Environmental Science News

Save the Date for the 2023 Annual ES Retreat at Manatee Lagoon

March 2023

The 2023 Environmental Science Retreat will be held in-person this year at Manatee Lagoon in West Palm Beach on April 25. The Retreat will feature Cara Capp, Senior Everglades Program Manager for the National Parks Conservation Association. ES students will also participate in a Q&A session with local professionals in the environmental field and present their research to attendees and judges during a poster session.

Mark Cook

FAU Environmental Science Graduate Students Receive Awards From the National Parks Conservation Association

October, 2022

Congratulations to four FAU Environmental Science graduate students who were selected as recipients of the 2022-23 National Parks Conservation Association (NPCA) funding support. The students' projects were each awarded $1,000 by NPCA, a non-profit organization dedicated to protecting the National Park System for present and future generations.

Garrett Maggio
“Investigating the Impacts of Definitive Host Population Decline and Fragmentation on the Genetic Structure of a Parasitic Trematode”
Advisor: Michael W. McCoy, Ph.D.

Kayla O’Brien
“Microplastics in Mangrove and Beach Sediments on Southeast Florida Barrier Islands”
Advisor: Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D.

Nate Winn
“Light, Salinity, and Hypoxia effects Thalassia testudinumInternal Oxygen Production and Diffusion into the Rhizosphere”
Advisor: Marguerite Koch, Ph.D.

Olivia Rothberg
“Investigation of Genetically Distinct Subpopulation of Gopher Tortoises in Southeast Florida”
Advisor: Evelyn Frazier, Ph.D.

“This NPCA-FAU partnership highlights the importance of the research being conducted at FAU and the societally relevant, real-world implications for the environment and park conservation efforts,” said Tiffany Roberts Briggs, Ph.D, director of the Environmental Science Program in the Charles E. Schmidt College of Science and associate professor in the Department of Geosciences.

As part of the funding criteria, each project must focus on the protection and restoration of the Everglades National Park, the surrounding Greater Everglades ecosystem or Biscayne National Park and the connected marine and coral reef ecosystems.

“Fom the wetlands of Everglades National Park to the coral reefs of Biscayne Bay and the Florida Keys, the NPCA team is committed to keeping our dynamic ecosystems in South Florida healthy and strong,” said Cara Capp, senior Everglades program manager at NPCA. As climate change and biodiversity loss threaten our parks, we are working with the next generation of environmental scientists and advocates to protect public lands and waters in the years to come. That is why we’re so excited about our partnership with Florida Atlantic University, and proud to support incredible student researchers who are leading the way to protect our invaluable natural resources.”

Throughout the current academic year, each student will demonstrate how their research contributes to initiatives that support the health and restoration of the Greater Everglades ecosystem, Florida’s coral reef and marine habitats. Additionally, they will provide field photos, data collection, a written report and present a poster or develop interpretive materials.

Funding from NPCA provides support for the much-needed equipment and supplies necessary for each of the four Environmental Science Program students to carry out their research.

To learn more about NPCA, visit npca.org .

FPL hires FAU student interns at Manatee Lagoon

Since 2015, the Environmental Science Program has sponsored the successful and popular Manatee Masters Program in partnership with FPL at the Manatee Lagoon in Riviera Beach. This program hires and trains FAU students to become manatee experts who educate the public about manatees and the Lake Worth Lagoon.

Manatees have gathered at Florida Power and Light's Riviera Beach power plant in winter since the 1940s, seeking warmth when water temperatures dip below 68 degrees. In 2016 FPL opened the Manatee Lagoon for the public to watch the sea cows in action. FPL's Manatee CAM also allows the public to watch the manatees that gather at the Lagoon in winter.

Each semester, FPL hosts information sessions for prospective interns and announces a due date for applications. Students submit their resume and application through FAU's HANDSHAKE, and FPL interviews qualified candidates at FAU.

ES Student Studies Diamondback Terrapins in the Indian River Lagoon

ES student Jeffrey Herr presented his research on the diamondback terrapin at the Indian River Lagoon Symposium. Find out more about his study HERE.

Additional Information
The Charles E. Schmidt College of Science offers unparalleled experiential learning opportunities to prepare the next generation of scientists and problem solvers.
Charles E. Schmidt College of Science
Florida Atlantic University
777 Glades Rd, SE-43
Boca Raton, FL 33431
Fax: (561) 297-3292