Research

Faculty Seed Grants

Summer 2018 Projects

The purpose of the IWER Faculty Seed Grant program is to support faculty-led pilot projects that align with the Institute’s four focus areas: Florida Spring, Indian River Lagoon, Coastal Resilience and Sustainability Management

C. de Bodisco, J. Evans and E. Stover, "Estimating the Impact of Flood Risk on Housing Values in the Florida Keys"
Dr. de Bodisco and Dr. Evans will collaborate with Stetson senior Emily Stover who is an Environmental Science and Economics double major on an economic analysis about coastal resilience in the Florida Keys

B. Tanner and K. McGee, "Sh.O.R.E. 2018: Sharing Our Research with Everyone on the Indian River Lagoon"
Dr. Tanner and Ms. McGee requested sponsorship for the Sh.O.R.E. 2018 conference, a very important element of our supporting research and community outreach around the Indian River Lagoon.

M. Gibbs and H. Brown, "Circadian Rhythms in Fish Utilizing High Oxygen Algal Beds in Hypoxic Springs"
Dr. Gibbs with her student Hunter Brown will conduct a study at Volusia Blue Spring in summer 2018 to investigate the behavior of fish that may be using algal beds as an oxygen source. Aligning with our priority to support research in springs ecosystems, this study shows how fish communities in springs with enhanced nutrient loading and algal growth may be shifting their behavior or physiology in response to this alternative ecosystem state.

N. Wolek and C. Underriner, "Florida Springs Soundscape"
Wolek and Underriner proposed an investigation of the acoustic ecology of Blue Spring State Park and DeLeon Springs State Park to explore the role of sound in the natural and human experience of the springs. The collection and presentation of these digital sound studies will expand how visitors to these springs, both on the ground and through digital media understand the landscape and underwater environment of the springs

M. Roberts and T. Witek, "Walking the Wrack Line"
Roberts, a digital media artist and Witek, a poet propose to document the experience of walking along the wrack line for the length of Canaveral National Seashore through visual media and text. In support of coastal resilience, the presentations of their collaborative work will expand our understanding and experience of the importance of the natural processes occurring in the wrack line and the ways that human additions and interference in the wrack line modify its role in coastline stability.

Student Spotlight

2018 Senior Research Projects with IWER Affiliated Faculty

Water Quality

Adam Cooper, Chemistry
"Community-Based Water Testing to Prevent Disasters"
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Ramee Indralingam

Rachel Saunders and Mackenzie Thomson, Environmental Studies
"Drinking Water Quality Tests for Bacterial Coliform and Total Chlorine at Stetson University"
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Wendy Anderson

Sustainability (Campus and Community)

George Winsten, Environmental Science
"Divestment: A Fiscal Analysis of Cleaner Energy Endowment Practices at Stetson University"
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Wendy Anderson

Anthony DiCostanz
"Stetson University Campus Tree Assessment and Map”
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Wendy Anderson

Courtney Converse, Social Science
"Investigating Barriers to the Incorporation of Locally Sourced Food Into Commercial Kitchens in Volusia County, Florida"
Faculty supervisor: Dr. Wendy Anderson

MacKenzie Quinn, Environmental Studies
"Investigating the Accessibility to Select Organic Food Sources Based on Food Desert Characteristics Within DeLand, Florida"

Catherine Howell, English
"Peer Tutoring and Rethinking ‘Purpose’ in the Context of Nature Writing"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Mary Pollock

Indian River Lagoon

Camryn Soehnlein, Environmental Studies
"Finding a Fingerprint for Mangrove and Saltmarsh Soil Deposits"
Faculty Supervisors: Dr. Jason Evans and Dr. Ben Tanner
Note: Camryn’s work was part of a project made possible through a Willa Dean Lowery Grant.

Springs

Todd Akin, Environmental Science
"Modeling Residential On-Site Waste Disposal for Upgrade Prioritization in DeLand, Florida"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jason Evans
Note: Todd’s project came out of his work as a paid intern with the City of DeLand and is a fine example of how GIS can be applied to inform low-hanging infrastructure upgrades for springshed protection.

Alex Krest, Environmental Science
"Native vs. Invasive: A Comparative Field Study Regarding the Growth Rates of the Floridian Native Ceratophyllum Demersum and the Invasive Hydrilla Verticillata"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jason Evans
Note: Alex’s work was an outgrowth of his work as a long-term volunteer at DeLeon Springs State Park and was a pretty interesting field-based experiment that required a large amount of ingenuity and perseverance.

Alyssa Soto, Aquatic and Marine Biology
"Territorial Behaviors in Lucania Goodei and Lucania Parva in Central Florida Springs"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kirsten Work

Ashlee Renich-Malek, Aquatic and Marine Biology
"Low Dissolved Oxygen Concentrations Have a Negative Effect on Fish Behavior in Central Florida Freshwater Springs"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kirsten Work

Emily Clements, Aquatic and Marine Biology
"Effects of Diet on Neonatal Growth of Melanoides Tuberculata" Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kirsten Work

Coramarie (Jifu) Jennings, Aquatic and Marine Biology
"The Effectiveness of Underwater Video Surveys and Seining in Measuring Fish Abundance and Diversity in Three Central Florida springs"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kirsten Work
Note: Jifu Jennings presented at the Association of Southeastern Naturalists meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC in March.

Raquel Gilliland, Aquatic and Marine Biology
"Higher Benthic Species Diversity May Indicate Good Out-Planting Sites for Acropora Cervicornis and Acropora Palmata in Roatan, Honduras"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Kirsten Work
Note: Raquel presented her research at CMERA’s Cruising for Conservation Conference, Clearwater, FL in January and at the Association of Southeastern Naturalists meeting in Myrtle Beach, SC in March.

Coastal Adaptation

Savannah Hardisky, Environmental Science
"Investigating the Effects of Nitrogen and Phosphorus Levels on Submerged Aquatic Vegetation within the Chesapeake Bay from the Years 2000 to 2010"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jason Evans

Note: Savannah secured a treasure trove of SAV data from Virginia Institute of Marine Science and water quality data from the Chesapeake Bay Data Hub to develop the geospatial and statistical analyses that became her senior research project.

Eilyn Mitchell, Environmental Science
"Building a GIS Database: Stormwater Infrastructure for the City of Satellite Beach, Florida"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jason Evans

Note: Eilyn Mitchell recently presented her work to City of Satellite Beach officials. The stormwater GIS database she developed is already being used as the basis for planning and engineering assessments in support of green infrastructure-based capital improvement projects in the City of Satellite Beach, and we consider it a model template for other municipalities to implement throughout the Indian River Lagoon watershed. Her project was supported through funding we received through Florida Sea Grant, in partnership with ECFRPC, University of Florida GeoPlan, and the City of Satellite Beach.

Honor Stoner, Environmental Studies
"A 100-Year Storm Coastal Flood and Sea Level Rise Impact Analysis for Volusia County"
Faculty Supervisor: Dr. Jason Evans

Note: Honor’s project was supported through funding by Florida DEP to the Resilient Volusia project, which was awarded to ECFRPC, UF GeoPlan, and Volusia County.

Note: Savannah, Eilyn, and Honor all did internships with the East Central Florida Regional Planning Council, and that experience was hugely beneficial to all of them. The projects that Eilyn and Honor ended up doing are direct consequences of that internship experience.

In addition to the student projects listed above, four Stetson students - MacKenzie Quinn, Savannah Hardisky, and Camryn Soehnlein - attended the American Association of Geographers in April 2018 in New Orleans, LA with Dr. Evans, Dr. Tanner, Dr. Anderson and Dr. Falk to present research related to IWER focal areas.