The 2022 Environmental Science Retreat was held in-person this year at FAU's Harbor Branch Oceanographic Institute in Fort Pierce in April, where ES students presented their research to attendees and judges during a poster session. The first-place winner was Garrett Maggio for his thesis research on the genetics of parasitic trematodes in diamondback terrapins. Billy Abbott was the runner-up for his thesis research on how morphological features mitigate the effects of high temperatures on mating behavior in the Bachman's sparrow. Cristal Espinosa's study of marine debris in mangrove environments was the winner in the Directed Independent research category.
The Retreat featured renowned wildlife ecologist Dr. Mark Cook , the Scientific Section Lead of the Systemwide Everglades Research Group at the South Florida Water Management District. Dr. Cook is also a widely recognized wildlife photographer who uses his photography to educate and inspire greater appreciation of our local natural heritage. A panel discussion engaging students and professionals followed the keynote presentation.
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 Jeffrey Herr presented his research on the diamondback terrapin at the Indian River Lagoon Symposium. Find out more about his study HERE.