Several faculty members in the UF/IFAS soil and water sciences department won state and national awards for their extension service. The awards come from the Association of Natural Resources Extension Professionals (ANREP) and the Florida chapter of the association (FANREP).
Mark Clark, associate professor of wetland ecology, received the Outstanding Extension Specialist award from FANREP. Clark is the UF/IFAS wetland extension specialist. His focus is on the role of wetlands in controlling or enhancing water quality. More specifically, his extension service addresses issues of wetland resource management and land use, wetland restoration and construction, and wetlands-related best management practices. Clark has also been instrumental in building resilient living shorelines.
Laura Reynolds, assistant professor of coastal ecology, is part of the team recognized for its Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Marine Habitat Restoration efforts. The team won the following awards:
- Comprehensive Program Curriculum category – Gold Award, ANREP and 1st Place, FANREP
- TV/Video category – Silver Award, ANREP and 1st Place, FANREP
- Long Publication category – 3rd Place, FANREP
Through classroom, field trips, and practical benefits experience, the Marine Habitat Restoration course is designed to help participants understand the importance of marine biodiversity and approaches to restoration. The total training consists of 24 contact hours.
Mary Lusk, assistant professor of urban soil and water quality, shares the FANREP Outstanding Team award with her colleagues from the Healthy Ponds Certification Program. The Healthy Ponds Certification Program is a self-paced, eight-week online course that culminates with a 4-hour, in-person field day. In the Short Publication category, Lusk and her Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM colleagues received the ANREP Bronze Award and 3rd Place from FANREP. They are recognized for their Florida-Friendly LandscapingTM Report Card.
Ashley Smyth, assistant professor of biogeochemistry, received the FANREP Outstanding 4-H/Youth Development award as part of the Touring Florida: Wildlife, Water, and Climate Change team. They also won 2nd Place in the FANREP Website/App/Education Technology category. Touring Florida is a four-week virtual camp that immersed youth in learning ecosystem connections. The camp combined synchronous with asynchronous activities.