GAINESVILLE, Fla. — From forests to wetlands, rivers to coastline, Floridians and visitors enjoy the Sunshine State’s rich natural resources each day.
Natural resources educators with the University of Florida have been nationally recognized for their work to ensure the sustainability of fisheries, wildlife, forests and more in the Sunshine State.
Faculty members with UF’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences Extension swept the recent Association of Natural Resource Extension Professionals awards, taking home 12 of 21 possible honors.
“We are proud that UF/IFAS Extension has been a leader in educating Florida residents and visitors about our land and water resources, and how to use them sustainably for the benefit of current and future generations,” said Marty Main, associate dean of UF/IFAS Extension, program leader for natural resources and associate director of Florida Sea Grant.
Winners were recognized for their achievements in publishing, program promotion, educational materials and leadership.
- Southeastern Forests and Climate Change
Long Publication – Gold Award; Outstanding Team
Winners: Annie Oxarart and Martha Monroe, School of Forest Resources and Conservation
Developed and evaluated an education module with 14 activities that address climate change impacts on southeastern forests.
- Kayaking Trail Video
Promotional Materials – Silver Award
Winners: Brittany Scharf and Rebecca Burton, Florida Sea Grant
Responded to concerns about the impact of recreation on the Weeki Wachee River by creating another trail and educating users of the resource.
- Sea Turtle Lighting Retrofits
Promotional Materials – Bronze Award
Winners: Erik Lovestrand and Michelle Huber, Florida Sea Grant
Helped owners of coastal properties retrofit their beach-front lighting to be sea turtle friendly.
- Tampensis, a Continuing Education, Plant Identification Newsletter in Pinellas County
Newsletters – Gold Award
Winners: James Stevenson and Lara Milligan, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
A monthly newsletter distributed to graduates of UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County Natural Resources course: “Advanced Plant Identification.”
- Oysters for the Future
Short Publication – Gold Award
Winner: Erik Lovestrand
A series of short publications that highlight key ecological and human factors important to the long-term sustainability of this valuable fishery.
- Responsible Boating Protects Coral Reefs
Short Publication – Silver Award
Winners: Savanna Barry, Joy Hazell and Ana Zangroniz, Florida Sea Grant
Covers on the biology of corals and coral reefs, benefits of coral reefs to coastal communities, current threats to reefs’ survival, and actions that boaters can take to help protect coral reefs.
- Save Our Lagoon Project Plan Fact Sheets
Short Publication – Bronze Award
Winners: Holly Abeels, Florida Sea Grant, and Lisa Krimsky, UF/IFAS Extension Water Resource Program
Outlines a 10-year, $302 million dollar plan for projects in Brevard County planned to meet water quality targets and improve the health, productivity, aesthetic appeal and economic value of the Indian River Lagoon.
- Scallop Season Kick-off Livestream
Audiovisual – Silver Award
Winners: Scott Jackson, Victor Blanco, Rebecca Burton and Savanna Barry, Florida Sea Grant
Presentations for the fishing public interested in scalloping.
- Backyard Nature Network
Audiovisual – Bronze Award
Winners: Lara Milligan and Samantha Olsen, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
Highlighted tips for residents to turn their yards into wildlife havens.
- Florida Horseshoe Crab Watch
Online Courses – Bronze Award
Winner: Savanna Barry, Florida Sea Grant
Citizen scientists were trained to gather data on nesting horseshoe crab populations.
- Early Career Leadership
Winner: Lara Milligan, UF/IFAS Extension Pinellas County
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 web site at ifas.ufl.edu and follow us on social media at @UF_IFAS.