Fla. Museum, IFAS receive new NSF grant for butterfly education project

November 3rd, 2009

Photos available

GAINESVILLE, Fla. — The National Science Foundation has awarded $86,757 in additional support for Project Butterfly WINGS, a joint project of the Florida Museum of Natural History and the University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences.

The funding will allow new web site content development, revisions to distance training resources and tutorials for 4-H agents, leaders and youth as well as additional activities and information for the program. It also will bring attention to the availability of the program’s recently approved national 4-H curriculum by increasing the number of instructor training workshops, conference presentations and program participants.

“This new award allows us to disseminate WINGS nationally and provide for its longer-term sustainability through the web site enhancements,” said Betty Dunckel, director of the Florida Museum Center for Informal Science Education.

WINGS, Winning Investigative Network for Great Science, is a partnership between 4-H youth and professional scientists. Participating youth are “citizen scientists” who collect data on butterflies to help researchers determine the presence of specific butterfly species and the abundance of butterflies by state and county throughout the U.S. Over time, the information collected will provide a comprehensive database for scientific comparisons and trend assessment.

The project is directed by Dunckel and co-directed by Joy Jordan, IFAS associate professor of 4-H youth development; Jaret Daniels, an assistant curator in the Florida Museum’s McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity and McGuire Center Director Thomas Emmel.

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Source: Betty Dunckel, 352-273-2088, bdunckel@flmnh.ufl.edu
Writer: Patti Nunez
Media contact: Paul Ramey, 352-273-2054, pramey@flmnh.ufl.edu