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Sawmill Slough in Spring

September 2016

Student Spotlight: Kaley Crawford

Project Leader: Kaley CrawfordWhere are you from? Originally from Pensacola. Now I live in Bluffton, South Carolina.


Why did you choose UNF? I was pretty familiar with the Jacksonville area, and I just fell in love with the campus. It is so pretty and not too big so finding my classes is easy!


Do you have a favorite spot on campus? If so, where is it and what do you like about it? Too many places to narrow it down to one! I love the rock wall in the Student Wellness Complex because it really helps me to destress. I also enjoy going to the fourth floor of the library because it is so quiet. It has some great air conditioning, which helps me forget I am in super humid Florida!


What is your major and why did you choose that major? I chose history for a few reasons. One, I knew I was terrible at math and there was no way I could do environmental science. I wanted to have a major that kept me interested and eager to learn more. Since choosing history as my major, I have had so much fun learning about our past and how it affects our current societies. I know not everyone thinks history can be fun, but my friends can tell you that I can talk about King Henry VIII all day long!


What are your plans after graduation? To start job hunting. 


What is your dream job? I am extremely passionate about working for the National Parks Service. I am doing everything I can to ensure that this dream becomes a reality.


How did you get involved with the Environmental Center? Last summer I volunteered at the City of Jacksonville's Environmental Protection Board Symposium. I knew I wanted to be involved with the Environmental Center and the symposium was the perfect place to start. 


What is your job title and what do you do at the Environmental Center? I am a Environmental Leadership Program project leader. My project is called "Beyond the Trail: A Walk Through History." It is a program that helps students interested in working in environmental related fields to network with community leaders while exploring Northeast Florida. Because I'm a history major, I combined aspects of local Florida history with the environmental aspects to truly make it my own project.


What is your favorite Environmental Center activity? Garbage on the Green!


What is your favorite outdoor activity? Running! I am running my second half marathon this year.


What hobbies, clubs and volunteer activities are you involved in? I am super creative and love to sew, crochet, draw, etc. Of course, I like to Netflix and be lazy on the weekends too! I love to volunteer at local national and state parks, go to museums, and I am very much into photography.


What is the environmental issue you are most interested in? Fracking. I want to research it more and learn what I can do to prevent it.


What makes you passionate about the environment? We only have ONE Earth, so we need to preserve it! I want to make sure that our future generations are able to enjoy the environment and outdoors as much as possible!

Learn more about our project leaders.

Faculty Social and Seed Grant Presentations

Sponsor: Environmental Center

When: Monday, Sept. 26, from 4:30-6 p.m.

Where: Building 2, UNF Gallery of Art, Room 1001


Seed Grants graphic

Join the Environmental Center for a lively social in the UNF Gallery of Art. The annual faculty social is designed to give faculty an opportunity to network and meet the Environmental Center staff and board members in the hopes of developing collaborative relationships. While the social is intended for faculty, it is open to all students, faculty and staff. Beer, wine and hors d'oeuvres will be served.


The event will feature brief presentations by the 2016 Seed Grant recipients. Additionally, details on the 2017 Seed Grant request for proposals will be released. Seed Grants are intended to support environmentally related research that subsequently results in the preparation and submission of a proposal to an external funding agency. The grants are competitively awarded to the most meritorious proposals, but there is an emphasis in projects that create effective collaborations between faculty members and students from diverse disciplines.

Visit the Environmental Center website for more information on Seed Grants.

Environmental Leadership Program - Welcome New Project Leaders

We are excited to introduce our newest Environmental Leadership Program (ELP) project leaders! They round out our projects from the Sawmill Slough Preserve to the St. Johns River. The ELP is open to all undergraduate students, with a focus on recruiting freshman and sophomores, who have a passion for the environment and want to make a difference in the community by creating and implementing a project that addresses an environmental issue. For more information, please contact the ELP Coordinator Maria Mark


Nikki Adams, junior, Ecology and Evolutionary Biology

Nikki applied for and received a nationally competitive grant through Outdoor Nation to become a Campus Outdoor Ambassador. Her project will focus on creating programs to get UNF students into the Sawmill Slough Preserve, attending environmentally focused community events and visiting National Parks. 


