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Late Florida Sea Grant Director’s Art to Support Students and Research

By Rhett Register

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — Karl Havens’ day job as the Florida Sea Grant director, which he led from 2007 until his unexpected passing in April 2019, often blended with his other passions, photography and painting.

Karl Havens (photo by Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS) and one of his pieces of artwork now available for auction. “Controlled Burn,” an original photograph, is printed on glass.

Havens, who also served as a professor of aquatic ecology with the UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, was a leading international expert on aquatic research, management, education and outreach. His expertise in these areas was expansive, encompassing all manners of natural and human-caused impacts to our water resources, such as nutrient enrichment, drought, climate variability and hurricanes. His loss was profound, not only to the state of Florida, but also to the world.

Now, his passion for art will be used to support those who carry on his life’s work, with bidding underway for a selection of his original artwork. Funds raised through the auction of six photographs and six paintings will benefit the Karl Havens Excellence Endowment, a fund that supports students and research at Florida Sea Grant-affiliated institutions in the areas of limnology, coastal and estuarine water quality, and harmful algal blooms.

“With this fund, Florida Sea Grant seeks to continue Karl’s legacy of both scientific discovery and communication of science-based information to serve our coastline,” said Sherry Larkin, Florida Sea Grant interim director. “If we reach the endowment level of $30,000, we will be able to fund fellowships with the ultimate goal of having an endowed chair to carry on this important work on behalf of Florida Sea Grant.”

The Florida Sea Grant program, hosted at University of Florida/IFAS, is a university-based program that supports research, education and Extension to conserve coastal resources and enhance economic opportunities for the people of Florida.

Bidding on the artwork ends at 3 p.m. (EST) on Dec. 18. Visit 32auctions.com/HavensExcellenceFund to view items and place a bid. All proceeds go to the fund.

To learn more about Karl and this effort, or to donate directly to the fund, visit: flseagrant.org/karl-havens-excellence-fund.

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The mission of the University of Florida Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences is to develop knowledge relevant to agricultural, human and natural resources and to make that knowledge available to sustain and enhance the quality of human life. With more than a dozen research facilities, 67 county Extension offices, and award-winning students and faculty in the UF College of Agricultural and Life Sciences, UF/IFAS works to bring science-based solutions to the state’s agricultural and natural resources industries, and all Florida residents. Visit the UF/IFAS website at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.

The Florida Sea Grant Program, hosted at University of Florida/IFAS, is a university-based program that supports research, education and Extension to conserve coastal resources and enhance economic opportunities for the people of Florida. In addition to UF/IFAS, the program is a partnership between Florida universities, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, and county governments.

(Featured photo by Tyler Jones, UF/IFAS)

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