Tag Archive: Grant

Sea Grant Publications on the Impacts of the BP Oil Spill

Sea Grant Publications on the Impacts of the BP Oil Spill

The Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill was one of the worst natural disasters in our country’s history.
Photo: Gulf Sea Grant


We are pleased to announce the release of a pair of new bulletins outlining how the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill impacted the popular marine animals dolphins and sea turtles. To read these and other oil spill science publications, go to http://gulfseagrant.org/oilspilloutreach/publications/


The Deepwater Horizon’s impact on bottlenose dolphins – In 2010, scientists documented a markedly increased number of stranded dolphins in the northern Gulf of Mexico. Was oil exposure to blame? Could other factors have been in play? Read the answers to these questions here: http://masgc.org/oilscience/oil-spill-science-dolphins.pdf.


Sea turtles and the Deepwater Horizon oil spill – This publication reviews the estimated damage oil exposure caused to sea turtles and discusses continued research and monitoring efforts for these already endangered and threatened species. Click here to read this bulletin: http://masgc.org/oilscience/oil-spill-science-sea-turtles.pdf.


Also –


“Sea turtles and oil spills” presentations – On March 23 in Brownsville, Texas, more than 100 participants gathered in person and online to listen to scientists, responders, and sea turtle specialists explain what we know about how these creatures fared in 2010 and detail ongoing conservation programs. Watch videos of the presentations here: http://gulfseagrant.org/sea-turtles-oil-spills/.


Our oil spill science outreach team hopes you will find these resources useful! J




Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2017/04/14/sea-grant-publications-on-the-impacts-of-the-bp-oil-spill/

Sea Grant Monitors Occurrence of Goliath Groupers in the Panhandle

Sea Grant Monitors Occurrence of Goliath Groupers in the Panhandle

For several years now Dr. Angela Collins, with Florida Sea Grant, has been conducting research on the status of the Goliath Grouper.  This extremely large member of the Family Serranidae has been of concern to fishermen, divers, and resource managers in south Florida.  The harvest of goliath groupers has been prohibited since 1990 but their populations have certainly increased.  Once found throughout the Gulf region, they became rare from recreational and commercial harvesting in the 1970’s and 80’s; most of the fish that were encountered were encountered in southwest Florida.  Today, their numbers have increased and records of the animal have been logged from Tampa Bay, the Big Bend, and now from the Panhandle region. At this point FWC is not sure whether the numbers have recovered enough to remove the ban from harvesting.

Three goliath groupers over wreck in southwest Florida. Photo: Bryan Fluech Florida Sea Grant

Three goliath groupers over wreck in southwest Florida. Photo: Bryan Fluech Florida Sea Grant


Each year, during the first week of June, Dr. Collins conducts a statewide survey of Goliath Grouper encounters.  She is particularly interested in Goliath Grouper sightings in the panhandle.  This year the survey will begin this Sunday – June 5 and extend to Saturday June 11.  Any diver interested in participating in the survey should contact their local Sea Grant Agent to obtain the official data sheet.  These sheets can be scanned and returned to your local Sea Grant Agent – or you can contact them for alternative methods for submitting the results.


We hope local divers will consider helping us with this needed information.  These data sheets will be part of the annual assessment of the status of this neat fish.  For more information visit the Florida Sea Grant website (https://www.flseagrant.org/news/2016/06/great-goliath-grouper-county-provides-fisheries-managers-stock-assessment-data/).


Author: Rick O’Connor – roc1@ufl.edu

Sea Grant Extension Agent in Escambia County

Rick O’Connor

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/06/04/sea-grant-monitors-occurrence-of-goliath-groupers-in-the-panhandle/

Florida 4-H Club Grows Compassion through Community Pride Grant

Fire Ants 4-H Club members prepare and serve meals for hospice patients and caregivers to develop compassion and empathy in their community.

Fire Ants 4-H Club members prepare and serve meals for hospice patients and caregivers to develop compassion and empathy in their community.

There are many genetic traits you’re born with that can’t be changed.  But what about traits such as compassion and empathy?  Can they be learned?  A new study conducted by the University of Wisconsin-Madison shows that adults can indeed be trained to be more compassionate and empathetic.  But rather than wait until adulthood to grow this trait, youth involved in 4-H have the opportunity to grow compassion beginning as early as five years old.  Giving back has long been one of the essential elements of 4-H programs where youth are given the opportunity to practice service to others.

The Fire Ants 4-H Club is one such club in Washington County that gives its members a chance to practice compassion and giving through its service project with Covenant Hospice. For the past two years, the Fire Ants 4-H Club has partnered with Covenant Hospice to provide volunteer services for its clients. 

It began with a few members and parents volunteering to make a meal for a client.  Last year, club officers applied for a Florida 4-H Foundation Community Pride grant to grow their efforts with the purpose of providing healthy, home-cooked meals for Hospice clients.    Members and parents spent a day preparing and cooking made-from-scratch meals and then portioning them into individual serving containers.  Over 100 individual home-cooked meals were frozen and delivered to clients.  Members have also served at the past three annual Covenant Hospice banquet that honors patients and caregivers.  

