Beaches Go Green

Year: 2022

Student: Noah Miller

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

Throughout the semester, we gave presentations at several elementary and middle schools, including Ocean Palms Elementary and Fletcher Middle School, to educate children about saving the planet including reducing plastic use. For these presentations we have presented how to wrap a green bag lunch (plastic-free) and fast-fashion (middle school and Beaches Go Green clubs). These kids are the future of our world, so talking to them early about things like this is the best way to ensure that changes will occur in the decades to come.

Beaches Go Green

Year: 2022

Student: Sephora Khoulalene

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

Throughout the semester, we gave presentations at several elementary and middle schools, including Ocean Palms Elementary and Fletcher Middle School, to educate children about saving the planet including reducing plastic use. For his presentations we have presented how to wrap a green bag. lunch (plastic-free) and fast-fashion (middle school and Beaches Go Green clubs). These kids are the future of our world, so talking to them early about things like this is the best way to ensure that changes will occur in the decades to come.

Beaches Go Green & UNF Helps Jax Stay Green

Year: 2021

Student: Emma Sheridan

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

The Beaches Go Green Team’s project consisted of cultivating sustainability awareness videos on both a micro and macro scale and hosting an in-person beach clean-up. On a micro-scale, the team discussed going green in the North Florida Florida area by being knowledgeable of the recycling guidelines put in place by Jacksonville, thus being able to follow them. On a macro scale, the Beaches Go Green Team has created a plethora of videos. One of the videos created was about the negative health and environmental effects of the use of q-tips. The video exemplified that the use of q-tips is not recommended by ear doctors, thus making them an unnecessarily purchased good and a waste of resources. Another macro-level awareness video was centered around the negative […]

Beyond the Trail: A River Runs Through It

Year: 2019

Student: Katie Vearil

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, National Park kService, Timucuan Parks Foundation

Beyond the Trail is a series designed to encourage participants to explore and learn about the parks in Northeast Florida. Jacksonville contains the largest urban park system in the nation. The fourth series of Beyond the Trail explored the iconic St. Johns River. Most residents of Jacksonville drive over the river daily, but many may not know much about the St. Johns. Each event highlights a different city, state or national park in the region that is connected to the river in some way. Through a variety of speakers, networking, community service, and exploring participants will gain a better understanding of Jacksonville’s park system and the St. Johns River.

Beyond the Trail: A Walk Through History

Year: 2017

Student: Kaley Crawford

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Timucuan Parks Foundation, City of Jacksonville, Florida Park Service, National Park Service

Beyond the Trail: A Walk Through History was the second series of this project. The goals of the project were to connect college students to city, state, and national parks to learn about local history, while accompanied by community partners to foster relationships and provide networking opportunities.

Beyond the Trail: Exploring our Timucuan Parks and Preserves

Year: 2021

Student: Sophia Bertolino

Community Partner: Timucuan Parks Foundation

The main goal of these projects is to have students engage, educate, and appreciate the parks here in the city of Jacksonville. Many students here at the University of North Florida are not Jacksonville natives. With these projects it allows students here at the university to go out and learn about the historical and cultural stories the parks here in North Florida have to offer.

Beyond the Trail: The Art of Science

Year: 2018

Student: Brandie Brooks

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, National Park Service, Florida Park Service, Duval Audubon Society, Timucuan Parks Foundation

The third series of “Beyond the Trail” themed, “The Art of Science,” attempts to break through the artificial boundaries that keep the creative mind separate from the scientific one. Through community service, networking, and hands–on experiences, participants gained a better understanding of how different art forms and creative outlets can be integrated into scientific research and environmental conservation efforts to more effectively grab the attention of the general public. After completing the program, members will be more likely to consider all of the artistic and scientific tools at their disposal the next time they get involved in defending their environment and local preserves.

Bridging the Gap Between the Parks and the Classroom

Year: 2019

Student: Caleb Johnston

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Communities in Schools, Timucuan Parks Foundation

This project targeted “Title I” elementary schools with 100% economically disadvantaged students, who lack awareness of Jacksonville’s unique parks. Parks 360 will help bridge the gap between the parks and the students by using immersive virtual reality (VR) technology to transport them to their local parks.

