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Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Florida Field School

The Florida Field School is an opportunity for students to learn about Florida habitats, species and current environmental issues through experiential learning. Students will also learn about potential career paths and network with a wide range of environmental professionals. 

How to Participate

The field school programs are open to all current UNF students. While these programs would be beneficial to most students, they are specifically designed for student interested in environmental research, careers and/or graduate school. Visit the homepage for details on upcoming events. 

Cost to Participate

There is a fee for students to participate in the field school programs. While every effort is made to reduce the cost of these programs, student fees help cover the cost of travel, lodging, supplies and meals. Students who join the KAO Honors Society will receive a up to a 50% discount on Florida Field School programs. If students are experiencing a financial hardship, they can contact the IERE to discuss options for participation. 

Student collecting water quality data

Field Friday

  • Cost: $5-$10 (occasional free events)
  • Details: One day events often held between 8 a.m. to 2 p.m. 

These one day field experience take students into the field with researchers and professionals to examine relevant environmental issues. Below are some examples of recent Field Friday programs: 

  • Career Panel with the National Park Service:  Students visited Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserves Headquarters to meet with a variety of divisions within the National Park Service to learn about the expansive job opportunities within the park service.
  • Coastal and Community Resiliency in St. Augustine: Students participated in a walking tour of St. Augustine with resiliency experts.  After the tour, learned from the experts about local, regional and state resiliency efforts.
Students in a canoe

Weekend Field School

  • Cost: $75
  • Details: Weekend events from Friday to Sunday

During the weekend field school, students will have more time to learn about relevant topics and will complete a service or research project. Students will camp together during the weekend, allowing more time to learn about Florida habitats and species.

Students in the water

Spring Break Field School

  • Cost: $375
  • Details: 5-7 day event during spring break

The spring break field school is a more in-depth experience that takes place during spring break. Participants will explore some of Florida's best natural areas and speak with the researchers and professionals who are working to protect, manage and restore the environment. In addition, students will experience Florida habitats through hiking, paddling and swimming. 

Here are examples of past Spring Break Field School programs: 

  • Nature Coast Aquatic Preserve: Students explored the springs, rivers and tributaries of the Nature Coast. This area is home to Florida's newest aquatic preserve and students met with professionals and researchers from U.S. Fish and Wildlife, University of Florida, Florida Department of Environmental Protection and more.  
  • St. Johns River: The St. Johns River is one of the largest rivers in Florida and its watershed provides water to 20% of Floridians. The river has also played an extremely important role in the history of Florida, from indigenous people to modern day. Students had the opportunity to meet with numerous professionals and scientists working to manage groundwater, improve surface water quality and protect habitats for many species that call the river home.