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Sawmill Slough in Spring

July 2016


Student Spotlight: Madison Masters

Masters, MadisonWhere are you from? I am from Lakeland, Fla.

 

Why did you come to UNF? UNF is eco-friendly, has smaller class sizes and no football.

 

Do you have a favorite spot on campus? If so, where is it and what do you like about it? The area of trees next to the high ropes course by Lake Oneida is my favorite spot. It's the perfect spot for my hammock.

 

What is your major? Why did you choose that major? I'm an Anthropology major. I am interested in history, and I wanted a major that could lead me down various career paths.

 

What are your plans after graduation? I plan to continue my education at UNF in a master's program.


How did you get involved with the Environmental Center? James Taylor, coordinator of the Environmental Center, came to my Introduction to Geographic Information Systems (GIS) class and spoke about the different projects going on at the Center. That is how I became involved with the Environmental Leadership Program and my current project.

 

What is your job title and what do you do at the Environmental Center? I am an Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) project leader. My project, Tree RX: Prescribing Urban Trees for a Healthy Community Environment, is a collaboration with two other project leaders. It aims to identify community health concerns and document opportunities to plant more trees in the Springfield/Eastside areas of Jacksonville.

 

What is your favorite Environmental Center activity? For sure the camping trips!

 

What is your favorite outdoor activity? I enjoy camping and lounging in my hammock.

 

What makes you passionate about the environment? I'm passionate about the environment because, no matter where you are, there is always something aesthetically pleasing to look at. Humans have been destroying the environment, and I want to do my part to save it. 


Learn more about other student project leaders

Environmental Leadership Program Update

During June, the Environmental Center was able to send one of our ELP students, Kevin O'Halloran, to the 24th Annual Congress of New Urbanism conference in downtown Detroit. The Congress of New Urbanism is an organization focused on building better citites and thus creating a more equitable and sustainable world for all. The conference ran from June 8-12 and encompassed many aspects of city planning, sustainability, tactical urbanism, community building, urban agriculture and much more. It brought together over 1,500 individuals from North America and around the world for four days of education, collaboration, discussion and debate on the policies, designs and emerging approaches that create great places.

 

Detroit is specifically a great place to learn some of these most innovative ideas. The city and its residents have endured the trauma of transformation from an industrial economy to the information age. They have confronted social, political and economic challenges familiar to many other urban areas, only at a scale and complexity beyond what most could imagine. Now, Detroiters are emerging from that experience as pioneers for innovation at every level from neighborhood to region. What better place for planners, designers and policymakers to gather, to learn, to share, to celebrate what this work-in-progress is producing?

 

Kevin hopes to take the lessons learned in Detroit and apply them to his goals of creating urban innovation here in Jacksonville's revitalizing urban core. "It is about being entrepreneurial and nimble in how we approach redevelopment projects downtown. Jacksonville simply doesn't have the capital to tackle huge multimillion dollar developments right now. However, by building strong grassroots efforts around smaller tactical projects, we can begin to make the area much more economically attractive for the larger efforts needed to create a vibrant downtown. Once people are living in the core, we can start to reduce the per capita environmental impacts of our region and make Jacksonville a more sustainable city."

 

CNU 24 Conference


Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey

Volunteers are needed to assist with a tree survey in the historic Springfield/Eastside area of downtown Jacksonville. This volunteer event is part of Tree RX: Prescribing Urban Trees for Community Health, an ongoing student-led project partnering with Groundwork Jacksonville. Tree RX focuses on opportunities to plant trees to improve community health. The outcome of this project is to create an opportunity map that offers suggested areas for planting trees in the Springfield community.

 

The volunteer fieldwork will consist of collecting data, taking photos and identifying opportunities to plant trees throughout the Springfield/Eastside neighborhoods. Volunteers will work in small groups and conduct walking surveys throughout the area. The volunteer shifts will be approximately three hours, and volunteers will be expected to walk the majority of the time. Please bring water and sun protection.

 

The first volunteer event will be Saturday, July 9, from 8-11 a.m. Volunteers will meet at 1601 Main St. N 32206. 

 

Tree RX Tree Survey  


Student Coalition Meeting and Camping Trip

The Environmental Center Student Coalition is the Environmental Center's student organization. This organization enables students to volunteer, participate and plan environmental-based events. Participation in the student organization provides like-minded students with the opportunity to contribute to campus sustainability. Students will gain leadership experience by participating in events guided by the Student Coalition.

 

The Student Coalition is holding a general meeting Tuesday, June 28 at 5 p.m. in the Student Union, Room 3606. During the meeting we will be discussing our summer camping trip to Devil's Den. The club has other events planned for the fall semester such as trips, volunteer opportunities and educational opportunities. Come to the meeting to learn more! 

The Student Coalition will be going on a weekend camping trip July 15-17 to Devil's Den. The club will be camping overnight at Manatee Springs and will also visit Rainbow Springs where they will tube down the river. There is a $15 registration fee to participate, which covers camping and dinner on Saturday night. Attendees will need to bring an additional $30 to snorkel at Devil's Den and tube at Rainbow Springs. Space is limited, so register as soon as possible by following the link below. 