Bridging the Gap Between the Parks and the Classroom

Year: 2018

Student: Caleb Johnston

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, National Park Service, Timucuan Parks Foundation

With a high rate of economically disadvantaged elementary schools, our city’s 4th grade students are becoming increasingly separated from Jacksonville’s unique parks. Parks 360 will help bridge the gap between the parks and the classroom by using immersive virtual reality (VR) technology to transport elementary school students to local parks using VR.

Bringing Awareness to Plant Conservation at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Year: 2021

Student: Anastasia Utley

Community Partner: Jacksonville Zoo and Garden

Plant conservation is essential to the survival of all species as they improve soil, water, and air quality and serve as a food source and shelter. Currently the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens (JZG) has limited information for the use of the education center about the variety of plant species that they host. Many of the plants in the zoo’s collection are representative species that play important roles in their environments from all around the world. Jacksonville Zoo and Garden’s education center has several volumes of books that contain information about all the animals in the zoo. These books are used by volunteers, educators, and exhibit guides for the purpose of programming and interacting with guests. However, no books exist for the plants in the gardens. […]

Center for Nutrition and Food Security: Hunger Map

Year: 2021

Student: Adremae Alotaya

Community Partner: UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security

Food insecurity is an inconsistent access or inability to prepare nutritious foods. In the United States, about 1 in every 6 adults lack the access to nutritious foods. In Duval County, 20.1% of adults suffer from Food Insecurity. Causes of food insecurity is multifactorial and can have a negative effect on an individual’s mental and physical health. The Center for Nutrition and Food Security at the University of North Florida (UNF) is working to address the food insecurity in Northeast Florida by creating a Hunger Map. The Hunger Map consists of four levels. Level 1, 2, 3, and 4 is supply, demand, health information and availability and affordability, respectively. Level 1 (supply) is a master list of food pantries in Northeast Florida. Level 2 (demand) […]

Changing the Climate of Our Conversation

Year: 2018

Student: Bella Genta

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens, National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Interpretation, UNF Hicks Hononrs College

The goal of the National Network for Ocean and Climate Change Communications Interpretation (NOCCI) is to train enough voices in proven communication techniques in order to shift the national conversation about climate change to be more productive, creative and focused on solutions. This project aimed to strengthen the Jacksonville chapter of this network as well as adapt this training to better engage and empower college students to be leaders of action on climate change in their communities and everyday lives.

Citizen Science

Year: 2016

Student: Kim Daly-Crews

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Citizen science is science performed by novel or amateur scientists. Individuals, or groups, collect data and some submit them to online databases. The data are then analyzed by one or more professional scientists. There are many types of citizen science programs, some involve getting outside and connecting with nature and others can be done online from the comfort of your couch. Citizen Science can be a valuable tool for large scale data collection. It can help scientists track changes in things such as global weather patters or animal migrations, as well as water quality or bird populations in a community. The University of North Florida (UNF) Environmental Center and the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens have teamed up to spread the word about citizen science. We […]

Coastal Pollution Awareness Project in Duval County

Year: 2016

Student: Ashleigh Elkins

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Because of it’s exponential growth in popularity over the past decades, plastic has become the most common material to make every day goods out of – cars, shoes, clothes, televisions, cooking utensils. Plastic litter has continuously become a main concern in the welfare of our environment in several ways; one of which stems from the basic fact that it is the most common trash item that is improperly disposed of in developed societies. How is this affecting the world around us as it takes the brunt end of toxins entering their systems? Not well. Sure, nature has a way of replenishing itself. However, there has to be a balance in the cycle and at this rate, there definitely isn’t an equilibrium being established. The waterways […]

