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Press Release for Tuesday, March 24, 2015

UNF Professor Receives Sierra Club Award for Environmental Conservation

Jessica Scott, Public Relations Specialist

Department of Public Relations

(904) 620-2192

The University of North Florida’s Dr. David Jaffee, professor of sociology, anthropology and social work, and Ponte Vedra Beach resident, was recently recognized by the Sierra Club and Jacksonville Mayor Alvin Brown, as an individual who has made a significant contribution to the protection, preservation or conservation of natural resources within the city.


“Everyone has a responsibility to be a steward of our environment,” Brown said, adding the 33 people and groups being recognized “not only accept this responsibility, they embrace it.”


Each year, Sierra Club participates in the Mayor’s Environmental Luncheon in March at the Jacksonville Zoo. It’s a chance for environmental organizations in Jacksonville to each thank and recognize individuals who have made an impact on conservation and improvement in the Jacksonville landscape.


“It’s rare to find a person with technical and academic expertise who is willing to step into the environmental advocacy arena,” said Janet L. Stanko, Sierra Club Northeast Florida chair.


Jaffee’s work on the economic impacts of the prospective Jaxport dredging project has helped citizens of Jacksonville to think more critically about the project. Potential success in efforts to influence the project can be attributed directly to his work.


“Being recognized by an organization that has a long-standing commitment to the protection of the environment, and is community-based, is a great honor and it serves to validate the importance of UNFs commitment to community-based academic engagement and the principle of public sociology,” he said.


Jaffee’s work on The Ports Project at UNF was designed to provide citizens of Jacksonville with a critical and research-based understanding of the implications of an urban economy revolving around the port logistics. He has provided viewpoint and opinion pieces to several publications, including The Florida Times-Union, Folio Weekly and the Jacksonville Business Journal. He has also participated in public discussion panels, wrote research briefs and white papers, as well as organized a town hall forum to provide citizens the opportunity to engage with local officials on the topic.


The Sierra Club Northeast Florida was founded in the fall of 1970 by a local group of dedicated, inspired environmental activists and is entirely volunteer-led by a local executive committee and many other volunteers. There are more than 1,200 members in Duval, St. Johns, and northeast Clay counties.


UNF, a nationally ranked university located on an environmentally beautiful campus, offers students who are dedicated to enriching the lives of others the opportunity to build their own futures through a well-rounded education.