About the Environmental Center
To develop and support interdisciplinary, community-based programs that create the next generation of environmental leaders and support faculty research and scholarship. The center serves students and faculty from all six UNF colleges, and has a strategic focus on parks and preserves; rivers, coasts and springs; and sustainability.
Community Focused and Supported
The Environmental Center is focused on working with community partners to address community needs, whether through research or service-learning.
The Environmental Center relies of the financial support of generous donors to achieve our mission. Support the Environmental Center with a gift today!
Environmental Leadership Program
It started with one question: “Where is our next generation of environmental leaders?” The answer: Create an environmental leadership program to train that next generation. Officially launched in 2016, the Environmental Leadership Program partners our student project leaders with community organizations, UNF faculty, and other mentors to design and implement long-term, impactful projects focused on local environmental challenges. It also provides leadership training so students develop “transferable skills” to prepare them to enter the work force upon graduation.
The Environmental Center works with faculty to enhance the academic experience for both undergraduate and graduate students. The Environmental Center provides support to faculty who want to incorporate community-based learning and service projects into their curriculum. Environmental Center staff also work with faculty to develop distinctive, long-term academic initiatives that provide opportunities for the most academically talented students to gain real-world experience, while developing skills and exercising critical thinking. Students can also complete internships and independent study through the Environmental Center.
Expanding environmental research efforts in Northeast Florida has long been a strategic priority of the Environmental Center. Since 2006, the Environmental Center has provided Seed Grants to faculty to stimulate the creation of interdisciplinary research related to the environment. The Seed Grants are competitively awarded to the most meritorious proposals, however, there is a priority on engaging diverse teams of faculty and students in the research process, as well as funding projects that have a strong chance of receiving additional external funding.
The Environmental Center was founded by Dr. Ray Bowman in 2004, with support from a range of faculty and President John A. Delaney. The original vision for the Environmental Center was to "enhance the quality and distinctiveness of UNF education by stimulating multidisciplinary teaching and research related to the environment." In the beginning, the Environmental Center did not have an office nor paid staff. However, through the tireless effort of Dr. Bowman and others, the Environmental Center has been able to continually grow.