Community Cleanups and Plastic Reduction

Year: 2021

Student: Waheed Khalili

Community Partner: UNF Environmental Center

As part of the Environmental Center Leadership Program at the University of North Florida, I would get the opportunity to assist on a federally funded research project from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA). This project primarily dealt with identifying and limiting the effects of plastic pollution on the environment in Jacksonville, Florida. Plastic pollution in recent years has become a growing epidemic in Jacksonville and all over the world. With more rivers and oceans being polluted with single-use plastic each year, it is not long before there is a significant impact on human health and the ecosystem. As part of this project, I would be responsible for the organization of clean-ups, administration of surveys, and presentation of the amount of plastic collected. Through […]

Community Cleanups and Plastic Reduction

Year: 2021

Student: Elena Pellumbi

Community Partner: UNF Environmental Center

For this project I was part of the Environmental Center Leadership Program partnering with the Environmental Center to plan, execute and lead three community cleanups. The Environmental Center is working with a grant from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to reduce single-use plastic consumption and foster long-term pro-environmental behaviors among undergraduate students in coastal communities. This project aimed to create education and outreach activities to raise awareness about marine debris, facilitate understanding of the connections between actions and impacts in the marine environment, and encourage behavior change. The first cleanup took place at Palmetto Leaves Reginal Park where we removed 12 bags of trash with approximately 25 lbs. of plastic. The second community cleanup took place at the Northbank Riverwalk where we removed 10 bags […]

Conveying Historical Narratives using ArcGIS Storymaps: The Story of Jacksonville’s Spanish American Battery.

Year: 2022

Student: Erin Ogrodnik

Community Partner: National Park Service (GIS Mapping)

Historical interpretation plays an integral role in site conservation as it provides narratives to spaces and features that may not be well understood on their own. This project sought to convey the narrative of the Spanish American Battery located on the St. Johns Bluff in Jacksonville. We used ArcGIS Storymaps to create an integrative narrative detailing the development of the site and its surrounding features in a timeline format by combining text and historical maps compiled in the Cultural Land Report provided by the National Parks Service. The historical maps served as the foundation of the project, which we supported with text-based evidence and current-day imagery. Because the Spanish American Battery is not currently open to the public, this project provides an opportunity to share […]

Conveying Historical Narratives using ArcGIS Storymaps: The Story of Jacksonville’s Spanish American Battery.

Year: 2022

Student: Eleanor Ascheman

Community Partner: National Park Service (GIS Mapping)

Historical interpretation plays an integral role in site conservation as it provides narratives to spaces and features that may not be well understood on their own. This project sought to convey the narrative of the Spanish American Battery located on the St. Johns Bluff in Jacksonville. We used ArcGIS Storymaps to create an integrative narrative detailing the development of the site and its surrounding features in a timeline format by combining text and historical maps compiled in the Cultural Land Report provided by the National Parks Service. The historical maps served as the foundation of the project, which we supported with text-based evidence and current-day imagery. Because the Spanish American Battery is not currently open to the public, this project provides an opportunity to share […]

Creating the Next Generation of Shark Advocates

Year: 2018

Student: Cailla Strobel

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Sharks 4 Kids, Conversation Research Education

Sharks play a critical role in the delicate balance of ocean ecosystems, yet despite their importance, shark populations are being decimated globally. My project aims to tackle this issue with the use of outreach education. Education is one of the critical components to raising general awareness of the important and necessary roles sharks play within our environments. Though collaborating with Sharks4Kids, an international non-profit whose mission is to create the new generation of shark advocates through the facilitation of dynamic educational materials, I am able to create a unique opportunity for the next generation to learn why sharks need kids and why kids need sharks.

Creating the Next Generation of Shark Advocates

Year: 2019

Student: Cailla Strobel

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Sharks 4 Kids, St. Augustine Aquarium, Clean Your 904

Sharks play a critical role in the delicate balance of ocean ecosystems, yet despite their importance, shark populations are being decimated globally. My project aims to tackle this issue with the use of outreach education. Education is one of the critical components to raisin general awareness of the important and necessary roles sharks play within our environments. Through collaborating with Sharks4Kids, an international non-profit whose mission is to create the new generation of shark advocates though the facilitation of dynamic educational materials. I am able to create a unique opportunity for the next generation to learn why sharks need kids and why kids need sharks.

