Independent Studies/Internships

The directed independent studies credit hours are designed to allow students to conduct hands on research, on a specific topic of their interest, to support natural resource conservation on campus with Landscape and Natural Resources and the Arboretum. This “Directed Independent Study” course (BSC 4906) focuses on researching and implementing science-based projects that support a sustainable and inviting outdoor environment for the UCF campus. Students are expected to spend 3-hours per week (minimally) in the field conducting research for every hour enrolled in the course (for 1 credit hour of enrollment, student would spend approximately 24 hours in the field). Continuing projects include long term monitoring of the UCF gopher tortoise population, Urban Heat Island Effect research, scientific surveys and documentation of listed species on the UCF campus, and storm-water pond system research. Other research projects can be developed with the instructor based on student interests and department needs.

Students can take an independent study credit to conduct research on a specific topic with Landscape & Natural Resources. Projects in the past have involved the UCF gopher tortoise population, the community organic vegetable & herb garden, the Urban Heat Island Effect, and storm-water pond systems. Please email Dr. Patrick Bohlen (  to learn more about independent study opportunities.

IDS 4914, Environmental Leadership

The IDS 4914 Environmental Leadership course provides students with a comprehensive approach to gaining the necessary leadership qualities needed for a successful career in Environmental Sustainability. By interacting and mentoring with student groups in the “Systems Sustainability” course, a pre-requisite for IDS 4914, the leaders will have the opportunity to present issues and educate peers in sustainability related topics while helping to organize and facilitate group research projects throughout the semester. In addition, these leaders will gain attributes in challenging systems, inspiring others, setting an example, and encouraging students to contribute to a successful semester project.

Spring 2011 LNR Intern Projects

A Local Scale Urban Heat Island Effect


Threatened and Endangered Species


Gopher Tortoise Inventory


UCF Arboretum Independent Study

Natural Lands Educational Brochure and Content for Signage

This Independent study focused on creating a self-guided tour brochure and signage content for the UCF Arboretum Natural lands. The tour will provide readers the tools necessary to navigate through the ecosystems at UCF and identify the diverse range of plant life. Signage content will be placed in strategically chosen areas and will give visitors a bigger picture of ecosystems, conservation, and animal life. The main goal of this project is to make a fun tour for visitors and to spread awareness for value of plants in a healthy undisturbed ecosystem.

You can click on the following image to see the Natural Lands Educational Brochure.

Natural Lands Educational Brochure

*Correlation of posted signs is pending. Please check back for updated information.

Comprehensive Species List

This independent study focused on creating a comprehensive species list for both plants and animals on the UCF main campus and McKay Tract land areas.  The working comprehensive species list contains the following information: family name, common name, genus name, species name, date found, habitat found, UCF location found (description and or GPS coordinate), status (federal or state), USF Atlas and USDA links, source, and taxonomic identification.

The purpose for the list is to provide an easily accessible and understandable resource available to anyone and can be found on the Arboretum website. Tracking these species in this format helps to keep track of species in an organized fashion, whether the information is used for research, identification, seeing if a species exists on this land, or the likes. All of the information for the document, thus far, has been attained from old paper documents that have now become digitized, enabling the information to be copied and inserted into the list.


Specimen Collection for Herbarium

The purpose of this Independent study with the UCF Arboretum is to collect plant specimens for the UCF Herbarium. This study includes finding different plant specimens among the different ecosystems on UCF, but mostly focusing on the Riparian and Lake Claire areas. After finding a specimen, such as a flowering plant, tree, or fern, the student has to identify the plant, press the plant using a press kit, dry it with a heat source, and then submit it to the UCF Herbarium. By the end of the Summer the student will have submitted 60 plant specimens to the UCF Herbarium. These specimens can now be used by researchers in the future to understand how climate change and plant diversity has changed the specimens in particular areas over time.


Medicinal Plant Herbal Guide

The following link will bring you the UCF Arboretum Herbal Guide, which was created by Sarah Parker, Summer Singletary, Tina Richards, and edited by Stephanie Pego.