 

Camping Registration

 

Devil's Den Camping Trip 


Visit the Student Coalition Facebook page for more information.

Pre[serve] Juried Art Exhibition

Anniversary of PreserveThe Department of Art and Design, UNF Gallery of Art and the Environmental Center are pleased to announce Pre[serve], a juried art exhibition that celebrates the 10th anniversary of the Sawmill Slough Preserve. There is an open call for submissions with a special interest in work that bears witness to the Preserve's natural beauty and captures the magic of this monumental environment. This exhibition will showcase works that share personal experiences, inspire others to connect with this environment and evoke awareness of the Preserve's perpetuity. 

 

The Sawmill Slough Preserve is a 382-acre protected area located on the UNF campus. The Preserve's natural beauty and rich biodiversity allures both biologists and artists alike. In May 2006, President John A. Delaney designated the pristine area of campus as a nature preserve, protecting it for future generations of Ospreys to enjoy!

 

All works must be submitted by Monday, Sept. 16 by e-mail to Jim Draper, coordinator of the UNF art galleries. The accepted works will be displayed in the UNF Gallery of Art from Oct. 18 through Nov. 18. The winning pieces will be purchased from the artists and donated to the UNF art collection for circulation on campus. For questions, please contact Jim Draper by e-mail, phone (904) 620-2534 or visit the UNF Gallery of Art in Building 2, Founders Hall


Learn more about the Pre[serve] Juried Art Exhibition.

Community Corner

Friday Mornings in JaxParks

Sponsors: Timucuan Parks Foundation and City of Jackonville

Cost: Free

 

This summer, the City of Jacksonville and the Timucuan Parks Foundation are hosting community service projects throughout the parks of Jacksonville, and they need volunteers. Spend time in our beautiful and expansive urban park system and help make a difference. For all projects, volunteers must wear closed-toe shoes and it is recommended that they bring work gloves, sunscreen, bug spray, a hat, sunglasses and water.

Friday, July 8, from 9 a.m. to noon at Reddie Point Preserve 

Friday, July 22, from 9 a.m. to noon at Kathryn Abbey Hanna Park  

To sign up for any of these events, go to www.handsonjacksonville.org

 

McCoys Creek Cleanup: Summertime Special!

Sponsors: Rising Tides of St. Johns Riverkeeper

When: Thursday, July 14, from 5:30-7 p.m.

Where: Bold City Brewery

Cost: Free

 

The summer heat can be hard for morning cleanups on the creek, so this month join Rising Tides for an evening cleanup and happy hour celebration instead. The group will meet at Bold City Brewery to gather supplies, then walk towards McCoys Creek removing trash along the streets. Afterward, they'll gather for drinks and food. Visit the website for more information.

 

Florida Springs Field School

Sponsors: Howard T. Odum Florida Springs Institute 

When: August 1-4

Cost: $150

 

The Florida Springs Field School is an in-depth course on Florida's springs. The course covers water quality; the biological and ecological variability of Florida; human impact and management of the springs; and will consist of daily lectures at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center and field trips to Ginnie Springs, Poe Springs and Ichetucknee Springs. Register now on the website.


More upcoming events
IN THIS ISSUE
Student Spotlight: Madison Masters
Environmental Leadership Program Update
Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey
Student Coalition Meeting and Camping Trip
Pre[serve] Juried Art Exhibition
Community Corner

Tips and Trips

Monthly article detailing tips for environmentally conscious lifestyles and trips to the parks and preserves of Northeast Florida.

 

Coral reefs are colorful and intriguing marine ecosystems that teem with life. The diversity of coral reefs makes them comparable to our most brilliant rainforests. Unfortunately, the health of these tropical ocean colonies is declining. Coral reefs have been deteriorating for a number of reasons. Communities dependent on the tourist economies fueled by reefs, ocean conservationists and citizens looking to limit their environmental harm have become increasingly concerned with sunscreen chemicals' damaging effects on coral reefs.

 

So, what's a water lover to do? Advocating to stop the wearing of sunscreen isn't wise as it protects humans against skin cancer. Rather, be an informed sunscreen consumer. Read ingredients! Here are four chemicals that have been found to damage or kill coral even in low concentrations: (1) Oxybenzone, (2) Butylparaben, (3) 4-methylbenzylindene campor, and (4) Octinoxate. Biodegradable sunscreen is likely better for both you and the oceans. Brands like Bager and Reef Safe are some of the most popular. Though sunscreen chemicals are a small part of a long list of threats to coral reefs that include pollution, overfishing and climate change, it is a personal change we can take as we enjoy the beauty of our oceans. 

 

The many articles that began to popularize this issue such as "How We are all Contributing to the Destruction of Coral Reefs: Sunscreen" from the Washington Post or "Sunscreen Killing Off Coral" from National Geographic and all other reports of how sunscreens harm coral are based on just two peer reviewed scientific studies. Needless to say this is a new frontier for scientific research. Claims from sunscreen companies that say their products are "coral reef tested" may not be truthful. "There are no globally accepted test methods for testing sunscreen products on corals or coral larvae" (Reef Safe).  With that being said, many companies have done their own research to support their claims including North Florida based company Reef Safe of Tropical Seas whose research is all available on their website.

 

Coral Reefs

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