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BioBlitz 2010 Video

March 15, 2011
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Mission S.T.O.P. Save the Outstanding Preserve

February 8, 2011

Dear Community Leader,

We would like to ask for your support regarding the recognition and perpetual legal protection of the native flora and fauna present in the FAU Ecological Preserve on the Boca Raton campus to prevent any further development on this site. With the construction of the stadium and Innovation Village the native species are now restricted to only 90 acres; a small area compared to the 140 acres present in 2005. Further fragmentation and loss of habitat is part of the near future plans.  The FAU preserve is still big enough to sustain a healthy gopher tortoise (threatened) population and native plant communities. It may support a sustainable burrowing owl (species of special concern) population too. The long, deep burrows dug by the gopher tortoise support over 350 species of wildlife and contribute to the biodiversity of vegetation. The continued loss of land reduces the number of tortoise burrows available which results in a considerable loss of species diversity.

We understand that it is important for FAU to continue to expand to meet the growing demand of new students seeking research and education but it seems possible to divert new expansion projects to any of the numerous vacant lots on campus. Additionally, the more efficient use of space already designated for parking seems a more cost effective and agreeable option (decrease of median space, multi-level parking garages, etc.).

The reasons why, in addition to the protection of state and federally listed species, further development should not occur on the FAU preserve are:

  1. 1. The preserve contributes greatly to the effectiveness of FAU as a major research facility. It functions as a research laboratory, an outdoor classroom, and an area for the community to experience wildlife.
    1. In 2010, over 400 students, faculty, staff and the general public ventured into the preserve as part of research efforts and educational activities lead by our registered student organization, SEEDS and the Environmental Sciences Program.
    2. Undergraduate students have represented FAU at nationwide conferences, receiving over $4,000 in research and conservation grants based solely on efforts in the preserve, including tortoise research and the creation of a nature trail. Additionally, an NSF funded undergraduate research fellow is conducting fundamental ecological research based in the preserve.
    3. The FAU Environmental Sciences Program has initiated a Methods of Field Ecology class (BSC 4930), which utilizes the preserve as its classroom.
  2. 2. A key component missing on the FAU campus is a native environment where the FAU community can enjoy the beauty and tranquility of nature.
    1. Similar to the Living Room Theater and the new engineering building, the preserve increases the aesthetic appeal of FAU and adds to the diversity of available recreational opportunities.
  3. 3. By conserving the preserve, we are setting an example of environmental sustainability by demonstrating our compassion for life and our understanding of the importance in maintaining balance. Additionally, we are continuing the “greening” of our campus.
    1. FAU is already on this path with the construction of green buildings, solar powered trash compacters, on-campus recycling, and other green practices.

Please help us take the next step on this green path.

 

FAU Preserve Trail Sign Competition

February 8, 2011

SEEDS (student organization = Strategies for Ecology Education, Diversity and Sustainability) and the Environmental Sciences Program would like to invite you to participate in the creation of signage for a nature trail in the FAU Ecological Preserve. We need FAU students to write and submit a short paragraph about a plant or animal species from the list provided on the back of this page. If your paragraph is chosen it will appear, along with your name, on one of the descriptive signs set along the campus nature trail.

The preserve is located on the northwest corner of the Boca Raton campus adjacent to lot 5, just west of the PBCC campus. It is a rich collection of wild and plant life. In recent times, this beautiful natural area was accessible only to the adventurous, but following the completion of the nature trail and the assembly of the signage project (both are expected to be near completion Earth Day 2011, with the full experience anticipated for Fall 2011), this jewel of FAU will be open and accessible to anyone seeking refuge from the bustling halls of the breezeway and the clamor of student life.  The winning entries will also be on display during our Earth Day 2011 launch party on the opening day of the nature trail. Don’t pass up this opportunity to be recognized as an integral part of FAU’s most important heritage.

Guidelines: We encourage creative writing that will provide insight into the native flora and fauna that any trail goer might encounter. Creative pieces and poetry are sought, as well as science-minded pieces. The work should be a maximum of 250 words and if sources are used, they must be cited as plagiarism is strictly prohibited. This should be an expression of your unique interpretation of the subject.

Send Paragraphs and inquiries to: seedsfau@gmail.com (please include “Nature Trail Paragraph” in the title)

Deadlines:                                                                                                                                                                            Entries must be received by April 15, 2011. However, we encourage early submission for the best chance of acceptance. No late entries will be accepted.

Eligibility: Any FAU graduate, undergraduate student or faculty may submit their writing. Multiple submissions are encouraged.

Process: Upon submission the officers of SEEDS and faculty of the Environmental Sciences Program will review the writing based upon quality and content. Winning authors will be contacted via e-mail to discuss any revisions and subsequent publication.

List of Animals for Signage:

Raccoon (Procyon lotor) , Armadillo (Dasypus novemcinctus), Gopher Frog (Rana capito), Black Racer (Coluber constrictor priapus), Eastern Coachwhip (Masticophis flagellum flagellum), Green Anole (Anolis carolinensus), Brown Anole (Anolis sagrei), Rough Green Snake (Opheodrys aestivus), Eastern Gray Squirrel (Sciurus carolinensis), Florida Mouse (Podomys floridanus)

List of Plants for Signage:

Saw Palmetto (Serenoa repens), Pricklypear Cactus (Opuntia humifusa), Gumbo Limbo (Bursera simaruba), Sand Live Oak (Quercus geminata), Cabbage Palm (Sabal palmetto),  Hog Plum (Prunus umbellate), Bamboo Vine (Smilax laurifolia), Muscadine (Vitis rotundifolia), Beauty berry (Callicarpaamericana), Wild coffee (Psychotria nervosa)

Information that might be included:

Range, legal status, natural history, life span, appearance (size, shape, color), habitat, diet, problems facing the species including habitat loss, predation by exotic species, etc. (This is particularly interesting and important information in regards to the FAU preserve), predators, reproduction, social structure, activity level and times, behavioral characteristics, differences between males and females, species interactions (e.g. commensal species), edible/poisonous (for plants)

 

FAU Preserve Photographic Tour

January 19, 2011

Please contact SEEDS for file.  Created using ARC GIS 10

SEEDSFAU.com is looking for writers and contributers

September 9, 2010

SEEDSFAU.com is looking for people to contribute data, project info and media to make the site a diverse source of information. Email seedsfau@gmail.com to submit.

Find Green jobs here

September 5, 2010

SEEDS needs Tortoise taggers and Owl trackers!

August 26, 2010

SEEDS recently got permission to begin tagging and tracking gopher tortoises in the on campus preserve. We also need a passionate person to head up our burrowing Owl study. If you are interested drop us a line.
Seedsfau@gmail.com