Monday, July 9, 2012

New and Revised Environment Publications, June 2012

This email lists new and revised EDIS publications that have been released to the public in June 2012. They are now available on the World Wide Web at This mailing only includes publications in the Environment program area. Please see separate mailings for publications in other program areas.



Lessons Learned from Evaluations of Citizen Science Programs (FOR291/FR359)
Extension agents with an interest in increasing the scientific and environmental awareness of their constituents may find an answer through a form of participatory scientific research known as citizen science. Citizen science uses volunteers of all ages, professions, backgrounds, and skills — often across broad geographic areas — to engage non-scientists in a variety of tasks, but most commonly data collection. This 5-page fact sheet informs potential citizen science practitioners of recent evaluations of citizen science programs. Looking closely at identifying appropriate tasks for volunteers, assessing data validity, and evaluating changes in volunteers’ knowledge and attitudes can help organizers avoid common pitfalls and develop citizen science programs most likely to succeed. Written by Luke Gommerman and Martha C. Monroe, and published by the UF Department of School of Forest Resources and Conservation, May 2012.

Ecosystems & Species

Bean Plataspid: Megacopta cribraria (Fabricius) (Insecta: Hemiptera: Heteroptera: Plataspidae) (EENY527/IN939)
Also known as the kudzu bug, lablab bug, and globular stink bug, the bean plantaspid is native to Asia, where it is not an agricultural pest. But in the U. S., it is reported as a pest of soybean in Georgia and South Carolina. Adults from established populations overwinter on light colored structures, in leaf litter, and underneath the bark of trees. Also, like stink bugs, adults tend to excrete an odor as a defense mechanism when disturbed. The defense chemical these insects secrete may stain the surface of the house, building or vehicle where aggregation occurs. This 6-page fact sheet was written by Ashley Poplin and Amanda Hodges, and published by the UF Department of Entomology and Nematology, June 2012.

Landscape Diversity: Florida Phosphate Mine Pit Lakes (SL364/SS565)
This 8-page fact sheet contains a synopsis of findings obtained through research, contrasted with limnological studies of natural lakes in central Florida. Written by M. Wilson and E.A. Hanlon, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, May 2012.

Laws that Protect Florida's Wildlife (WEC48/UW076)
Endangered species are not the only wildlife protected by the legal system. All of Florida’s wildlife is more or less safeguarded by a variety of laws. Laws addressing wildlife can be found at the federal, state, regional, and local levels of government. Wildlife protection may also take the form of conventions, treaties, and executive orders. All are subject to periodic change. For example, legislators can alter or delete laws every year. This 5-page fact sheet summarizes federal laws and state statutes and rules. Written by Joe Schaefer, John Tucker, and Maia McGuire, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, February 2012.

The Invasion of Exotic Reptiles and Amphibians in Florida (WEC320/UW365)
Florida has more introduced species of reptiles and amphibians living and breeding in the wild than anywhere else in the world. This 6-page fact sheet summarizes findings from three recent scientific papers describing who these invaders are, their potential ecological impacts, and recommendations for their management and control. Written by Frank J. Mazzotti and Rebecca G. Harvey, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, May 2012.

Florida's Seepage Slope Wetlands (WEC322/UW367)
Florida is home to one of North America’s most unique and diverse ecosystems, the seepage slope. Unusual hydrology and frequent fires combine to create an environment that supports a variety of carnivorous and other sun-loving herbaceous plants. This 5-page fact sheet discusses the natural history and conservation concerns associated with seepage slope wetlands. Written by Megan E. Brown and Debbie L. Miller, and published by the UF Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, June 2012.


Small-Scale Natural Wastewater Treatment Systems: Principles and Regulatory Framework (SL365/SS566)
Natural systems use the natural processes of wetland ecosystems to both transform and hold on to many of the common pollutants that occur in household wastewater. This 8-page fact sheet briefly describes the principles and added benefits of natural systems. It then focuses on their use for treating small municipal wastewater flows from commercial and residential sites (i.e., septic systems or decentralized wastewater systems). Written by Kiara Winans, Shanin Speas-Frost, Mike Jerauld, Mark Clark, and Gurpal Toor, and published by the UF Department of Soil and Water Science, May 2012.


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