Crosby Sanctuary Tree Survey: Identification of Native and Nonnative Tree Species in Orange Park Florida

Year: 2021

Student: Lexi Lindsley

Community Partner: Duval Audubon Society

In partnership with the Duval Audubon Society, over 280 trees were identified and virtually tagged within their diverse 510-acre property known as the Crosby Sanctuary. A basic survey was performed that included plants >25 feet in height and within 25 inches from the ~1.5 miles of trails winding through the entire sanctuary. In addition, the locations and names of the identified plant species were input onto an online map of the Crosby Sanctuary. The updated map also contains the location of the pre-existing trails, rivers, and other features within the property. Due to the map being created via Google Maps software, it is currently available to the public via website link. Major tree species that were identified within the survey include Laurel Oak, Water Oak, […]

Duval County Food Pantry Inventory and Center of Nutrition and Food Security Hunger Study Research

Year: 2021

Student: Lena Elemam

Community Partner: UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security

This project is being done and monitored under the Center for nutrition and food security in Brooks college of health at the University of North Florida. Its goal is to have all of the food pantries around Florida sorted out and organized in a list. It Ensures that the list includes the pantry’s website contact information, updated days and times for food distribution, and the correct address. The data is collected by looking up information about the food pantries on their websites and then calling the pantry to ensure that everything on the website is up to date. We are also working on taking surveys at the food pantries to collect data about the individuals using the food pantries trying to satisfy their needs. Working […]

Educating the Public on Invasive Species

Year: 2022

Student: Shannon McNeil

Community Partner: Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

This project was created with the intent of educating the public to the effects of invasive species in, Florida’s ecosystem. Invasive species can have detrimental effects on their new environments, leading to economic and ecosystem losses. The Jacksonville Zoo and Garden wanted to ensure that, their guests knew which species displayed in the herpetology department were invasive and the, impacts they could have on Florida’s ecosystem. Public education is the only way to bring ,awareness to this growing problem and potentially help the situation at hand.

Educating the Youth on Building a Sustainable and Eco-friendly Planet

Year: 2021

Student: Anjelica DaSilva

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

As a part of the Environmental Center Leadership Program, I was fortunate to be partnered with community partner Beaches Go Green to help unfold their mission in educating the youth on building a sustainable and eco-friendly planet. Specifically, the main impact Beaches Go Green ensures is the pandemic of plastic waste pollution and its damaging effects of our oceans. 275 million metric tons of plastic waste is produced and less than 9% are recycled or composted. 8 million metric tons of the 275 million metric tons of non-recycled plastic enters the oceans. The outcome participating in beach clean-ups within the Jacksonville Beaches ensured 1,097 volunteers, 30 bags of trash, 10 recycled bags, and 22,159 cigarette butts were collected. During the beach clean-up, cigarette butts contain […]

Eliminating Hunger in Northeast Florida

Year: 2021

Student: Kristin Gonzalez

Community Partner: Feeding Northeast Florida

Food insecurity is generally defined as not having easy access to a grocery store or supermarket with fresh food and produce. The mission for working with Feeding NorthEast Florida is to give back to our community and help eliminate food insecurity in Jacksonville, one of the ways that Feeding NorthEast Florida does this is through the Mobile Corner Market. The Mobile Corner Market is a mobile truck that is located in different locations in order to implement this mission statement. The Mobile Corner Market offers a place for those in need to have an entire shopping experience, with a personal shopper. The goal of the Mobile Corner Market is to improve the quality of life of Northeast Florida by addressing food insecurity by providing nutritious […]

Enviro Rights Map: Examining Regional Constitutional Environmental Provisions

Year: 2022

Student: Savana Courtney-Durrett

Community Partner: Environmental (In)Justice Map

Enviro Rights Map is a digital record of, constitutional environmental provisions codeveloped, by Josh Gellers, Jim May. Currently, accounts for 140 jurisdictions at the, national and subnational levels, the most recent constitutional, environmental provisions. The website, features 5 different categories of, environmental provisions: Statement of Public Policy (SPP), Substantive Environmental Right (SER), Procedural Environmental Right (PER), Right to Water (RTW), and Right of Nature (RoN).

