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The "Parknership" Research Program

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A large, adult, male Green Iguana fending off an attack by a Raccoon in Hugh Taylor Birch State Park.
(Photo: Gary Busch, FDEP - Florida Park Service)
Caribbean Roseate Tern in full breeding plumage.
(Photo: Sharyn Hood,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission)
American Crocodile hatchling at a South Florida park.
(Photo: Dallas Hazelton,
Miami-Dade County Park & Recreation Department)

The "Parknership" Research Program

The "Parknership" Research Program is a wildlife biology research collaboration between the Florida Department of Environmental Protection (FDEP) Florida Park Service (District 5), Florida Atlantic University, Palm Beach State College, the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, the State Museum of Pennsylvania, the U.S. National Wildlife Research Center, and the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. Hank Smith, Florida Park Service District Biologist (Wildlife Resources) and Affiliate Research Assistant Professor at FAU's Honors College, founded the Parknership Research Program.

Through the Parknership Research Program, Honors College students and faculty collaborate with students, faculty and professional scientists in the partner organizations on research related to practical wildlife management, especially management in the state parks of Southeast Florida. Students who participate in the program, typically via internships and thesis projects, are expected to produce work that:

  • Contributes to effective management of endangered species and their habitats, or to effective and efficacious control of exotic wildlife species, particularly to control adverse impacts on native Florida wildlife;
  • Integrates scientific, political, and economic aspects of wildlife and endangered species management;
  • Utilizes appropriate statistical and mathematical tools for data analyses;
  • Will be published in scientific journals so that the results of the research are validated and shared with both the academic community and the community of other national resource management agencies.

The "Parknership" Research Program is typical of the interdisciplinary approach that permeates an Honors College education. It requires that students conduct scientific field work, consider political and economic implications of wildlife management issues, conduct statistical analyses, and communicate the results of their work in a professional and timely manner.

For more information on the Parknership Research Program, see:

Last Modified 11/21/13