Springs Education Program
For the general public– Join the Florida Springs Institute at the North Florida Springs Environmental Center on the first (or second)Tuesday of the month at 12pm for Springs Academy Tuesdays where FSI Executive Director, Dr. Knight, and guest lecturers, provide an hour of in-depth insight into the science behind springs. Each month, we dive into a new spring's topic from the schedule below:
Lectures are open to the public. Those who attend all six Springs Academy Tuesdays will receive a special certificate of completion. Content from previous lectures can be found below. A suggested donation of $5 per class is greatly appreciated and supports the work of the Florida Springs Institute.
Part 4: Springs Biology - Algae, Plants, Wildlife [Presentation Slides]
Part 5: Springs Stresses - Groundwater Pumping, Fertilizers, Wastewater Disposal, Recreation [Presentation Slides]
Part 6: Springs Advocacy - Local, State, National [Presentation Slides]
For high school students and civic groups – At the Florida Springs Institute, we endeavor to bring awareness to the public on the biology, health threats, and recovery solutions for Florida's springs. With the help of our volunteer Education Director, Debbie Segal, FSI has developed a presentation and follow-up activities on the Springs and Aquifer System of Florida. All materials are free for public use. If you are a teacher, camp counselor, or group leader and would like to host this presentation or if you have any questions about the presentation materials, please contact us.
Additional Resources– Our friends at Save the Manatee Club have also developed a springs conservation course for high school students and the general public.The course consists of seven video and PowerPoint modules that provide helpful introductions to aquifers, springs, and springsheds; discusses their importance to the Florida water supply; and evaluates impacts from development, pollution, and groundwater pumping. Please visit Save the Manatee Club's website to view the modules and classroom materials.
For Kindergarten through 12th grade students– Developed by Hazlett-Kincaid, Inc., and the Global Underwater Explorers for the Florida Geological Survey in 2001. These downloadable posters cover the basic concepts and issues related to Florida's groundwater resources.
For college students– In 2013, the Florida Springs Institute began hosting an annual Give Springs a Break event at Ginnie Springs Outdoors. The event, which is open to college students from all over the country, includes an introduction to Florida's springs from top experts in the fields of hydrogeology, biology, ecology, and environmental advocacy. Students also participate in overnight camping, field trips to nearby springs, and networking with other students and professionals. Throughout the weekend, students are provided with many opportunities to explore and experience our springs first-hand and to learn the skills and knowledge needed to pursue careers in springs-related fields. The next Give Springs a Break event will take place in spring 2017.
In August 2014, the Florida Springs Institute hosted its first Springs Field School in Apopka, Florida. Twenty-two students, environmental professionals, and community members attended the field school at the Wekiwa Springs State Park Youth Camp. During the field school, participants attended in-depth lectures and presentations on springs ecology, geology, and ethics; participated in fieldwork demonstrations; and enjoyed a paddling tour of Rock Springs Run. Many of the students were new to the study of springs ecosystems. Upon completion of the program, each participant received a special Certificate of Achievement.
Guest speakers for this event included representatives from Adventure Outpost, LLC, the Center for Earth Jurisprudence, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, the St. Johns River Water Management District, and the U.S. Geological Survey Southeast Ecological Science Center.
The second Springs Field School is currently being planned for fall 2016. Stay tuned for more details!