Posts Tagged ‘Natural Science Department’

SPC has become the first state college in Florida to be named an associate member of the Florida Institute of Oceanography (FIO), a research institute based at the University of South Florida. The group is composed of Florida universities and other organizations that aim to transform Florida’s scientific capabilities in ocean research and provide the education and marine management skills needed to protect the state’s marine environment.

John Vaughan

John Vaughan

For SPC students and faculty, the appointment means greater access to marine research vessels such as the R/V Weatherbird II and the R/V Bellows, both of which drew international attention during the  scientific response to the 2010 Deepwater Horizon oil spill. Additionally, students and faculty can use the FIO’s Keys Marine Laboratory, one of Florida’s premier marine science education laboratories located on Long Key.

“The Natural Science department is very pleased that St. Petersburg College has been elected to be an Associate Member of the Florida Institute of Oceanography,” said John Vaughan, dean of Natural Sciences. “Membership will provide us with improved opportunities for networking, sharing resources and mentors to facilitate student learning and supporting undergraduate research. It is an honor to be the first State College to be included as a member of FIO.”

SPC is one of six new public or private marine science education and research institutes to join the FIO. The FIO Council voted at their Jan. 26 council meeting to admit five associate members and one affiliate member, joining 20 current members.

“The FIO continues to demonstrate that it is both a system-wide asset and a wealth of expertise and research talent unrivaled in most states – particularly at this level of collaborative partnership considering the sheer numbers of public and private sector entities engaged,” said State University System Chancellor Frank Brogan.

The new members were approved based on criteria that include: a significant presence in Florida, a primary focus of marine science education and research and demonstrated ability to bring tangible support to FIO.

During its history, FIO has played a leading role in introducing Florida public school students and university undergraduates to marine science through educational outreach efforts and professional enhancement programs for teachers.

SPC joins Florida’s 11 state universities and nine other marine science entities in the FIO, including: Eckerd College; Florida Sea Grant College; University of Miami, Rosenstiel School of Marine and Atmospheric Science; Florida Department of Environmental Protection; Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Fish and Wildlife Research Institute; Florida Institute of Technology; Mote Marine Laboratory; Nova Southeastern University; and the Smithsonian Marine Station at Fort Pierce.

Read Full Post »



Bill Frederick
St. Petersburg College

              CLEARWATER, Fla. (December 10, 2009) – St. Petersburg College’s Natural Science Department announced today it will plant a teaching botanical garden, consisting only of native Florida plants, on the Clearwater campus on Jan. 11.

            “Bio-diverse native gardens typically require less maintenance, water and herbicide treatment,” said Jason Green, the college’s Sustainability Coordinator.  “Because of that, in Florida we expect to see an increase in this responsible way of gardening as natural resources become scarcer.”

            The botanical garden will be used as a teaching tool for upper and lower level biology classes, according to John Williams, academic chair of the Natural Science Department.

            “The garden will allow students an excellent opportunity to leave the classroom and learn in a more natural environment,” Williams said.

            According to Williams, a number of partners will be involved in the development of the garden:

  • Bruce Turley of Wilcox Nursery, who designed the garden, will deliver the plants the morning of Jan. 11.
  • Tom Fowler, St Petersburg College’s Landscape Crew Leader, will install a drip irrigation system and construct a compacted mulch pathway for wheelchair access soon after the planting is completed.
  • Plans are being made for a site specific sculpture suitable for the garden which will be designed and developed by members of SPC Fine Arts Department under the direction of Department Chair Paul Miehl.
  • Jason Green will oversee the planting, which will be handled by volunteers from SPC’s “Club Green,” Emerging Green Builders, Honors College and other interested faculty, students and staff.

            The garden will be 60 feet wide by 25 feet deep.  Plantings will include spider lilies, yaupon holly, Florida golden aster, coontie, wild petunias, flatwoods plum, Bahama cassia, beautyberry and other native species.



 St. Petersburg College was founded in 1927 as a two-year institution of higher learning.  Known then as St. Petersburg Junior College, it provided high-quality, fully-accredited programs with credits that were fully transferable to four-year institutions.  In 2001, the Florida Legislature passed legislation allowing the college to offer four-year degrees.  In response, the college dropped the word “junior” from its name and became St. Petersburg College.  Today, St. Petersburg College offers programs at learning sites in St. Petersburg, Seminole, Clearwater, Tarpon Springs and elsewhere.  It also offers courses and degree programs online.

Read Full Post »