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Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Institute of Environmental Research and Education

The Institute of Environmental Research and Education (IERE) (formerly the Environmental Center) serves students and faculty from all UNF colleges. Our mission is to provide opportunities for environmental research and education and develop interdisciplinary programs that enhance the student experience and increase environmental scholarship. The IERE team is comprised of staff, Faculty Executive Board, Joint Faculty Members, and the Community Council. IERE programs and scholarships are 100% funded by donors and grants. Learn more on how you can support IERE with a gift.

Announcements and Upcoming Events

logo of U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service featuring a duck flying above water and a fish coming jumping out of the water.

Field Friday — Swamp Studies at Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge

Join IERE for this special Field Friday adventure to Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge. Participants will take a boat tour of the refuge and be provided the opportunity to connect with the FWS and Okefenokee staff to learn about careers and internship opportunities. Registration fee covers a boat tour, lunch and transportation.
  • Date:  Friday, March 8 from 8:30 a.m. - 3:30 p.m. 
  • Location: Okefenokee National Wildlife Refuge, Folkston, GA
  • Cost: $15 for UNF students; $10 for ELP, KAO, or LLC students 
  • Registration:  Register now
Three students standing behind blue bags of trash collected.

Stream Restoration Project — Volunteer Opportunity

Join JaxParks staff, IERE students and St. John's Riverkeeper to learn more about local ecosystems while removing invasive aquatic vegetation and litter. Volunteers are encouraged to wear waterproof boots or waders as work will be occurring in and around the stream. For questions please contact, IERE ELP student, Hadley Woodall at
  • Date:  Held weekly on Saturday mornings from 10:00 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
  • Location: Tillie K. Fowler Regional Park (7000 Roosevelt Blvd, Jacksonville, FL 32244)
Man looking at environmental artwork hung on wall within art gallery.

(Pilot) Environmental Arts & Humanities Grants

In an effort to expand IERE’s interdisciplinary support of environmental works and projects among UNF faculty, IERE will implement a one-year pilot for Environmental Art and Humanities Grants. The quality and number of proposals, and availability of future funding will determine if the program continues. Visit the Art & Humanities Grants website page for additional information.
Students and faculty looking at plants

Seed Grants 

Seed Grants are intended to "seed" environmentally related research that subsequently results in the preparation and submission of a proposal to an external funding agency. It is also the goal of this program to support collaboration between faculty members and students in diverse disciplines. Two grants in the amount of $10,000 are awarded annually and funds can be used for the purchase of supplies and equipment, associated travel, publishing fees and student wages. Proposals are reviewed by a committee of UNF faculty and are competitively awarded to the most meritorious proposals.  Visit the Seed Grant website for additional information.

Annual Reports


We would like to take a moment to thank our directors for their leadership and commitment.

  • 2004-2008 — Ray Bowman, Ph.D. (founder)
  • 2008-2013 — Radha Pyati, Ph.D.
  • 2013-2014 — Stuart Chalk, Ph.D. (interim)
  • 2014-2019 — J. David Lambert, Ph.D.
  • 2019-current — Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D.