Community service has the ability to become life changing not just for those receiving the service but especially for the youth involved.  4-H’ers are learning through hands-on experiences that they can make a difference and that their efforts are important.  Getting involved in a cause or effort that matters to youth helps develop skills and experiences that carry over into adult life and cultivate a sense of compassion for the world in which they live.  If we grow youth who are more compassionate and empathetic, what does that potentially mean for our world?  We are more likely to have youth who are socially responsible, who have a heart for giving back and helping others, who have positive relationships with peers and adults, who have improved communication and critical thinking skills and go into careers that feed their passions and interests. 

What will you do in 2016 to grow compassion? 

For more information on 4-H clubs in your county, or if you’re an adult who wants to work with youth to help them grow compassion and empathy to make help your community thrive, contact your local UF IFAS County Extension Office or visit http://florida4h.org 




Author: Julie Pigott Dillard – juliepd@ufl.edu

Julie Pigott Dillard is the 4-H Youth Development Agent in Washington County..

Julie Pigott Dillard

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2016/01/15/florida-4-h-club-grows-compassion-through-community-pride-grant/

Celebrating 150 Years of Land Grant Universities on July 2


In 1901, University of Florida Professor W.E. French, Narcoossee Cattle Research Station, conducted research on solving a dietary deficiency in Florida Cattle known as “Salt Sickness.”

In the midst of the Civil War, a key piece of legislation that shaped our great nation was signed into law.  On July 2, 1862, Abraham Lincoln signed the Morrill “Land Grant” Act that created the Land Grant University System.  The Act granted funds from the sale Federal land, located mainly in the western territories, to each state. Each state was given 30,000 acres for each representative in congress, based on the 1860 census.  Proceeds from the sale of these lands were invested in a perpetual endowment fund that was used to create and maintain public universities to provide education in agricultural science, military tactics, and engineering.  At a time when this nation was torn apart by war with only minimal funding available, a great effort was started to educate the common man in practical sciences.

Prior to the Civil War, education in this country followed the European model, where only rich men were educated to become doctors, lawyers, ministers, or businessmen at private colleges.

Today Dr. Cliff Lamb and Dr. Nicolas DiLorenzo (not pictured), University of Florida’s North Florida Research and Education Center, are researching feed efficiency in cattle to help cattlemen develop cattle that maintain adequate weight gain on less feed.

Everyone else was either a farmer or tradesman.  The birth of the Land Grant or Public University System provided an opportunity for the common man to be educated.  In 1860, the average farm fed five people.  According to American Farm Bureau, one farm today feeds 155 people and is becoming more efficient every year, due in large part to the research, teaching and extension service provided by public “Land Grant” Universities in all 50 states.  Florida has two land-grant institutions, the University of Florida and Florida A&M University.  Together, they have taken countless steps to establish and maintain agriculture and natural resources as the state’s second-largest industry.

Agricultural and food-related industries are big business here in Jackson County as well.  In 2011, Jackson was once again the top ranked county in Florida for cotton production(44,797 acres), and peanut production (31,551 acres), the second ranked county for corn (3,165), and the 7th ranked county with 28,000 beef cattle.  According to a 2009 University of Florida Study, agriculture and food related industries generated $ 289 million in revenues in Jackson County.

Peanut variety selection and production research has been conducted for many years in the Florida Panhandle.

Almost a quarter of the jobs (22.5%) in the county are related to agriculture and food distribution.  Of these 4,165 jobs, 1,153 are directly related to farm production, processing, marketing, and farming support services.

Here in Jackson County, we see the benefits of what began 150 years ago with the Land Grant Act.  Currently, there are 353 alumni of the University of Florida living in Jackson County, with 94 who were educated in agriculture and natural resources.  Jackson County currently has 41 students enrolled at the University of Florida, with 10 enrolled in the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences.

The North Florida Research and Education Center, located just south of Greenwood is engaged in the research of peanut, cattle, and forage production.  Through this Research Station, new varieties of peanuts, grasses, small grains and numerous production advances have been developed.  The Florida Bull Test annually allows cattlemen to purchase proven bulls that have greatly enhanced the productivity of their herds.

Dr. Barry Tillman, North Florida Research and Education Center (left), is carrying on the University of Florida’s long tradition of peanut production research and variety development.

The Jackson County Extension Service provides “County Agents” who work everyday with farmers, ranchers, gardeners, families, and kids enrolled in 4-H, the official youth organization of the University of Florida.  In 2011, Jackson County Extension Service provided numerous educational trainings that had an attendance of 12,611 people.  Not only do agents provide formal training seminars, in 2011 they also provided one-on-one consultations with 826 individuals through office and field visits, and 5,546 individuals by phone or email.  In addition to the County Agents, there were also 226 Master Gardner and 4-H volunteers that donated 6,911 hours of their time to work with citizens of the county.

Through research, teaching and the extension service, the University of Florida, and Florida A & M are still engaged in the Morrill “Land Grant” mission of providing education to the “common man” to provide solutions for life in Florida.


Doug Mayo

Permanent link to this article: http://franklin.ifas.ufl.edu/newsletters/2012/06/29/celebrating-150-years-of-land-grant-universities-on-july-2/