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September 2017

Hurricane Irma Updates

Our thoughts are with people near and far who are dealing with the aftermath of Hurricane Irma. We wish everyone the best in their recovery efforts. 

Below is a list of updates concerning our shifting event schedule. Thank you for your patience as these events get rescheduled. 


Hunger Dinner

The Hunger Dinner hosted by the Food Fighters: Student Powered Hunger Relief scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13, has been postponed. It will be rescheduled at the best available date. Join the Food Fighters group for updates. 


Lost Springs

The opening of Lost Springs exhibition at the UNF Lufrano Intercultural Gallery scheduled for Thursday, Sept. 14, has been postponed. It will reschedule for the following week. 


Screening of Food Choices 

The documentary screening of Food Choices scheduled for Wednesday, Sept. 13, has been postponed. It will be rescheduled in October. Join the event page for updates.

Visit our website for further updates on upcoming events

Faculty Spotlight: Lauri Wright, Ph.D.

Dr. Lauri WrightDepartment and title: Department of Nutrition and Dietetics, director of Doctorate in Clinical Nutrition Program


Where did you attend graduate school and what did you study? I received my master's in nutrition and dietetics from Case Western Reserve University and my doctorate in education from the University of South Florida.


When did you start working at UNF? I began working at UNF one year ago.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? My favorite thing about working at UNF is the emphasis on student learning and community engagement.


How are you involved with the Environmental Center? I work with the Environmental Center as part of the Food Fighter initiative — a student driven club that recovers food and distributes it in the form of healthy meals to Jacksonville communities in need.


What does your research focus on? My main research focus is on hunger and food insecurity, and its health impacts.


Where is your favorite place to enjoy nature? Running trails or hiking in the mountains.


What would you like to do when you retire? Run a malnutrition center in Africa.

Environmental Leadership Program Update

ELP Fall Retreat

ELP Fall RetreatEvery fall, the Environmental Center starts off the new academic year with the annual Environmental Leadership Program fall retreat. This year the retreat focused on sustainability and community solutions to climate change.


Read more about the retreat on the Environmental Center blog. 


Learn more about the Environmental Leadership Program

Faculty Seed Grants: Applications Open

Applications for the 2018 Seed Grants are now open! Seed Grants are intended to support environmentally related research that subsequently results in the preparation and submission or 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.

Seed Grants
Thanks to generous donation from the Vulcan Materials Company Foundation, the Environmental Center is now able to offer two additional grants to support faculty research:
Environmental Research Grants — Supported by River Branch Foundation
Two $6,000 grants are available to faculty to stimulate the creation of interdisciplinary research projects that address the priorities of the Environmental Center, which are: rivers, coasts and springs; parks and preserves; and sustainability (social, environmental and economic).

Water Research Grants — Supported by Vulcan Materials Company Foundation
Two $5,000 grants are available to faculty to stimulate the creation of interdisciplinary research projects that address water issues in Northeast Florida.

All grant applications are due to the Environmental Center no later than 5 p.m., Monday, Oct. 30. Late applications will not be accepted.  

To apply and for more information, visit the EC website.

Faculty Social
Sponsor: Environmental Center
When: Tuesday, Sept. 26, from 4:30-6 p.m.

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


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 presentations from the 2017 Seed Grants recipients.

Dr. Kelly Smith, Department of Biology

Spartina alterniflora Floating Nurseries: Growing Plants to Reduce Pond Nutrient Loading and Enhance Coastal Shoreline Restoration

Dr. Quincy Gibson, Department of Biology

Correlating Bottlenose Dolphin (Tursiops truncatus) to Cyanobacterial and Cyanotoxin Exposure in the St. Johns River, Jacksonville

Student Coalition Update

The Environmental Center Student Coalition is for students who have a passion for adventure, nature and conservation. This club provides students with an opportunity to meet like-minded students, volunteer in the community and network with environmental professionals.

Club Photo Banner 2

The Student Coalition's fall meeting schedule is below:

Tuesday, Oct. 10, at 8 p.m. in the Student Union, Building 58W, Room 3805

Tuesday, Nov. 7, at 8 p.m. in the Student Union, Building 58W, Room 3805

Lost Springs: An Artist's Journey Into Florida's Abandoned Springs

The UNF Lufrano Intercultural Gallery and Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville, a cultural institute of UNF, will present the "Lost Springs" project in a series of exhibitions and events, beginning Thursday, Sept. 14, and running through Sunday, Dec. 31. 

Museum of Contemporary Art Jacksonville

Opening reception — Sunday, Sept. 24, from 1-4 p.m.

UNF Lufrano Intercultural Gallery

Opening reception — TBD

Film screening — Thursday, Sept. 28, from 7-8 p.m.

Lost Springs film


"Lost Springs" chronicles the tragic demise of the iconic springs of the Ocklawaha River in North Central Florida. This multimedia exhibition features images, sculpture and film of Cannon Springs and Tobacco Patch Springs created by various artists including Tolbert, Keene, Karen Chadwick, Mark Long and others. 

Learn more about the Lost Springs: An Artist's Journey into Florida's Abandoned Springs.

Community Corner

Bird Migration Talk and Walk

Sponsors: Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

When: Saturday, Sept. 16, at 9:30 a.m.

Where: Jacksonville Arboretum and Gardens

Cost: Free


Jacksonville University Associate Professor of Biology and Marine Science Dr. Natasha Vanderhoff will present a walking lecture on birds and bird migration. After the walk, you can make nature journals and draw bird images. Learn more.


McCoys Creek Cleanup and International Coastal Cleanup (v)

Sponsors: St. Johns Riverkeeper Rising Tides and Groundwork Jacksonville

When: Saturday, Sept. 16, from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Hollybrook Park  

You can help clean up along McCoys Creek to help this troubled tributary of the St. Johns River and beautify the Historic Springfield neighborhood. They plan to supply gloves, trash bags and water. Please wear closed-toe shoes, long pants and a hat as well as bring a reuasable water bottle. Learn more.


North Florida Drive Electric Rally

Sponsors: North Florida TPO, JEA and Sierra Club

When: Wednesday, Sept. 27, from 5-7 p.m.

Where: Intuition Ale Works

Cost: Free with registration 


Whether you already have an electric vehicle (EV) or are just curious, you can meet with EV drivers to learn their experience firsthand. Dealers will have ride and drive opportunities with the latest models, and you'll enjoy delicious snacks from Black Sheep at Intuition. Learn more and register here


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