Welcome to The Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands
The Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands (CFW) is a Type II center dedicated to facilitating wetland programs at the University of Florida and helping in the intellectual marketing and transfer of these programs at the state, national and international levels. Cutting across campus campus departments and disciplinary areas, the CFW fosters interdisciplinary research, teaching, and service regarding wetlands and related resources with an emphasis on sustainable patterns of humanity and environment. The CFW is directed by David Kaplan.
The Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands provides sound scientific knowledge about wetlands that will lead to a better understanding of their role in a sustainable partnership of humanity and nature. The Center works toward this goal by conducting, facilitating and coordinating interdisciplinary research and teaching on wetland-related resource management issues.
David Kaplan joined the Department of Environmental Engineering Sciences in 2012 and created the Watershed Ecology Lab housed at the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands. Research in the Watershed Ecology Lab focuses on linkages between ecosystems and the hydrologic cycle, with the goal of advancing natural resources conservation and management. Dr. Kaplan has served as the Assistant Director of the CFW since 2013.
Field experiments inspired by observations of natural systems form the core of The Angelini Lab's research approach. As community ecologist, Christine Angelini studies how interactions among species, commonly habitat-forming foundation species, drive patterns in the organization of biological communities, and how different types of interactions, such as those involving mutualists and top predators, enhance or reduce an ecosystem's resilience to climate change. In addition to manipulating species interactions or physical factors of interest with experiments, research methodology includes correlational approaches, spatial models, and biogeochemical analyses when necessary to contextualize research findings, elucidate how ecosystem dynamics may change over time, and tease apart the mechanisms that drive natural patterns. The Angelini Lab group collaborates with a diverse and talented crew of ecologists, hydrologists, soil biogeochemists, and engineers at the University of Florida and several other US and international institutions.
The H.T. Odum Center for Wetlands and Center for Environmental Policy have been generating publications related to environmental issues since their inception. Digitization of these publications began in the summer of 2004 as a cooperative project with the Digital Library Center, University of Florida Libraries, creating the Howard T. Odum Center for Wetlands Publications. Publications include research reports, articles, book chapters, dissertations and theses, and are freely available to anyone. This is an ongoing project and only those publications without copyright restriction will be included.
Created in 1995, The Wetlands Club at the University of Florida is an official UF student organization under the Benton Engineering Council and is open to all students and staff regardless of major. The Wetlands Club hosts a variety of field trips, social events, public service projects and research opportunities.
News & Announcements
February 2nd each year is World Wetlands Day. This day marks the date of the adoption of the Convention on Wetlands on 2 February 1971, in the Iranian city of Ramsar on the shores of the Caspian Sea. Each year since 1997, the Ramsar Secretariat has provided materials to help raise public awareness about the importance and value of wetlands. See more at: www.worldwetlandsday.org.
On March 8th, 2015, Dr. Kaplan's Watershed Ecology Lab implemented the first of four proposed dye tracer experiments in Silver River, one of Florida's largest springs. The study is part of a $3,000,000 interdisciplinary research project funded by the St. Johns River Water Management District (SJRWMD) to answer one of Florida's most pressing environmental challenges: why are Florida's springs changing from systems dominated by clear water and submerged aquatic vegetation to being dominated by algae--and what can be done to reverse the process? In all, ten UF researchers across four departments are engaged in different components of the three-year project.
Within the larger project, the Watershed Ecology Lab is focused on the relationship between spring hydrodynamics, nutrient transformations, and algae proliferation. To estimate river velocities and residence times (how long water stays in the river), researchers injected 5 gallons of a red fluorescent dye (Rhodamine ET) at the Mammoth (Main) Spring vent in Silver River and tracked the flow of dye downstream at nine fixed stations (three in-stream fluorometers and six automated samplers). These data will be used to model flow and mixing in the river and will be supplemented with 318 samples collected by volunteers who helped tracked the flow of dye downstream overnight. Study results will help improve understanding of how changes in spring flow affect water velocity, nutrient levels, and spring ecology.
The lab wishes to thank the SJRWMD, the Florida Department of Environmental Protection staff at Silver River State Park (in particular Park Manager Sally Lieb), Marion County Parks and Recreation, Patrick Gardner and Doug Marcinek (UF Fisheries) for SCUBA assistance, and over 20 UF student volunteers.
Monday, March 30, 2015, 8:30am-12:45pm - Amazon Dams Network (ADN) International Symposium "Dams and Social-environmental Transformations in the Amazon: Academic and Indigenous Perspectives." Terrace Room (G400), Norman Hall, College of Education
The Angelini Lab has been busy! Over the past few months, PhD student, Sean Sharp has been working alongside undergraduates Kat Tran and Emily Persico, as well as Master's student Lexie Liu, to wrap up a large-scale field experiment investigating the resilience of southeastern US salt marshes to drought and feral hog disturbance. To expand this research, Sean has been recently awarded the Wetlands Foundation Research Grant and HT Odum Scholarship to explore the role of feral hogs in driving persistent salt marsh die off throughout Gulf of Mexico and southeastern Atlantic coastlines in summer 2015. In this study, Sean will be using surveys of plant vegetation, hog density and impacts, soil characteristics, and human development and additional field experiments to examine factors that mediate when and where hogs infest salt marshes and how long their disturbances are likely to persist.
In addition, undergraduates Katheryne Cronk and Bridget Chalifour have been working together to quantify the effects of fungal-farming periwinkle snails on salt marsh grasses and changes in snail radula morphology and toughness in response to drought stress. And, finally, undergraduates Wes Lewis, Sam Hagman, Gabe Somarriba, and Kerrie Durham have been making impressive progress characterizing the response of arthropod communities in long leaf pine savannas to drought and cogongrass invasions in an Angelini-Flory lab long-term field experiment in Gainesville, FL. From their hundreds of hours in the lab, this team has discovered that pollinator and sap-sucker assemblages are undergoing dramatic changes in response to drought and cogongrass-induced loss of plant biodiversity and have grand plans to expand this research in the summer ahead.