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

Tuesday, Oct 25, 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 testudinum  Internal 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.

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