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Institute of Environmental Research and Education

About IERE

The Institute of Environmental Research and Education (IERE) serves students and faculty from all UNF colleges. IERE programs and scholarships are 100% funded by donors and grants. Learn more on how you can support IERE with a gift.

IERE was originally founded as the Environmental Center in 2004 by Dr. Ray Bowman, UNF Professor Emeritus of Chemistry and one of the founding faculty members. Dr. Bowman was responsible for securing internal support from UNF administration, which paved the way for the Center’s success.

After nearly two decades of expansion, the Environmental Center became the Institute of Environmental Research and Education in 2021. In addition to changing its name, IERE also has a growing focus on expanding  environmental research and education at UNF.


Our mission is to provide opportunities for environmental research and education and develop interdisciplinary programs that enhance the student experience.

Focus Areas


Student success is at the heart of everything we do! Our top priority is to offer programs that develop environmental leadership skills, provide real-world experience and prepare students for success after graduation, whether on the job or in graduate school.


With the support of our Faculty Executive Board, IERE aims to enhance the academic experience for both undergraduate and graduate students by providing curriculum, assisting with interdisciplinary environmental majors and minors and working with partners to provide internship opportunities.


Supporting and facilitating the creation of interdisciplinary and innovative research is one of IERE's main objectives. We raise external funds from donors to support research development grants and play an integral role in executing environmentally focused sponsored research.


All IERE programs and scholarships are 100% funded by the community. The IERE Community Council provides an opportunity for community and industry leaders to contribute to the mission of the IERE. 


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

  • 2004-08 — Ray Bowman, Ph.D. (founder)
  • 2008-13 — Radha Pyati, Ph.D.  
  • 2013-14 — Stuart Chalk, Ph.D. (interim)
  • 2014-19 — J. David Lambert, Ph.D.
  • 2019-current — Erin Largo-Wight, Ph.D.

Annual Report