A research opportunity open to all residential, undergraduate UF students

The Civic Scholars program of the Bob Graham Center for Public Service offers UF undergraduates an opportunity to gain research and public service experience on key issues facing Florida. 

The Spring 2020 Civic Scholars will research climate change impacts and preparedness in Florida’s 67 counties. Your work will support the development of a new public portal, Barometer Florida, to help the public track progress on this and other challenges facing our state. Upon completion of all program requirements, each student will receive a $500 stipend—and an important undergraduate research experience.

Please read all the information on this page before applying. 

APPLICATION DEADLINE: Midnight, EST, Dec. 2, 2019. 

DOWNLOAD THE FLYER: Civic Scholars Spring 2020 (pdf)

QUESTIONS: You may direct questions to Graham Center Environmental Fellow Cynthia Barnett at clbarnett@jou.ufl.edu.

Please apply only if you can fulfill the obligations outlined below, including in-person interviews in your assigned county, outside of Gainesville. 

Important Dates

MANDATORY WEDNESDAY EVENING EVENTS marked with *.

Dec. 2, 2019: Applications due by midnight EST.

Dec. 9, 2019: Notifications made.

Jan. 15 2020: *Orientation: Welcome to Civic Scholars! 5-7 p.m., Pugh Hall Ocora

Jan. 29, 2020: *Lecture 1: The state of Florida’s climate: Dr. David Zierden, Florida State Climatologist, 5-7 p.m.

Feb. 5, 2020: *Lecture 2: Using CDC's National Environmental Public Health Tracking Network, Holly Wilson,  5-7 p.m.

Feb. 12, 2019: *Lecture 3: Your research: A step-by-step guide, 5-7 p.m.

April 10, 2020: Reports due by midnight EST.

April 22, 2020: *Earth Day Roundtable: 5-7 p.m.

Stipend Upon Completion

Upon successful completion of the program, each student will receive $500.

Successful completion means attending the Wednesday evening sessions, excepting any absences allowed under UF attendance policy, and completing your county report. If you receive need-based financial aid or student loans, please check with the UF Office of Student Financial Affairs (www.sfa.ufl.edu) to determine the impact of this stipend on your aid package. If you receive loans, the stipend will likely be applied directly toward your repayment. You will not receive a check; the stipend will be distributed directly through Student Financial Affairs.

Step-by-step Program Guide

  1. Attend Orientation Wed Jan 15 from 5-7 p.m., Pugh Hall Ocora.
  2. Attend Civic Scholars Lectures on three Wednesday evenings from 5-7 p.m.: Jan. 29, Feb. 5, and Feb. 12, Pugh Hall Ocora.
  3. Read assigned background material related to local impacts of climate change in Florida.
  4. Research your county’s situation and status as it relates to climate change. Examine the ecological features of your county; in what ways are water, and, and wildlife vulnerable. Examine the built environment: In what ways are residents vulnerable? Examine your county’s sociodemographic data: Who are the populations most vulnerable? Is your county addressing those populations?
  5. Before April 1: Visit your county to conduct two in-person interviews: one with a county-level official whose work relates to climate change, and the second with any individual who can speak to a tangible impact of climate change. This can be anyone from a waterfront business owner dealing with sea-rise to an emergency-management director who works to ensure safety in storms. Be sure to collect a business card or other artifact (pictures/selfies/emails) documenting your visit, which you must scan and submit with your final report.
  6. Attend at least one Civic Scholars studio on three available Wednesday evenings from 5-7 p.m.: March 11, March 25 and April 8, to check in with your mentor, get support for your research/interviews, and vanquish any problems that come up.
  7. Based on your research, required data points, and interviews, write a report on your county, beginning with the key data points we are collecting to populate Barometer Florida. The report details are below.
  8. Input your data points into Qualtrics. Email your report including scanned images of business cards or evidence to show you conducted your interviews in person to Cynthia Barnett, Civic Scholars advisor, at clbarnett@jou.ufl.edu by Friday, April 10 at midnight.
  9. Participate in our Earth Day Roundtable Wednesday April 22 5-7 p.m., Pugh Hall Ocora.
  10. Complete the online Civic Scholars Evaluation.

Please note that students must cover their own travel expenses to and from their assigned county or counties. Your stipend is meant to defer any costs incurred during the program.

Report Format

Name and UF ID number
Title (must include the name of your county)
Abstract

Your data points (you will have flowed them into Qualtrics; please also list them at the top of your report.)

Creative element: Photograph, sketch or graphic.
Opener that introduces your county within the context of climate change

Critical issue No. 1
Critical issue No. 2
Critical issue No. 3
Potential solutions/suggestions
Concluding paragraph
Bibliography

Don’t forget to document your trip with a selfie or other artifact!

As with all academic papers, you must use and cite legitimate, credible sources of information and provide a bibliography. Your paper must include at least three (3) references beyond your interviews. Wikipedia is not one of them. The bibliography must include all of your information sources (print and digital), as well as the interviews. Please use APA style. We recommend the following guide: https://owl.english.purdue.edu/owl/section/2/10/.

Application Link

Ready to get started? Apply Now at this link: http://bit.ly/2020civicscholars

Download the Flyer: Civic Scholars Spring 2020

Previous Civics Scholars Reports

View policy papers and cumulative reports from the Civic Scholars research projects at this link.