Science Cafe

Science Café

Science Cafés help to promote scientific literacy by encouraging relaxed, open conversations among scientists and nonscientists of all ages.

Coffee, Chocolate, Conversation.

Dates at a Glance

January 16 - Florida Stewards, Opening and Gallery Talk

February 5 - The Ecology of Port Royal Sound

February 27 - Florida's Own Gems: Agatized Fossil Corals

March 19 - Canceled - Facing Down Disaster: Selected Tales of Resilience Planning from the Southeastern Coastal Zone

Spring 2020

Florida Stewards

Conservation Photographer Dustin Angell

January 16, Thursday, 5-7 p.m., in the RELC

Florida Stewards, Opening and Gallery Talk with Photographer Dustin Angell

Florida Stewards is a new photography exhibit in the Rinker Environmental Learning Center which features images by Archbold Biological Station environmental educator and conservation photographer Dustin Angell.  Angell will be displaying 20 large-format photos that highlight conservationists who are working to protect the wildlife and ecosystems of Florida, including biologists, land managers, artists and others.  The Rinker Environmental Learning Center's environmental gallery is located at 230 E. Michigan Ave., DeLand, 32723. The building is adjacent to the Gillespie Museum on Stetson University's campus.

Guests will have a chance to learn more about the exhibit during a free opening-night reception and gallery talk by Angell on Thursday, January 16, 6-8 p.m. The display runs through Friday, March 13.  Angell, who has a BFA from Alfred University, builds community relationships and interprets ecological research for audiences of all ages in his environmental educator role at the Archbold Biological Station in Venus, Florida, which is near the Everglades Headwaters National Wildlife Refuge and Conservation Area.   He began taking his camera to work to document educational outreach and ecological research after he moved to Venus from Syracuse, New York seven years ago. Conservation photography became his passion and life purpose, which led to him participating in photography shows and creating a photo essay on Florida grasshopper sparrows that was published in the Cornell Lab of Ornithology's spring 2017 issue of Living Bird Magazine.

He presented slides on his conservation photography during a successful Science Café at the Gillespie Museum in spring 2019 and has been invited back to exhibit his inspirational photographs.  Angell's educational work has garnered him recognition and provided him with leadership roles throughout the state, which have included serving as the past president of the League of Environmental Educators in Florida (LEEF) and is currently on the steering committee for the Lake Wales Ridge Ecosystem Working Group. He also was the recipient of the 2015 Outstanding Educator Award from the Florida Chapter of the Wildlife Society.

This past summer, Angell introduced an arts project, #MyScienceFuture, to children at Archbold Biological Station's Ecology Summer Camp sessions. This multi-day project used his “Florida Stewards” photo series as a way to promote science careers. Students learned about local science and conservation, dressed up for their own photo shoots with Angell and wrote accompanying messages for viewers about their feelings on science and nature. The project combines photography appreciation, imaginative play, drawing and creative writing as tools for learning about nature and science.  Angell has been presenting #MyScienceFuture at education conferences, created a selfie-booth for community festivals and is planning to design a mobile version for classroom teachers to use in the future.

Cultural Credit for Stetson Undergraduates

See a sample of Dustin's work in the Flickr album below.

Gillespie Museum - Dustin Angell photography

Kristen Mattson

Kristen Mattson, Spring Island Trust

February 5, Wednesday, 7-8:30 p.m.

The Ecology of Port Royal Sound

The Port Royal Sound watershed is part of the South Atlantic Bight salt marsh ecosystem and stands out due to its relatively pristine condition and healthy marine habitat. Unique conditions found only in Port Royal Sound promote a high productivity and biodiversity. Join environmental educator Kristen Marshall Mattson to learn what makes this area distinct and to hear stories of some of the most important species found there.

Kristen is a naturalist and fundraising coordinator for the Spring Island Trust, a conservation nonprofit, and has been in the field of environmental education for nearly 15 years. She attended Stetson University and received a BS degree in environmental science with a minor in biology and a BA in Spanish. She earned a master's degree in interdisciplinary ecology with a focus in botany at the University of Florida. Her primary duties are to co-instruct the Master Naturalist program, lead educational programs, and coordinate citizen science projects. She also writes and hosts Night Skies over Beaufort, an astronomy video education series.

Cultural Credit for Stetson Undergraduates

Agatized Coral

February 27, Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m.

Florida's Own Gems: Agatized Fossil Corals

Agatized Coral and Other Silicified Fossils is an exhibition from the personal collections of Sam Upchurch, PhD, and Gary Maddox, Apalachee Minerals. Agatized coral is a mineralized fossil chosen by the state legislature in 1979 as the Florida state rock. As specialists in Florida geology and karst systems, Professor Upchurch and Mr. Maddox have collected specimens for decades. They will be here to talk about collecting and understanding the geological history which created these rare specimens.

Cultural Credit for Stetson Undergraduates

Jason Evans

Jason Evans, Interim Director of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience

March 19, Thursday, 7-8:30 p.m. - Canceled

Facing Down Disaster: Selected Tales of Resilience Planning from the Southeastern Coastal Zone

Stetson University Professor of Environmental Science and Studies, and Interim Director of Stetson's Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience (IWER), Jason Evans, will speak about his experience on the front lines of Florida's challenge with climate change. Coastal communities across the world are faced with increasing flood risk due to sea-level rise and more extreme storms that are largely associated with climate change. Florida and other coastal states of the U.S. southeast have some of the nation’s most extreme vulnerabilities to climate change-related flood risks, especially long-term risks of tidal inundation from rising seas. Although these geophysical risks are well understood and there is an increasing effort to develop “resilience planning” initiatives, most coastal communities are still in the very early stages of grappling with the socio-economic and environmental implications of sea-level rise. Drawing on several years of applied resilience planning work with local governments across Florida and the southeast region, this presentation will present a suite of local results, key lessons learned, and a few suggestions for moving forward with eyes wide open. Some ways in which specific policy mechanisms within FEMA’s National Flood Insurance Program (NFIP) and associated Community Rating System (CRS) relate to the current practice of coastal resilience planning will be discussed in particular detail.

Dr. Jason M. Evans is Associate Professor of Environmental Science and Studies and the Interim Executive Director of the Institute for Water and Environmental Resilience at Stetson University. Trained as a systems and landscape ecologist, most of Evans's recent research has focused on sea-level rise vulnerability assessments and adaptation planning for coastal communities in the U.S. southeast. This work has received multiple awards for outstanding applied research and has been supported by numerous funding sources, including the NOAA Sea Grant College Program, Florida DEP’s Resilient Coastlines Program, Georgia’s Coastal Zone Management Program, and several individual local governments. Dr. Evans also has experience studying algal bloom dynamics in Florida’s spring-fed streams, evaluating water resource and biodiversity impacts of large-scale bioenergy systems, and applying “green infrastructure” interventions for water quality and pollinator habitat enhancement in urban areas. In addition to his academic appointment with Stetson, Dr. Evans currently serves as Co-Editor-in-Chief for the Journal of Environmental Management, one of the world's premier publications for environmental science, engineering, and planning.

Cultural Credit for Stetson Undergraduates