Matt Groth, junior
Where are you from? I am originally from Ft. Lauderdale, but I have lived in Jacksonville for the past two years.
Why did you come to UNF, and what is your favorite part of campus? I wanted to come to a smaller school and really loved how the school is set right in the middle of a preserve.
What is your major? Biology
What is your job title? Assistant ecologist
What do you do at the Environmental Center? I assist the ecologist developing the Sawmill Slough Preserve Digital Archive. Also, I helped start a native plant project in the greenhouse to try and get plants native to Jacksonville into the trade.
How did you get involved with the Environmental Center? I met the ecologist, Justin Lemmons, and what he did really interested me. I started volunteering with him, and we would do species identification, fish trapping and water quality tests.
What is your favorite Environmental Center activity? I really like when we find a new species and try to identify it.
What is your favorite outdoor activity? I love going to the beach.
What is your favorite type of animal and why? I have always been a dog person. A dog can always put a smile on your face!
If you could go anywhere and do anything tomorrow, what would you do? I would take a trip around the world and explore different cultures.
Are you involved with any hobbies, clubs and volunteer activities? In addition to working at the Environmental Center, I also work in the greenhouse in the Biological Sciences Building.
What are your plans after graduation? My plan is to never stop learning!
Learn more about Environmental Center student employees
Environmental Center Photo Contest
Our last photo contest of the year wrapped up in April, and we had some really great submissions! The theme for the contest was "Spring is Blooming!," and we solicited photos of blooming plants and trees found in the Sawmill Slough Preserve. The winning photo was submitted by biology senior Kacie Smith.
We started the photo contests this year to help highlight our beautiful and biologically diverse campus. Students, faculty, staff and alumni submitted amazing photos for each of the contests, which had different themes. Feel free to check out all the photos submitted this year on our Facebook page. Be sure to like us while you are there!
Fall 2014 (inaugural photo contest): Photos of plants, animals and landscapes that highlight our beautiful campus
February 2015: How do you enjoy the Sawmill Slough Preserve?
April 2015: Spring is blooming!
Visit our website for more information about the photo contests.
'Silenced Springs' Book Release with Dr. Robert L. Knight
Sponsors: Florida Springs Institute and Environmental Center
When: Friday, June 26, from 6-8 p.m.
Where: Adam W. Herbert University Center
Cost: Free and open to the public
Join the Environmental Center as we welcome Dr. Robert L. Knight, executive director of the Florida Springs Institute. Dr. Knight has more than 35 years of experience as an aquatic and wetland ecologist in Florida. Through his work with the Florida Springs Institute, he has developed restoration plans for Wakulla Springs, Ichetucknee Springs, the Santa Fe River springs, Silver Springs and Rainbow Springs. At the book release event, Dr. Knight will speak about the current condition of Florida's springs, opportunities for restoration and his newest book "Silenced Springs: Moving from Tragedy to Hope." Guests will have an opportunity to meet Dr. Knight and purchase a copy of "Silenced Springs." You can purchase a copy of the book prior to the event directly from the Florida Springs Institute website.
Book release event details.
McCoys Creek Cleanup
Sponsor: St. Johns Riverkeeper
When: Wednesday, June 17, from 5:30-7 p.m.
Where: Intuition Ale Works
The summer heat can be hard for morning cleanups on the creek, so join the St. Johns Riverkeeper for a summertime special evening cleanup. Volunteers will meet at Intuition Ale Works to gather supplies then walk toward McCoys Creek, removing trash along the streets. Afterwards, volunteers will enjoy the taproom at Intuition. No registration is required. Please wear closed-toe shoes. McCoys Creek cleanup event information.
Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation Summer Projects
Sponsor: Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation
The Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation has volunteer projects set during the summer at various parks throughout Jacksonville. They are looking for volunteers to assist with trail maintenance, butterfly garden maintenance and picking up litter. This is a great opportunity to explore some of Jacksonville's best parks and make a difference in the community. Details for all Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation volunteer events are below:
Friday, June 26, from 9 a.m. to noon at Reddie Point Preserve
Friday, July 10, from 9 a.m. to noon at Nathan Krestul Park
Friday, July 24, from 9 a.m. to noon at Otis Road Trailhead of Jacksonville-Baldwin Rail Trail
Friday, Aug. 7, from 9 a.m. to noon at Hanna Park
Find more volunteer opportunities.
Sponsor: St. Johns Riverkeeper Rising Tides
When: Friday, July 31, at 7 p.m.
Where: Dutton Island Preserve
Cost: Free to kayak, $5 to camp
Join Rising Tides members for this fun evening on the water followed by optional camping. Kayaking under the bright light of the full moon as it reflects on the water is a unique and exciting experience. Rising Tides is a group for community-minded young professionals who want to help support the St. Johns River and St. Johns Riverkeeper through membership and participation in a range of social activities. Participants are responsible to bring their own kayak, food and camping essentials. If you do not have a kayak, please contact Alicia Smith about available kayaks. Full moon kayak and camp event information.
Learn more about upcoming events.