If you are having trouble viewing this message, click here to view in a browser.
header graphic
Sawmill Slough in Spring

June 2016

Faculty Spotlight: Brian Zoellner

Dr. Brian Zoellner, facultyDepartment: Foundations and Secondary Education


Title: Assistant professor. In this role, I teach secondary science methods and foundations courses, supervise student teaching interns and oversee the science education curriculum.


Where did you attend graduate school and what did you study? I attended the University of Wisconsin-Madison and earned a Ph.D. in curriculum and instruction with a focus on secondary science education and educational policy. 




When did you start working at UNF? I started working at UNF in 2010.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? I enjoy working with my colleagues, as they are always willing to collaborate on projects. This collaboration helps me see research and phenomena from many unique perspectives.  


How are you involved with the Environmental Center? I serve on the Environmental Center Executive Board.


What does your research focus on? My research has focused on teacher thinking, decision-making and reflection and STEM curriculum development and implementation.


Have you been a recipient of a Seed Grant? Yes. In our project we investigated how individuals' beliefs about environmental science topics (e.g., the use of genetically modified organisms in farming) and their scientific habits of mind may change given the type pf text they are presented (i.e., narrative text, expository and persuasive text). The grant allowed us to form a team with faculty across two colleges and work with a graduate student.


What is your favorite class to teach? I really enjoy teaching secondary science methods. It is one of those courses where students get a chance to pull together philosophical and theoretical strands of their preparation to apply them to their developing teaching practice.


Where is your favorite place to enjoy nature? The places that folks typically may not think of as "natural." These little gems may include an undeveloped lot in the middle of the city, the many urban rivers within the St. Johns River watershed and the trees outside my office.


What are your favorite outdoor activities? My favorite outdoor activities are hiking and camping. I like to find a place, slow down and enjoy it.


What would you like to do when you retire? I am not sure that I will ever completely retire. I love what I do.

Environmental Leadership Program Update

ELP group photoThe Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) is in full swing as we complete our pilot program and get ready to launch our full program this fall. The ELP is grateful for the private funding received to support the student project leaders and their community projects.


This year, we would like to acknowledge and thank the following foundations for their generous support:

  • The Cummer Family Foundation
  • The UNF Foundation Board Initiatives
  • Felburn Foundation

The ELP was created in response to a shared concern among our community partners that there are too few young people in the environmental leadership pipeline. The ELP focuses on recruiting primarily freshmen and sophomores, so they can be fully immersed in the program throughout their college tenure. By engaging project leaders early, it gives them time to create, develop and implement community projects that address environmental issues and support the missions of the ELP and the community partners. Also, the "real-world" experiences will develop strong professional relationships with the community and the project leaders.

For more information and to learn how to apply, please contact Maria Mark, program coordinator.

Volunteers Needed for Tree Survey

Tree Survey Volunteers GraphicVolunteers are needed to assist with a tree survey in the historic Springfield/Eastside area of downtown Jacksonville. This volunteer event is part of the 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 in the historic Springfield/Eastside area 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.


Volunteers will be needed on various dates from June through August to help collect data in the field. The 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.

If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Madison Masters, project leader.

EC Student Coalition Meeting and Summer Camping Trip

The Environmental Center Student Coalition is excited to announce its summer plans! For students interested in learning more about the club, there will be a general meeting Tuesday, June 28. The club will also be organizing a summer camping trip to Devil's Den in July. More details about the camping trip coming soon. 


General Meeting — Tuesday, June 28, at 5 p.m. in Student Union, Room 3606

Camping Trip  Friday, July 15, through July 17


The Environmental Center Student Coalition is a departmental club for students who have a passion for adventure, nature and conservation. The club provides students the opportunity to volunteer, participate and plan environmental based events and activities.

Click here to learn more about the Environmental Center Student Coalition.

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

5th Annual North Florida Land Trust Fish Fry

Sponsor: North Florida Land Trust 

When: Saturday, June 4, from 12-6 p.m.

Where: Big Talbot Island Biological Field Station

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 its 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.


McCoys Creek Cleanup: Summer Special!

Sponsors: Rising Tides of St. Johns Riverkeeper

When: Thursday, June 16, from 5:30-8 p.m.

Where: Mixon Studios

Cost: Free 


McCoys Creek and the Emerald Necklace has a new art studio lining its banks. Rising Tides of St. Johns Riverkeeper will lead a cleanup of the creek surrounding Stockton Street at McCoys Creek Boulevard. Afterward, everyone is invited for a cookout and drinks on the deck of this new space. More information is provided on the St. Johns Riverkeeper website.


Screening of Racing Extinction 

Sponsor: U.S Green  Building Council (USGBC) North Florida 

When: Tuesday, June 21, at 6 p.m.

Where: Corazon Cinema and Cafe

Cost: Free


Join the USGBC North Florida for a screening of Racing Extinction as part of their Green Carpet Film Series. The film investigates illegal species trade and other issues leading to rapid extinction worldwide. Refer to the Green Carpet Film Series 2016 Schedule for more upcoming screenings.


Camping Basics Workshop

Sponsor: REI

When: Tuesday, June 28, from 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: REI Jacksonville

Cost: Free


Have you wanted to try camping but do not know how to get started? We will cover the basics: how to be comfortable camping, gear and equipment and fun activities. We will also cover great local areas to give it a try! Click here for more details

More upcoming events
UNF Environmental Center | University of North Florida | Privacy | Unsubscribe