Haley Camp, senior, Public Health

Haley's passions are children and the St. Johns River, and her project focuses on connecting the two. For her project, Haley will be creating a number of activities for children who are at Nemours Children's Specialty Care. The activities will include river-themed arts and crafts and a wildlife viewing station. 


Kaley Crawford, sophomore, History

Kaley wants to work in the parks as a park ranger. Her project, "Beyond the Trail: A Walk Through History," combines these two passions. The program is a series of four events that take place in the parks in Northeast Florida with a select group of students and community partners. 


Courtney Hogan, sophomore, double major in Interdisciplinary Studies and Spanish

Courtney's passion revolves around environmental and social justice issues. She will be working on projects to improve campus sustainability. 


Kyle Kenney, sophomore, Coastal Biology

Kyle's project will focus on the Sawmill Slough Preserve, and he will be developing a "Preserve Ambassadors" program. The student preserve ambassadors will promote the Preserve to other UNF students to encourage their visitation and interest. They will also help organize educational and volunteer events in the Preserve. 


Anna Kolodziejski, sophomore, Civil Engineering

Anna is interested in environmental engineering and hopes to put that into action with her project focusing on living shorelines. She will be focused on making living shorelines a more viable option for homeowners rather than installing bulkheads and sea walls, which adversely affects the shorelines, leading to a significant increase in erosion and pollution. 

Learn more about the Environmental Leadership Program.

Last Call for Volunteers! Springfield/Eastside Tree Survey

Join us for the last volunteer event Saturday, Sept. 10!


Volunteers are needed to assist with a tree survey in the historic Springfield/Eastside area of downtown Jacksonville. This 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 in the historic Springfield/Eastside area to improve community health. The outcome of this project is to create an opportunity map that identifies areas for planting trees.


The fieldwork will consist of collecting data, taking photos and locating opportunities to plant trees throughout the area. The data will be collected using a mobile app developed by the Environmental Center. The app can be downloaded on all Apple and Android devices. Volunteers will work in small groups and conduct walking surveys throughout the Springfield/Eastside neighborhoods. The shifts will be approximately three hours, and volunteers will be expected to walk the majority of the time.

Tree Rx Volunteers

Click here to sign up as a volunteer.

Beyond the Trail - Applications Now Available

Beyond the Trail logo

What do a Civil War site, a slave plantation and an ancient Native American shell ring have in common? They are all right here, nestled in Northeast Florida, very near UNF! The Jacksonville area is filled with rich history dating back several thousand years, but many people do not realize how close they live to where significant cultural and historical events happened.


"Beyond the Trail: A Walk Through History" is composed of five unique outings to local city, state and national parks located in Northeast Florida. Each outing will be focused on a different period of history, from pre-European contact to the history of Jacksonville. These outings will be more than just a visit to the parks; they will be fun and informative experiences for students, who will also have an opportunity to network with local business and civic leaders, including the Timucuan Parks Foundation, the National Park Service, Florida State Parks and the City of Jacksonville.

The outings for this year's Beyond the Trail series will include:

  • Saturday, Oct. 1, at Fort Caroline National Monument
  • Saturday, Nov. 19, at Big Talbot Island State Park
  • Saturday, Jan. 14, at Camp Milton Historic Preserve
  • Saturday, Feb. 25, at Kingsley Plantation
  • Saturday, March 10, Wrap-up party in the Sawmill Slough Preserve

Beyond the Trail is open to all current UNF students, and the deadline for applications is Friday, Sept. 9. The cost is $20 for the entire series and includes a T-shirt and refreshments at each event. Students are expected to participate in all five events. Details and registration for the program are still being finalized, but if you are interested in participating, e-mail Project Leader Kaley Crawford or stop by the Environmental Center office, Building 1, J.J. Daniel Hall, Room 2200.

Visit the Beyond the Trail website for more information and the application.

Outdoor Nation Program and Suwannee Camping Trip

Nikki Adams, a junior studying ecology and evolutionary biology, applied for and received a grant from Outdoor Nation over the summer. Outdoor Nation is a nonprofit that focuses on getting millennials outside and enjoying public lands. As UNF's first Outdoor Ambassador, Adams will be planning a series of events, both on and off campus, to get UNF students outdoors. Students can follow Adams on her Instagram @pizza_handle to discover different ways to get outside and be updated on future events. 