Exploring Northeast Florida’s Special Places

Year: 2017

Student: Sean D. Lahav

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida, Timucuan Parks Doundation, WJCT

Possessing the largest urban park system in the United States, the City of Jacksonville offers outdoor amenities that many are unfamiliar with. These amenities include recreational opportunities, historical sites, and ecological wonders. To promote the use of these parks, and to bring awareness to the natural habitats that coexist within them, the Public Trust Environmental Legal Institute of Florida envisioned a project that would highlight what makes these parks so “special.” Over the span of 2016, Sean Lahav, a project leader in the Environmental Leadership Program, set out to explore, film, and document the city, state, and national parks of Duval County, Florida. With an iPhone 6s in hand, Sean produced, narrated, and edited a 20–episode film series titled, “Exploring Northeast Florida’s Special Places.”

Feasibility of Phasing out Single Use Plastics at UNF

Year: 2022

Student: Ruby Cox

Community Partner: IERE/NOAA

This project stems from research being done by an Interdisciplinary team of researchers at both the University of North Florida and Eckerd College with awards from the NOAA Marine Debris Program to reduce consumption of single use plastics on college campuses as well as foster long term environmental, awareness for coastal campus communities. This project is directed by Dr. Erin Largo Wight and Dr. Heather Truelove, efforts are centered in integrating plastic reduction challenges, outreach initiatives to increase awareness, encourage behavior changes among members of both campus communities by, reducing plastic consumption. Our role in this project is to conduct the feasibility, of reducing single use plastics at the University of North Florida and aims to start, the conversation of what reducing single use plastics […]

Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Year: 2017

Student: Courtney Hogan

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, United Way of Northeast Florida, Northeast Florida AIDS Network

The Food Fighters is a student group dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger on campus at UNF and throughout the Jacksonville community. Currently, we recover leftover trays of food from the Osprey Café and repackage it into well-balanced meals to be donated to the Northeast Florida AIDS Network. Our future plans include expanding our reach to recover and donate to more organizations. We will also include nutrition and cooking classes for our constituents as well as educational events to raise awareness about food injustices prevalent in our very own community.

Food Fighters: Student-Powered Hunger Relief

Year: 2018

Student: Courtney Hogan

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education, Northeast Florida AIDS Networks

The Food Fighters is a student group dedicated to reducing food waste and hunger on campus at UNF and throughout the Jacksonville community. Currently, we recover leftover trays of unserved food from the Osprey Café and repackage it into well-balanced meals to be donated to our community partner, the Northeast Florida AIDS Network.

Fostering Environmental Stewardship and Education at the Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens

Year: 2021

Student: Cassandra Cleland

Community Partner: Jacksonville Zoo and Garden

Abstract: Several studies have shown that currently more plants than ever are going extinct, and humans are the culprits. Plants are an important resource in our ecosystem whom without we would not survive. This is important to recognize because people’s actions on our environment can have a large-scale impact. Environmental stewardship refers to taking responsibility for the environment to improve its quality. The Jacksonville Zoo and Gardens values this and goes to great lengths in fostering it by educating their guests and instilling passion to the next generation, while simultaneously funding a wide variety of conservation efforts. I partnered with the zoo to help further educate their guests by creating a resourceful book that goes into detail about the different plant species they have in […]

Garbage on the Green: an Annual Waste Audit

Year: 2016

Student: Caitlin Kengle

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Since its inauguration, the University of North Florida (UNF) Environmental Center has focused on promoting and increasing sustainability. In 2007 the Environmental Center began an annual waste-auditing program called Garbage on the Green to gauge the campus waste stream. The data obtained from the program are used to educate students, faculty, staff, and community members and provide empirical evidence for recommendations to improve campus sustainability. This project summarizes the results from the ninth annual waste audit, which took place Thursday, October 22, 2015. The waste audit analyzed a 24-hour waste stream that was collected from four locations on campus: two academic buildings and two outdoor courtyards. More than 100 volunteers helped sort, categorize and weigh the collected waste. The data from the waste audit were […]

