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May 2017

Student Spotlight: Haley Camp

Camp, HaleyWhere are you from? I was born in Knoxville, Tennessee, and moved to Pensacola when I was four.


What is your major and why did you choose that major? I am graduating with a Bachelor of Science in Health. I decided to major in Public Health because of my passion in implementing and evaluating programs that will improve the health and well-being in humans and the environment.


How did you get involved with the Environmental Center? I learned about the Environmental Center through my professor, Dr. Largo-Wight. She referred me to meet with James Taylor and Maria Mark because of my interest in nature.


What is your job title and what do you do at the Environmental Center? I am a project leader for the Environmental Leadership Program. I developed a project that is currently being implemented at Nemours Children's Specialty Care to connect the patients and their families to the St. Johns River. 


What are you plans after graduation? I plan to find a job that is exciting and challenging. I want to give back to the community by working with an environmental education program. 


What is your dream job? My dream job would be creating a kids' educational photography program for National Geographic.


What clubs and volunteer activities are you involved in? I love being a part of UNF's Presidential Envoys and served on the executive board. I enjoy volunteering with their various events and becoming best friends with the other Envoy members. I also gained a lot of valuable experience as an intern for the St. Johns Riverkeeper this spring. I felt like I was making a difference while working on educational programs and advocating for the environment.


What is the environmental issue you are most interested in? I am very interested in creating a healthy environment for both humans and wildlife, particularly marine wildlife. I see that there is not enough environmental education in our community and it is essential that everyone learn about the importance of our ecosystem and how it affects our health.


What makes you passionate about the environment? I am a passionate scuba diver, and I have seen the negative impacts that humans have caused to marine wildlife. I want to help educate the community about caring for our environment.


Who is your hero and why? David Doubilet is my hero. He is an underwater photographer who works for National Geographic magazine. He wants his photos to educate and inspire people to love and learn about the environment. His work is purely amazing. It encourages me to fight for marine wildlife every day. I hope one day my work will inspire others just as his photos do.

Environmental Leadership Program Updates

2nd Annual Spring Symposium

Forty-five guests, comprised of community partners, donors, faculty and students attended the 2nd Annual Spring Symposium, which was held on Saturday, April 8. Each of the student project leaders gave oral presentations of their projects, which also included a poster session. A complimentary lunch buffet was served that gave guests and students opportunities to network and share more about their projects.


Students and staff at the symposium

2017 ELP Student Graduates

Three project leaders were recognized at the Spring Symposium and presented with green cords to wear at graduation: Elizabeth "Nikki" Adams — Coastal Biology, Fall 2017; Haley Camp — Public Health, Spring 2017; Sean Lahav — Political Science, Spring 2017.


UNF Osprey Community Engagement Medallion

Two project leaders, Haley Camp and Sean Lahav, were awarded the Osprey Community Engagement Medallion on April 20, exemplifying the importance of their community projects. Haley's project focused on environmental therapy by connecting the children and families seeking medical treatment at Nemours Children's Specialty Clinic with the St. Johns River, through arts, crafts and interactive displays/activites that related to the flora and fauna of the river.  


Sean's project consisted of 20 three-minute videos of the parks and preserves in Duval County that he produced utilizing just an iPhone 6. The purpose of his project was to get residents and visitors excited about their parks and to show how easily accessible the parks are as well as the numerous activities they offer. His videos are now being aired on WJCT and will be a feature story in Jacksonville Magazine. He has also partnered with U.S. Green Building Council where his videos will be aired via the "Green Carpet Film Series."   


In alignment with UNF's mission, the Osprey Community Engagement Medallion recognizes students who demonstrate exemplary commitment to the greater Jacksonville community through activities such as community-based learning, volunteerism, community or social advocacy, community-based Federal work-study, and political engagement during their years as a UNF student. 

Students receiving awards and honors

St. Johns River Experience and Student Forum
Every spring, the Environmental Center and select group of students, embark on a journey exploring the St. Johns River and its diverse watershed. These students enroll in the St. Johns River Experience, a multidisciplinary transformational learning opportunity that combines classroom learning with experiential learning. The highlight of the course is a full-immersion trip over spring break where students spend their days visiting state parks, swimming in springs, paddling down tributaries and boating on the St. Johns River. 


Read more about the trip and view a video recap on the new Environmental Center blog


SJRE 2017
Learn more about the St. Johns River Experience.

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 through a concise survey of plants and animals of the Florida flatwoods, tidal marshes, cypress forests and coastal marshes. You will spend three sessions in an interactive, enjoyable classroom format. There will be two Saturday field trips. The first, on May 13, will be held at the UNF Sawmill Slough Preserve. The second outing, on May 20, is a half-day trip to Fort Caroline National Monument.

Natural Wonders collage 

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 among Jacksonville's local flora and fauna, is also Northeast Florida Sierra Club's conservation chair. 


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

For more information and registration details, visit UNF Division of Continuing Education.

Community Corner

Jax Aquafest

Sponsors: St. Johns Riverkeeper, City of Jacksonville, Florida Fish and Wildlife and the Museum of Science and History (MOSH)

When: Saturday, May 6, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.

Where: Museum of Science and History (MOSH)

Cost: Free


Aquafest 2017 is the ultimate water culture experience in an event focused on water and its importance to human health and our environment. The public is invited to enjoy the waterless carnival, boat trips, ongoing screenings of "Troubled Waters: Connections and Consequences," touch tanks, microscope investigations, free museums entry to MOST exhibitions and much more. Learn more.


Sierra Club Monthly Program

Sponsors: Sierra Club Northeast Florida Group

When: Monday, May 8, at 6:30 p.m.

Where: Lakewood Presbyterian Church

Cost: Free


Dr. Anthony Quellette, professor of biology at JU, will give an overview of the "State of River Report for the Lower St. Johns River." Published annually by a team of university researchers, the report analyzes four main areas of river health: water quality, fisheries, aquatic life and contaminants. He will explain some of the data, as well as how the data informs us about the river's health. Refreshments are provided, but bring your own cup to reduce waste. Learn more.


Hike with a Naturalist: St. Johns River Grasses

Sponsors: St. Johns Riverkeeper

When: Saturday, May 13, from 9 -10 a.m.

Where: Rivertown Park

Cost: Free


Join aquatic biologist Robert Burks for a walking tour along the vegetation of the St. Johns River shoreline to identify the native species and how they are important to the health and ecology of the river. Learn why each is unique and valuable to the St. Johns River ecosystem including fish, crabs, shrimp and manatees. The information will be presented in a way that relates to everyday life and health. Learn more.


6th Annual Fish Fry

Sponsors: North Florida Land Trust

When: Saturday, May 20, from 12-5 p.m.

Where: Big Talbot Island State Park

Cost: Tickets range from $10-$40


Celebrate the great Florida outdoors during this relaxed family-friendly Land Trust fundraising tradition. Expect to hear traditional old time jazz from Junco Royals and Afro-Cuban beats from Jacksonville-based band Latin People Time! Enjoy local brews from the beer sponsor, Bold City Brewery, cider from Beer:30-San Marco and wine. For more information and tickets

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