Suwannee State Park

In addition to outings, Adams will also be leading a social media campaign that encourages students to get outside and share their experience. Students who use the hashtag #OspreysOutside will have a chance to be featured on various social media outlets, including the Environmental Center's Facebook and Instagram pages. Stay tuned for additional information on social media campaigns, including the chance to win prizes!


The first Outdoor Nation event will be a camping and paddling adventure on the Suwannee River, celebrating National Public Lands Day. The camping trip, which takes place Sept. 23-25, will feature two nights of camping at Stephen Foster Folk Culture Center State Park, a day of paddling, wilderness hikes and a visit to Big Shoals State Park. Campers will leave campus on Friday, Sept. 23 at 2 p.m. The cost of the trip is $15 and covers the cost of camping and paddling. Food will not be provided, so please bring your own meals. Space is limited, so sign up today! 


Suwannee Camping and Canoeing Registration

Check out the Student Coalition Facebook page for more information.

Pre[serve] Juried Art Exhibition
10th anniversary of the Preserve collageSponsors: Department of Art and Design, UNF Gallery of Art and Environmental Center

When:  Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 4:30-7 p.m.

Where: UNF Gallery of Art

Cost: Free


The 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.  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 exhibition opening reception will be Thursday, Oct. 18, and will be displayed until Friday, Nov. 18.


This is the last call for submissions! All works must be submitted by Monday, Sept. 16 by e-mail to Jim Draper, coordinator of UNF art galleries. 

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

Campus Sustainability Month

Campus Sustainability graphicOctober is Campus Sustainability Month at UNF! The purpose of Campus Sustainability Month is to celebrate our accomplishments and educate students, faculty and staff about the importance of sustainability, both on campus and in the community.

The theme for the 2016 Campus Sustainability Month is the Sawmill Slough Preserve. In 2006, President John A. Delaney signed the documents establishing a 382-acre protected area on the UNF campus. The Sawmill Slough Preserve has played a significant role in development of campus and the designation will help preserve its future. Join us as we celebrate UNF's most beautiful asset, the Sawmill Slough Preserve.

Campus Sustainability Month is made possible with support from the Sustainability Committee, Physical Facilities, Health Promotions, Ogier Gardens and Volunteer Services. Details are still being finalized, but here is a list of the planned events. There will be more events added, so be sure to check our website and Facebook page regularly.

Multiple Dates — Workshops offered by the Ogier Gardens

Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 2-7 p.m. — Preserve Adventure Day

Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9-11 a.m. — Yoga Cleanup

Tuesday, Oct. 18, from 4:30-7 p.m. — Pre[serve] Art Exhibition

Learn more about Campus Sustainability Month.

EC Student Coalition - Upcoming Events

The Environmental Center Student Coalition is the Environmental Center's student organization. The Student Coalition enables students to volunteer for, participate in and plan environmental based events. Participation provides like-minded students with the opportunity to contribute to campus sustainability. Students can gain leadership experience and network with community and campus leaders.


Upcoming Events: 

Swoopin' Up the Butts — Wednesday, Sept. 21, at 4 p.m.
Suwannee camping and canoeing — Sept. 23-24

General meeting — Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 8 p.m. Student Union, Room 3805

Yoga cleanup — Saturday, Oct. 8, from 9-11 a.m.

Student Coalition Providence Canyon Group Photo
Learn more about the Student Coalition.

Natural Wonders Continuing Education Course

Have you ever wondered what sorts of creatures live in the marsh down the street, or who is making all of those peculiar, singing sounds in nighttime trees and bushes? Are you curious about how the local landscapes were formed and why certain trees and plants grow here, but not there? If you want an introduction to the diverse habitats and landscapes of Northeast Florida, then this is the course for you! 


Your instructor will guide you on a concise survey of the plants and animals of the Florida flatwoods, tidal marshes, cypress forests and coastal marshes that you see every day. You will spend three sessions in an interactive, enjoyable classroom format. There will be two Saturday field trips. The first, on May 14, will be held at the UNF Sawmill Slough Preserve. The second outing, on May 21, is a half-day trip to Guana Tolomato Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve.