Going Green one Film at a time: Producing an introductory video for My Green Doctor

Year: 2022

Student: Cameron Tefft

Community Partner: My Green Doctor

A concept fundamental to My Green Doctor is that climate change and health are not separate issues but are more intertwined than most people realize. The World Health Organization predicts that “Between 2030 and 2050,climate change is expected to cause approximately 250 000,additional deaths per year from malnutrition diarrhea and heat stress alone”,(Climate change). My Green Doctor is a non-profit organization to “to help educate health professionals and their patients to make changes in their lives on topics of environmental sustainability and climate change” (Home 2022). Along with all of the content on mygreendoctor.org main ways in which the organization helps to educate people in the health sector is their meeting-by-meeting guide. This curriculum is meant to help establish a culture of green thinking in […]

Green Purchasing Guide in Health Care Offices and Clinics

Year: 2021

Student: Hannah Kim

Community Partner: My Green Doctor

According to researchers at Northeastern University and Yale, the U.S medical facilities are nearly responsible for 10% of greenhouse gas emissions. Many of these institutions require significant amount of resources such as water, paper, plastic, and electricity but they are at often at a high cost, inefficient, and wasteful when inspecting at them closer. My project will provide a purchasing guide that will encourage to adopt environmentally, sustainable products that will save money and create a healthier environment. The main goal is to encourage offices to foster environmentally friendly products at an affordable cost. Through the collaboration of The My Green Doctor, a free nonprofit service whose main’s goals is to include environmental sustainability in offices & homes, I will create an essay and a […]

Hunger Map: UNF Center for Nutrition and Food Security

Year: 2022

Student: Allison Beckford

Community Partner: Center for Nutrition and Food Security

The Hunger Map is one of the resources created by UNF’s Hunger Network. It is a 4-level map that is a comprehensive assessment of hunger within the city of Jacksonville. It serves as a resource for programming, services, advocacy, and grants. The first level is a compilation of all the food pantries around Jacksonville along with information such as their hours of operation, contact information, the amount of people they can serve weekly, requirements for the people that visit, and how the pandemic has affected their pantry.

Hydroponics System

Year: 2022

Student: Karston Gilmore

Community Partner: UNF Health Promotions, Ogier Gardens

With the knowledge I acquired while researching hydroponic systems, I created a manual to help answer the questions any future students may have. The manual explains what a hydroponics system is, the benefits of the system, a growing plan and watering schedule, the conditions needed for optimal growth, and how to sanitize and sterilize the system. I also created a record sheet for future students to record their observations to help guide others. My hope for the growth records is that students will be able to look at the records of previous growers to see what they observed while growing their plants and to learn from any advice that may have been given.

Increasing Green Foods with the SWAP System

Year: 2022

Student: Atalia Vazquez

Community Partner: Feeding North East Florida

This project focuses on implementing the Supporting Wellness at Pantries (SWAP) system in Feeding Northeast Florida mobile pantry, The Corner Market. The SWAP system allows promoting healthy food choices within the Corner Market by ranking food based on nutrients. Foods that have been linked to increased risks of chronic diseases such as saturated fat, sodium, and added sugars can be easily identified with a red, yellow labeling system. Green encourages consumers to choose the food item often, yellow choose sometimes, and red choose rarely. Most processed and packaged foods are in the red and yellow category, and fresh fruits and vegetables are in the green category. Since this project is still ongoing, I have highlighted the results of a research study for this poster to […]

Jacksonville Parks and Recreation: A Focus on Community

Year: 2022

Student: Rafe Thomas

Community Partner: City of Jacksonville (Parks)

Within Jacksonville’s parks and historic sites there is rich history. This project focuses on making people aware of the upcoming “Duval County Bartram Trail,” the Gullah Geecheev people, important explorers, and the importance of community parks for the great city of Jacksonville.

