Stay in the know about wildlife, water quality, and ecosystems on Sanibel and Captiva Islands and in Southwest Florida

Two Presentations Provide Overview of SCCF-UF Center for Coastal Solutions Collaboration

November 9, 2021

The first Evening at the Homestead of the 2021-2022 season takes place Thursday, Nov. 18, 7pm-8pm at the Bailey Homestead Preserve to present an overview of the strategic collaboration between SCCF and the University of Florida’s newly established Center for Coastal Solutions (UF-CCS) to address coastal water quality to strengthen resiliency and sustainability in Southwest Florida. Sign up today at Evening at the Homestead: Coastal Solutions.

The following day, SCCF is hosting a student/professor symposium to address the Sanibel Plan, best practices for mangrove trimming, and building a strategic plan for the Captiva Erosion Prevention District. This symposium will be held 9am-noon on Friday, Nov. 19, at the Bailey Homestead Preserve and no registration is required.

Evening at the Homestead Presentation and Speakers

This summer, leading a new multi-disciplinary flagship initiative, UF-CCS formed a Comprehensive Coastal Observing Network (CompCON) in close coordination with SCCF to monitor, model, and immediately deliver data products useful for informing decisions related to addressing coastal hazards. SCCF’s RECON (River, Estuary, Coastal Observing Network) data-collection capabilities paired with UF’s data analytics capacity are a perfect fit for this partnership.

An inaugural semester course called the Coastal Policy Lab has brought together six law students from the UF Law Conservation Clinic and six engineering graduate students affiliated with the Center for Coastal Solutions to address coastal resiliency on Sanibel and Captiva islands.

The presentation, led by Christine Angelini, Director of UF-CCS and a UF Environmental Engineering Assistant Professor, will include an overview of the UF-CCS partnership, why it’s important to the Southwest Florida region, and how the partnership can help to improve water quality in our area. UF Law Professor Thomas Ankerson and SCCF Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt will also address the Coastal Policy Lab project, current and future research collaborations, and current graduate student projects.

About the Speakers

Christine Angelini, Ph.D.: UF Assistant Professor of Environmental Engineering Sciences Christine Angelini received her Ph.D. in Biology from UF in 2014 and her Bachelor of Science in Marine Biology from Brown University in 2009. She is an ecologist with expertise in wetland, reef, and dune systems. Her research focuses on advancing mechanistic understanding of how species interactions moderate ecosystem resilience to climate change and influence contaminant integration into food webs.

Thomas Ankerson, J.D.: UF Professor Thomas Ankersen directs the University of Florida Conservation Clinic, the experiential learning arm of the law college’s Environmental and Land Use Law Program. Ankersen also directs the College’s Costa Rica Program. He practices domestic, international, and comparative environmental law with an emphasis on Florida, Latin America, and the Caribbean. Internationally he has worked in and/or taught in 30 countries. Internationally, his work has led to both domestic law reforms and international agreements. Ankersen has aided in the formation of four new environmental law clinics at law schools in Costa Rica and the Brazilian Amazon. In Florida, Ankersen works with state and local governments and non-profits to pursue innovative solutions to environmental and land use issues through law and policy. He serves as Florida Sea Grant’s legal specialist and serves on the board of the National Sea Grant Law and Policy Journal.


Eric Milbrandt, Ph.D.: SCCF Marine Laboratory Director Eric Milbrandt began his career in marine science in Northern California at Humboldt State University. He went on to study marine science using molecular tools at the University of Wisconsin-Milwaukee and the Center for Great Lakes Research and undertook senior undergraduate research on rocky intertidal seaweeds. Millbrandt earned his doctorate in marine biology from the University of Oregon after receiving a graduate research fellowship from the South Slough National Estuarine Research Reserve to study the microbial ecology of the slough estuary. Milbrandt has extensive experience in establishing mangrove forest plots and has published numerous peer-reviewed journal articles on the post-hurricane recovery of mangroves and the effect of sea level rise on black mangroves. He has also led several grant-supported efforts to restore the tidal hydrology to Clam Bayou, and to enhance and restore mangrove shorelines. At SCCF, Milbrandt has been instrumental in the establishment of RECON (River, Estuary, Coastal Observing Network) which provides real-time information to advance SCCF policies and enhance SCCF research. He is an affiliate member of the Coastal Watershed Institute.


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