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Sawmill Slough in Spring

May 2016

Student Spotlight: Shoshanna Alamina

Project Leader Shoshanna AlaminaWhere are you from? I am from Corozal Town, Belize in Central America.


Why did you come to UNF? I came to UNF because I wanted to see and experience a new educational environment and thought that UNF would be a great place to get started as a I further my education.


What is your major and why did you chose that major? I am majoring in anthropology with a minor in biology. I chose this major as I was always drawn to archaeology, which is one of the four fields of anthropology and have always had a fascination with the human past and complexities seen across cultures.


Do you have a favorite spot on campus? Yes, my favorite spot on campus would be Lake Oneida.


What are your plans after graduation? I am looking forward to start working in cultural resource management and getting accepted into a master's program in historic preservation or applied archaeology.


What is your dream job? I want to work as an archaeologist either in my home country of Belize or in the U.S.


What do you do at the Environmental Center? I am a project leader with the Environmental Leadership Program assisting Dr. Radha Pyati with outreach efforts for the Lower St. Johns River Report.


What is your favorite Environmental Center activity? Swoopin' Up the Butts has to be my favorite EC activity.


What is your favorite outdoor activities and hobbies? I really enjoy kayaking, and my hobbies are playing video games and billiards.


Who is your hero? Ms. Audrey Matura-Shepherd, a Belizean whose work with Oceana Belize succeeded in the effort to banish trawling in Belizean waters and brought forward the fight to ban offshore drilling in Belize.


What is the environmental issue you are most interested in? An environmental issue I am most interested in is offshore drilling.


What makes you passionate about the environment? I believe that being passionate about the environment comes from my place of birth, which is very rich in natural heritage and so it has come automatically to me to value the natural world. We survive off the gifts of the natural world, and, since we have been granted this planet to live on, we are its keepers because without the natural world there is no us.

Learn more about other student project leaders

Environmental Center Spring Retreat

The Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) celebrated its pilot year Saturday, April 9, at its first annual Spring Retreat. Thirteen student project leaders gave oral presentations to an audience of approximately 40 guests, comprised of community partners, donors, supporters, friends and families. The student project leaders also created posters that detailed their projects so the guests could view them and have more in-depth discussions with the students. Their projects focused on three primary areas: parks and preserves, including the Sawmill Slough Preserve; the St. Johns River and our coastal areas; and urban and campus sustainability.


The following students graduating at the end of this Spring semester were also recognized and presented with a green cord to wear at graduation: Shoshanna Alamina, Kim Daly-Crews, Matt Groth, Renee Hutchins, Madison Masters, Kevin O'Halloran, Caitlin Kengle and Danielle Tipley.


The ELP is focused on identifying students who are passionate about the environment, who want to implement a community project that creates long-term solutions to environmental issues, and who want to develop their leadership skills. Through the ELP, the student project leaders gain "real-world, hands-on" experience through working with community partners and leaders, our UNF faculty and ELP Project Coordinator in creating and implementing their project. 

ELP Spring 2016 Retreat

To learn more about the ELP, please contact Maria Mark.

Public Service Through Environmental Policy Advocacy

Sponsors: Department of Political Science and Public Administration and Environmental Center  

When: Thursday, May 19, from 5-7 p.m.

Where: UNF Student Union ballroom, Room 3703


Neil Armingeon, Matanzas Riverkeeper

Neil Armingeon, the Matanzas Riverkeeper, will be speaking on campus Thursday, May 19 as part of a program on public service through environmental policy advocacy. The Matanzas Riverkeeper organization, a member of the Waterkeeper Alliance, fights "to protect and defend the remarkable Matanzas River Watershed."


Neil is a longtime environmental advocate and has a master's degree in coastal biology from Duke University. In Northeast Florida, Neil served as the St. Johns Riverkeeper from 2003 to 2012. This followed years as the Environmental Director of the Lake Pontchartrain Basin Foundation in Louisiana and as a hydrologist for the U.S. Geological Survey. A local legend, Neil Armingeon is an extremely knowledgeable environmental scientist, a passionate defender of America's waterways and a dynamic speaker.

For more information, contact Dr. George Candler, director of the UNF master's in public administration program.

Pre[serve] Juried Art Exhibition

preserve smallThe Department of Art and Design, UNF Gallery of Art and the Environmental Center are pleased to announce Pre[serve], a juried art exhibition that celebrated 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. There will be cash awards and purchase prizes for the winning pieces. 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

Kayak Amelia Guided Tour

Sponsors: St. Johns Riverkeeper 

When: Saturday, May 7, from 9 a.m. to noon

Where: Kayak Amelia

Cost: $65 adults; $55 kids under 12


If you have yet to experience a guided trip through this part of the St. Johns River estuary, then treat yourself to this rewarding adventure! Kayak Amelia is offering a guided tour of the St. Johns River estuary, proceeds of which will benefit the St. Johns Riverkeeper. Reservations are required. Make your reservations through Kayak Amelia's website.

For more information, visit the St. Johns Riverkeeper website.


Screening of the Future of Energy

Sponsors: U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) Northeast Florida Chapter, Museum of Science and History (MOSH) and Environmental Center 

When: Tuesday, May 17 at 6 p.m.

Where: Museum of Science and History

Cost: Free


Join the USGBC Northeast Florida Chapter for a screening of The Future of Energy as part of their Green Carpet Film Series. The film documents a broad look at the bottom-up and top-down initiatives related to various sources of energy and electricity. 


National Parks BioBlitz 

When: Friday, May 20, at 9 a.m. through Saturday, May 21, at 4:30 p.m.
Where: Fort Caroline National Memorial
Cost: Free


Celebrate the National Parks Service Centennial by using your science-savvy skills during the Centennial BioBlitz events hosted nationwide. Parks across the U.S. are teaming up with volunteer scientists, families, students, teachers and other community members to identify as many species of plants, animal, microbes, fungi, and other organisms within 24 hours. Help locate and identify the unique insects at Fort Caroline! Pre-registration is required. For more information, join the National Parks BioBlitz - Fort Caroline Facebook event page.

5th Annual North Florida Land Trust Fish Fry

Sponsors: North Florida Land Trust 
When: Saturday, June 4, from 12-6 p.m.
Cost: $10 kids under 12; $25 in advance; $30 at the door

Come out to beautiful Big Talbot Island to help support the North Florida Land Trust at their 5th annual fish fry. There will be food, local beers and live music. In addition, there will be a guided hike and kayak tour. Click here for more information and registration.

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