Our Department has an active outreach program for the local community. We participate in two major campus-based outreach events, several UF and local community events, as well as visit local schools and organizations.
The Geogators: K-12 Education Outreach Program of the UF Geological Sciences Department.
The Geogators, coordinated by Dr. Andrew Zimmerman, Organizes undergraduate geology majors and graduate students to deliver earth-science lessons (e.g. rocks, minerals, fossils) to K-12 school science classes and other youth organizations around Alachua County. Last year we delivered 70 separate Earth Science lesson presentations to an estimated 1863 public school students at 17 different public schools or organizations. An additional 2700 (estimated) were contacted during our participation in 16 public school science nights and/or career day events.
Benefits to UF students:
- Provides K-12 teaching experience, makes students aware of public school teaching career option
- Résumé builder
- Renews love of Earth science through the wonder and excitement in a child’s eyes
Benefits to K-12 Teachers
- Generates excitement of having a class visitor
- Reinforcement of classroom learning
- Enhanced understanding via engagement with ‘real’ scientists.
- Provides Earth materials unavailable to teachers
Contact Andrew Zimmerman (firstname.lastname@example.org) if interested in volunteering or arranging a classroom visit
Can You Dig It?
“Can You Dig It?” is a major local community outreach event held in collaboration with the Florida Museum of Natural History. This is an annual event with up to 2000 visitors each year from Gainesville and the surrounding areas. CYDI is a family-friendly event with activities that are fun for all ages. Our faculty and students design more than 20 exhibits with interactive Earth science activities including volcanic explosions, tidal waves and the coolest sandbox you have ever played with.
UF Geological Sciences Day
UF Annual Geological Sciences Day is a campus outreach event held outside Williamson Hall in the Reitz Union Quad during the Spring semester. Department graduate students organize the event with the help of undergraduate and postdoc volunteers. Volunteers set up Earth science activities to showcase department research, interact with students and faculty in the UF community and improve visibility on campus.
Collectors Day – Florida Museum of Natural History
Dr Michael Perfit and Dr Andy Zimmerman are regular exhibitors at Collectors Day at the Florida Museum of Natural History. Dr. Michael Perfit exhibits his collection of volcano memorabilia including anything from volcano themed toys to volcano making kits and volcano postcards. Dr. Andy Zimmerman shares his unrivalled collection of sands from all over the world including local sands from Florida beaches to volcanic sands from Chile. Visit his collection to observe the microscopic components of different sands.