The instructor for the course is Jolie Schlieper, an environmental educator and lead park ranger for the City of Jacksonville. Schlieper has years of experience leading educational programs amongst Jacksonville's local flora and fauna, and is also Northeast Florida Sierra Club's Conservation Chair. . 


The cost of the five-session course, which includes two field trips, is $109. The deadline for registration is Sept. 14. There is a required textbook, "Sandhills, Swamps & Sea Islands: Environmental Guidebook to Northeast Florida," which was published by the Environmental Center and costs $24.99.

Click here for more information and registration.

Jacksonville Environmental Symposium "Earth in Crisis- Practical Environmental Solutions

SponsorsCity of Jacksonville Environmental Protection Board (EPB) and Environmental Center

When: Friday, Sept. 9, from 7:30 a.m. to 4:30 p.m.

Where: Adam W. Herbert University Center

Cost: $25-50 individuals; $175 lunch table (8 people); $250 exhibitor 


Registration for the 2016 Jacksonville Environmental Symposium is now open!


The Jacksonville Environmental Symposium presents a unique opportunity for members of the community to interact with the regulatory agencies responsible for developing and implementing environmental policy. The symposium provides valuable opportunities for communication and helps to further the goal of protecting our limited natural resources and improving the quality of life in Northeast Florida. The event features opening, lunch and closing general sessions, as well as a number of breakout sessions on topics of interest. 


The symposium features the release of the annual State of the River Report for the Lower St. Johns River Basin, which is prepared by faculty from UNF, Jacksonville University and Valdosta State University. 

For more information and event registration, visit the Environmental Protection Board website.

Maritime Management Plan Input Session

Sponsors: Northeast Florida Regional Council , Environmental Center and Jacksonville University

When: Tuesday, Oct. 4, from 6-8 p.m.

Where: Adam W. Herbert University Center, Room 1058

Cost: Free


Help improve access to your waterways! The Duval County Maritime Management Plan team is holding a public meeting at Adam W. Herbert University Center. This event will be an opportunity for the community to learn about the plan, share what you think about our waterways and make recommendations. The meeting will be an open house format, with maps and information about waterways and facilities available for review. 


Participants are encouraged to take a survey at JAXBOATPLAN.com before they attend. There will be two other public meetings to discuss the plan on the first Tuesday of November and December. 

More information is available at JAXBOATPLAN.com.

Community Corner

Pollution Prevention Event at MOSH

When: Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Museum of Science and History (MOSH)

Cost: Free


Learn about the impacts you have as a Jacksonville resident on the environment and how to reduce air, water and noise pollution through various activities and special presentations throughout this free admission day. Click here for more information.


Dare to Explore! Atrévete a Explorar!

Sponsors: National Park Service

When: Saturday, Sept. 10, from 10 a.m. to 3 p.m.

Where: Ribault Club

Cost: Free


Join the National Park Service for a fun day at Fort George Island Cultural State Park and help introduce visitors to activities such as virtual caching and wildlife watching. Visit the National Park Service website for more information.


Harvest Moon Rising

Sponsor: Timucuan Parks Foundation

When: Saturday, Sept. 17, from 6:30-9:30 p.m.

Where: The Historic Napoleon Bonaparte Broward House

Cost: $125


Join the Timucuan Parks Foundation as it celebrates the National Park Service's 100th birthday. The evening will include tours of the Broward House, music, food and plenty of fun. Visit the Timucuan Parks Foundation's website for details and registration. 


USGBC Northeast Florida Region's Jax Green Social 

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

When: Tuesday, Sept. 27, at 6 p.m.

Where: The Volstead

Cost: Free


Did you know the City recently conducted a Bike and Pedestrian Master Plan Study? Check out The Volstead in Downtown Jacksonville and hear briefly from the new City of Jacksonville Bicycle and Pedestrian Coordinator. Then, it is back to networking with Jacksonville's sustainability leaders and advocates! Join the Facebook event page for details.

More upcoming events
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