Course Description: Participants will learn about the geomorphology of our island. Geomorphology is the study of the shape of landforms and the processes that shape them. Learn why there is a deep-water port and a creek running up the center of the island and about the interaction of man-made and natural processes and how they affect our Island including sea level change. We will discuss hurricanes and Nor’easters and the effects of beach nourishment. Each of the major landforms will be discussed, from the beach system, the uplands, forest stands, developed areas, the creeks, wetlands, and salt marsh. We’ll discover how each of these complex systems works, how they are interconnected and why we should care. The course will include field trips to examine some of the important features that make our Island. The course will be team taught.
Robert Prager has thoroughly enjoyed his career as an engineer and scientist working at the human-nature interface for nearly half a century. Much of his success arises from striving to understand and work with nature. He is a proponent of nature and nature-based design. Robert is a professional engineer and is a certified value specialist. Robert regularly presents at professional societies, was an instructor for EPA, and a guest lecturer for universities. Robert prides himself on being able to present complex processes in a way that can be easily understood.
Joyce Tuten is a retired AP Environmental Science teacher and a NOAA Climate Steward Educator. She was a member of the Middletown MD Sustainability Committee, when she was awarded the 2020 Individual Frederick County Sustainability Award for her community work. Joyce is pursuing her Florida Master Naturalist designation. She is perennially optimistic that humans can change course and choose to live sustainably to preserve our fragile ecosystems for all the world’s future children.
Dr. Frank Hopf has degrees in Coastal Geomorphology, Civil Engineering, and an MBA. His research interests include fluvial and coastal flooding, dune and beach processes, nature-based restoration of coastal dunes, and public policy making. He is a member of the Science and Technology Committee of the American Shore and Beach Protective Association; the American Society of Civil Engineers; the Association of State Flood Plain Managers and the Florida Floodplain Managers Association. Frank has been active in coastal management collaborations with the City of Fernandina Beach, Nassau County, the North Florida Land Trust, and the Northeast Florida Conservation Collaborative.
Dr. Munsell McPhillips is a biomedical engineer with a specialty in biomaterials. Her early career was focused on the interface between medical materials and living tissue. Munsell later took those insights to a practice on a much larger scale when she co-founded an engineering firm dedicated to restoring degraded urban rivers and riparian forests. In this macro-scale work as in the microscopic features of a medical material, what happens at the interface between the man-made and the natural is crucial. Munsell has a knack for making technical concepts accessible and fun.
Schedule: 8 sessions, Mondays, Jan 29; Feb 5, 12, 19, 26; Mar 4, 11, 18; 1:30–3:00pm
Location: Room 201, St. Peter’s Episcopal Church, Fernandina Beach
Materials: None required