JAX Green Shores

Year: 2017

Student: Anna Kolodziejsk

Community Partner: UNF Institute of Environmental Research and Education

Lights Out Northeast Florida Documentary

Year: 2021

Student: M. Ryan Nugent

Community Partner: Duval Audubon Society

Artificial light poses as an extreme threat to migratory birds. When migrating at night, birds use the stars and moon to navigate to their destination. However, because birds are attracted to artificial light, they frequently find themselves trapped in areas with a high density of artificial light such as major industrialized cities. Flying in a city with large artificially lit skyscrapers is terribly dangerous for migratory birds and, a majority of the time, results in the birds hitting buildings or exhausting themselves—both of which can be fatal. Each year, about one billion birds die from the effects of artificial light. Lights Out Northeast Florida is a program in Jacksonville aiming to curtail the issue of artificial light by advocating for building and household owners to […]

Making Earth a Cleaner Place with Educational Videos

Year: 2021

Student: Madison Woodson

Community Partner: Beaches Go Green

In the 2020-2021 school year, the University of North Florida’s Environmental Center Leadership Program had students partnered with local community partners. This year, I was partnered with Beaches Go Green in Jacksonville, Florida. Beaches Go Greens’ mission was to inform the younger generation how to “go green” and practice core values of the 4R’s. The 4R’s are to refuse, reduce, reuse and recycle. The project that was implemented were videos advertising how to practice better habits to make Earth a cleaner place. These videos were around two-three minutes long. When creating these videos, modern and kid-friendly content was vital in incorporating information about topics on different environmental issues. One environmental issue that was brought to light was grocery store waste. This video educated students on […]

Mapping Environmental Justice In Jacksonville

Year: 2021

Student: Erin DelGrosso

Community Partner: Dr. Josh Gellers

The project is a digitally interactive map of environmental justice in Jacksonville. It consolidates 19 case studies gathered from lawsuits, protests, citizen complaints, cleanups, restoration projects, and more. Map components include: case study title, location, timeline, environmental justice pillar, type of issue, summary, and links to references. The map shows which areas experience environmental justice and which types of issues are most prevalent. The data is published on BatchGeo and can be accessed at: https://batchgeo.com/map/ea79b6e381fd1b28f23e92612a7e8d4a  

Native Jax

Year: 2022

Student: Grace Sadoff

Community Partner: Native Jax

The initial project was to do a small harvest festival tailored to the community of Springfield, Jacksonville. Our team got to the stage where materials were made, but the event had to be canceled only three weeks from the set date due to logistical changes. Once this occurred, our team worked on creating different marketing materials for Native Jax and brainstorming new campaign initiatives. Both were created to help bring awareness to what benefits NativeJax’s products offer and to why a clean environment is important.

Phasing Out Single Use Plastics, Feasibility, and Student Opinion

Year: 2022

Student: Nathaniel Rodefer

Community Partner: IERE/NOAA

In conjunction with NOAA Marine Debris Program, Dr Largo Wight ( and Dr Truelove ( have receive a grant to help reduce single use plastic consumption among undergraduates in costal communities In cooperation with the work done on this grant, our Environmental Leadership Program (project focuses on working within systems of the University of North Florida to advance and advocate for the phasing out of non essential single use plastics on campus In this effort, we have attended meetings of the University Wide Committee on Sustainability, gathered committee members insights towards this idea, as well as surveyed the UNF student body about issues regarding this project in working with Student Government.

Phytoplankton Monitoring at Kingsley Plantation

Year: 2022

Student: Gabrielle Nelson

Community Partner: National Park Service (Phytoplankton)

This project occurred over the course of five weeks. It was a joint effort between the National Park Service at Kingsley Plantation and undergraduates a part of the Environmental leadership program of the IERE. Our mission was to find designated target species that can be harmful to human and wildlife health at elevated levels. Dinoflagellates ,such as Karenia brevis or Ceratium furca, can produce toxins that kill surrounding wildlife and cause neurotoxic shellfish poisoning in humans Sampling was conducted at the Kingsley Plantation Shoreline. Samples were first collected using a net-tow, and then brought back to the microscope for analyzing. A few target species were found but were not occurring at elevated levels. Other organisms such as copepods and nontarget phytoplankton.