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JU biology student Katherine Kara receives Timucuan Preserve Student Research Grant!










From the National Park Service

The National Park Service and its official Friends Group, the Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation, has awarded its first two $500 research grants to local students, including to Jacksonville University biology student  Katherine Kara.

The grants, from the “Timucuan Preserve Student Research Grant Program,” are newly established through sponsorships obtained at the second annual “Timucuan Science & History Symposium” in January 2013. This past year’s sponsors were JU’s Marine Science Research Institute, University of North Florida President John Delaney and the UNF Office of Research and Sponsored Programs.

From left: Maria Mark, Executive Director of Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation; Barbara Goodman, Superintendent of Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve; Dr. John Enz, Jacksonville University; Grantee Katherine Kara, Jacksonville University; Dr. Anthony Rossi, University of North Florida; Grantee Lisa Rowan, University of North Florida and Shauna Allen, Chief of Resource Stewardship at Timucuan Preserve. Photo by National Park Service.

The two recipients are Katherine Kara, JU Department of Biology and Marine Science, and Lisa Rowan, UNF Department of Biology. The final research report must be completed by Dec. 31, 2013, and the students will present their work at the ThirdAnnual “Timucuan Science and History Symposium” on Jan. 24, 2014. To qualify, applicants had to be currently enrolled as undergraduate or graduate students and submit research project proposals. The purpose of the grant is to provide the student with financial support while conducting research.

“At the first Timucuan Science Symposium in 2012 we shared our dream of securing funding for research in the preserve. It was an achievement to announce at the 2013 symposium the establishment of the student research fund thru the Timucuan Trails Park Foundation and the generous sponsors,” says Shauna Allen, Timucuan Preserve Chief of Resource Stewardship and Partnerships. “It is a dream come true to announce the award of our first two grants helping the next generation of scientists conduct research in our national park.”

“We are very excited to be able to offer this grant program to support students so they can conduct research in the Timucuan Preserve. There is so much to learn about this complex eco-system, ranging from the biological diversity to the vast historical significance this area holds,” says Maria Mark, executive director of TTPF. “It is important that we, as the official Friends Group for our National Park, are a part of this program and to support this needed research. We are grateful to our 2013 sponsors, Jacksonville University and the University of North Florida. Next year, we’re hoping to increase the level of sponsors so we can double the number of grants available, which are awarded in $500 or $1,000 increments, depending on the sponsorship level.”


Timucuan Ecological and Historic Preserve was established in 1988. Its 46,000 acres contain unique natural and cultural resources, including one of the last unspoiled coastal wetlands on the Atlantic Coast. It helps to preserve 6,000 years of human history in Florida, including vestiges of the Timucua Indians, the French colonization at Fort Caroline, the period of Spanish ownership of Florida, and the Kingsley Plantation. Visit the Timucuan Preserve website: http://www.nps.gov/timu


The Timucuan Trail Parks Foundation (TTPF) is the official non-profit support organization for the Timucuan Trail State and National Parks, which comprises the largest urban park system in the United States.  Established in 1999 as the Preservation Project Jacksonville non-profit organization, TTPF supports these parks through fundraising, marketing and advocating, but most importantly, by connecting our community to their parks. For more information about TTPF and how you become involved and become a “Friend of the Parks,” please visit our website: www.TimucuanTrailParksFoundation.org.