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November 2017

Faculty Spotlight: Keith Ashley, Ph.D.

Ashley, KeithDepartment and title: Department of Sociology, Anthropology and Social Work, assistant professor of anthropology


Where did you attend graduate school and what did you study? I earned a Ph.D. in anthropology from the University of Florida.


When did you start working at UNF? I have been at UNF full time since 2007. I served as adjunct instructor and visiting professor between 2001 and 2004 and as coordinator of archaeological research from 2007-17.


What is your favorite thing about working at UNF? I really enjoy interacting with UNF students, in the classroom, lab and field. My research is also here in Jacksonville. Some of the archaeological sites we work on are only 15-20 minutes from campus.


How are you involved with the Environmental Center? The Archaeology Laboratory and the Environmental Center share many common interests. I have given presentations and guided tours as part of several St. Johns River Experience spring break trips. I enjoy attending the various events and lectures the Center sponsors.


Have you been a recipient of a Seed Grant? If so, what was the project? Yes, in 2013 the Archaeology Laboratory received a Seed Grant to conduct a seasonality study. Students measured the length of impressed odostomes (a small parasite of oysters) from a 1,000 year-old archaeological site to infer the season(s) oysters were collected there by Native Americans. 


What would you like to do when you retire? My wife Angela and I want to buy a VW microbus and tour the U.S. I also still hope to be excavating archaeological sites.  

Environmental Leadership Program Update

Food Fighters Receive Grant from UNF Alumni Association

The UNF Alumni Association recently awarded the Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief project a $750 grant. The grant will be used to purchase supplies that will reduce waste created from the food recoveries, and make the program more sustainable over the long-term. 


Beyond the Trail: The Art of Science Explores the Connection Between Writing and Conservation

Historical re-enactor Mike Adams stole the show at the first event of "Beyond the Trail: The Art of Science," held at Palmetto Leaves Regional Park, when he brought to life William Bartram. Participants heard firsthand what it was like for "Billy" to experience Florida in all of its grandeur and mysteriousness as a traveler in the late 1700s ...


Read more about the first Beyond the Trail outing on the Environmental Center blog!

Beyond the Trail photos

Learn more about the Environmental Leadership Program.

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. 


The Student Coalition recently held elections and is excited to announce the new leadership. If you are interested in joining the leadership team, contact the club at ecenterstudentcoalition@gmail.com
Kyle Kenney - President
Emily Jeffries - Vice president and treasurer 
McKenzie Edwards - Communications
Join the Student Coalition for the last meeting of the fall semester:

Tuesday, Nov. 14, at 8 p.m. in the Student Union, Building 58W, Room 3805

Stay updated with the student coalition by joining their Facebook group!

Green Carpet Film Series
Green Carpet Film Series November

Partner: U.S. Green Building Council (USGBC) North Florida and Environmental Center

When: Wednesday, Nov. 8, at 7-9 p.m.

Where: Sun-Ray Cinema

Cost: $10


Enjoy three amazing films in one night! USGBC North Florida brings you a very special screening of Divest!, Sonic Sea and a local film Exploring Northeast Florida's Special Places: Theodore Roosevelt Area. Witness the international rise of the fossil fuel divestment movement, an investigation into the impact of industrial ocean noises on marine life and a day trip to Theodore Roosevelt Area at the Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve.

Join the Facebook event for more information and ticketing.

Community Corner

(v) indicates volunteer opportunity


McCoys Creek Cleanup and Kayak (v)

Sponsor: Rising Tides of the St. Johns Riverkeeper

When: Sunday, Nov. 19, from 10 a.m. to noon

Where: Brooklyn Park


Visit the St. Johns Riverkeeper website to learn more about volunteering at this cleanup. 


Annual Oyster Roast 

Sponsor: St. Johns Riverkeeper

When: Friday, Nov. 17, from 7-11 p.m.

Where: Garden Club of Jacksonville

Cost: $75-$125 donation


Learn more about the annual party that helps support the advocacy, outreach and education programs of the St. Johns Riverkeeper.


Hiking Backcountry Trails of Florida

Sponsor: REI Jacksonville

When: Thursday, Nov. 30, from 6:30-8 p.m.

Where: REI Jacksonvile


Visit the REI Jacksonville website to learn more about the new book by Terri Mashour "Trails of Florida: Hiking Florida's Water Management District."

Learn more about upcoming events.
Faculty Spotlight: Keith Ashley, Ph.D.
Environmental Leadership Program Update
Student Coalition Update
Green Carpet Film Series
Community Corner

Giving Graphic

Tips and Trips

Holiday season is quickly approaching, and it is often filled with family time and good food. Like most of our current traditions, holidays can introduce consumer practices that are not healthy for our Earth or the earthlings that inhabit it. For example, millions of turkeys are killed in the United States for consumption during the holidays like Thanksgiving and Christmas. 

In addition, between Thanksgiving and New Year's Day, the volume of household waste in the United States generally increases 25 percent. Additional food waste, shopping bags, packaging, ribbons and wrapping paper add up to about 1 million extra tons of waste in our landfills.  

Green Holiday Tips

Rethinking and restructuring our holiday habits can be a delicate process but we can use the prevailing framework of "Reduce, Reuse, Recycle" and it might be easier than we think.


Reduce your waste while you buy and give gifts by using reusable cloth bags at stores and gifts that require little or no packaging. When possible, utilize public transportation during your holiday travels. Holiday meals can be revamped by buying local, organic and/or fair-trade produce. Propose skipping the turkey or lowering your meat consumption and buying from sustainable sources. A person following a diet without meat or dairy generally uses 50 percent less carbon dioxide than meat eaters and saves 1,100 gallons of water.

Trips and Trips Green Holiday 1

Reuse dishes and utensils rather than using disposable materials for serving food. Celebrate the holidays with a tree that can be replanted later. If you use a cut tree, check with your community solid waste department to find out ways to compost your tree instead of sending it to a landfill. Try wrapping gifts in paper bags from the store as an easy and trendy way to avoid new waste.


Recycle uneaten food by composting and make sure you recycle what you can. If you are new to composting, it can be simple to start at home. Check out the recycling regulations in Jacksonville for more information on what you can and can't recycle from home. If you receive gifts or clothes that you do not want to wear, you can always donate them to Jacksonville's community organizations that will distribute them to those in need.


Food waste is a huge concern in the United States and the amount of food waste we produce increases during the holidays. Meanwhile in Duval County alone, 177,000 people regularly experience food insecurity.  Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief is a food recovery program that is part of our Environmental Leadership Program. The program aims to both reduce our food waste and fight hunger in our local community. Food Fighters Project Leader Courtney Hogan gave us several tips for producing less food waste during large holiday meals: 

  1. Utilize what is in your fridge first
  2. Plan to make less food from the beginning, and 
  3. Give leftovers away. 
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