An important part of the of Whitney Laboratory is to provide lifelong learning opportunities to serve as an integral part of the surrounding community. Science education efforts at the lab are focused on school age children to university levels to post doctoral research training. Training is delivered by UF Faculty, experts in their field who are conducting full-time marine research at the laboratory.
Whitney’s educational outreach program was spearheaded by Dr. Barbara Battelle, professor of biology, and Karen Kempler, biological scientist. Due to these efforts, Whitney has a long history of engaging the community in marine biology education.
The K-12 education program is managed by Brenda Cannaliato, who works with area schools and programs to deliver STEM educational support for the region. A team of dedicated docents provide hands-on education for the on site Day at the Whitney Lab and Traveling Marine Zoo programs. Each year, the docents volunteer more than 4,000 hours to this exciting program. Education staff and docents take science learning into the community through library programs, STEM nights, science fairs, and events to support local Title 1 schools. For more information about volunteering, please go to our volunteer section.
Through our monthly public lectures, we work to engage those of all ages in scientific inquiry and discovery through the Evenings at Whitney Public Lecture Series.
Due to the location of the laboratory in one of the most pristine environments that features the Matanzas Basin and surrounding estuary system, the lab also focuses on conservation efforts as a part of its ongoing educational mission.
As a component of its conservation and education mission, Whitney has embarked on a Sea Turtle Hospital Program, which provides rehabilitation for sea turtles with fibropamillomatosis (FP) disease.