biology at UNF can begin to address. With the day-to-day importance of coastal issues on the First Coast, this Flagship program will generate consistent positive local publicity for UNF and the broader scientific community. There is a great deal of energy and optimism among the faculty and students for continued development of a truly outstanding, nationally recognized Coastal Biology program at UNF.
To learn more about the Coastal Biology Flagship Program please contact Michelle Davis at firstname.lastname@example.org or (904) 620-2830.
Study Abroad Program for Biology Students in Florida - Summer 2013
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