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December 2017

Environmental Center 2017 Annual Report
2017 Annual Report Cover

We are pleased to announce the release of the 2017 Environmental Center Annual Report! The report highlights some of the major accomplishments of the Environmental Center and the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP), as well as acknowledges significant contributions from students, faculty and staff during the 2016-17 academic year. The entire report was written by Environmental Center staff, and was designed by student staff members Natalie Sassine and Tiffany Torres.


Notable sections form the 2017 Environmental Center Annual Report include:

  • List of community partnerships (p. 3)
  • Faculty Research Fellows (p. 5)
  • Funded Seed Grant projects (p. 10)
  • ELP Project Leader profiles (p. 13)
  • Discussion of projects in each of our priority areas:
    • Rivers, coasts and springs (p. 18)
    • Parks and preserves (p. 26)
    • Sustainability (p. 34)

We would like to thank all of our supporters. The Environmental Center relies on the support of community members to continue providing programs such as the Environmental Leadership Program. A monthly gift will help us continue to train the next generation of environmental leaders. 


Become a monthly sustainer today!

Visit our website to view the collection of past annual reports.

Farewell to Graduating Students
Tiffany square

Tiffany Torres, Graphic Design

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Graphic Design
What was your favorite thing about working at the Environmental Center? What I loved most about working at the Environmental Center was meeting and working with different project leaders and helping them create identities for each of their Environmental Leadership Program projects.
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan to stay in Jacksonville and work at an agency specializing in corporate identity, publication and illustration.
Natalie Sassine

Natalie Sassine, Communications Assistant

Bachelor of Fine Arts in Painting, Drawing and Printmaking
What was your favorite thing about working at the Environmental Center? Working at the Environmental Center allowed me to practically support an important community of students, faculty and staff who are committed to bettering our University and city while developing crucial professional skills. I'm incredibly grateful for the opportunity to work, grow and learn in this encouraging and self-driven office. 
What are your plans after graduation? After graduation, I plan to spend several months visiting my family members throughout Senegal, Morocco, Lebanon and France before starting an internship at a community printmaking studio in either Johannesburg, South Africa, or Richmond, Virginia. Following travels, I will be returning to South Florida to deepen my connection with the arts community there and support the climate justice efforts of the New Florida Majority and others working to fight injustice associated with and exacerbated by climate change. Through all this, I hope to be building my portfolio in preparation for pursuing my Master of Fine Arts in interdisciplinary printmaking.

Student Spotlight: Nikki Adams
Adams, Nikki

Where are you from? I grew up in Jacksonville.


What is your major? Why did you choose your major? I majored in Ecology and Evolutionary Biology. I chose biology when I first began college because I always had an interest in science and wanted to better understand the natural world and all its intricacies.


Do you have a favorite spot on campus? If so, where is it and what do you like about it? The Sawmill Slough Preserve! Hikes and hammock naps in the Slough between classes and study sessions have kept me sane while at UNF.


What is your dream job? I do not know what my dream job is yet, but I know it will consist of easily accessible environmental education that will be a balance between sustainable living methods as well as sustainable recreation practices.


What is your job title and what do you do at the Environmental Center? I was a project leader in the Environmental Leadership Program and my project was a partnership between the EC and Outdoor Nation college ambassador program. The goal of the partnership was to engage Ospreys with the outdoors on and off campus through camping trips and volunteer events.


What are your hobbies? What clubs and volunteer activities are you involved in? Playing outside is my biggest pastime, with backpacking and cycling being my favorites. Visiting Florida's many springs or taking a trip to the mountains to drop off the grid for awhile are my favorite ways to de-stress. I have also been involved as a volunteer with the EC Student Coalition and the Rising Tides of the St. Johns Riverkeeper. 


What is the environmental issue you are most interested in? I am most interested in creating a connection between people and the environment through experiential learning. I believe that cultivating a relationship with nature is necessary for people to care for and want to protect the environment, and for this to happen the outdoors must be more accessible for everyone. 


What makes you passionate about the environment? My passion for the environment stems from my love for our planet and wanting to preserve it for future generations to appreciate. I believe that many of society's issues are the product of humans no longer viewing themselves as a part of the natural world, and many of these problems can be alleviated through reconnecting with the planet.

Environmental Leadership Program Update

Project Leader Attends National Conference on Food Justice and Food Recovery  

FRNDOn Nov. 3, Project Leader Courtney Hogan of the "Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief" team attended the second annual Food Recovery Dialogue in Washington, D.C. This conference brought together the 230 chapters of student-led, food recovery programs from all over the country. Read more on the Environmental Center blog.  


Best Wishes to our Graduating Project Leader, Nikki Adams 

Nikki Adams kayaking

What was your favorite thing about being part of the Environmental Leadership Program (ELP)? The ELP provided me with the opportunity to create lasting experiences for my peers through forming a connection with nature via outdoor recreation activities, such as camping and kayaking. My work with the ELP was pivotal to me better understanding what I would like to devote my life's purpose to.    

What are your plans after graduation? I am looking into different opportunities to gain more experience with outdoor education, in which I would eventually also like to gain a master's degree. However, the idea of taking a break and working on an organic farm in a new place for awhile is equally appealing.

Textbook Collection

At the end of each semester, the Environmental Center collects unwanted textbooks from students and faculty. Donations will be sent to Better World Books, a company that uses the books to implement literacy and education programs around the world. The company will also donate some of the proceeds to the Environmental Center to support sustainability programs and projects. Donations are accepted throughout the year in the Environmental Center office and outside the UNF Bookstore in the blue collection bin.


Textbook Recycling

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