Plant Species Catalog
The mission of the Botanical Gardens at the University of South Florida is to foster appreciation, understanding and stewardship of our natural and cultural botanical heritage through living plant collections, displays, education and research. To contribute to that mission, Dr. Alan Franck, Associate Curator of the USF Herbarium (Dept. of Cell Biology, Microbiology and Molecular Biology) and Dr. Mark Hafen (ESP Sr. Instructor) embarked on a program to enhance environmental education and awareness by identifying plants found on the USF campus.
This project was designed as an opportunity for Environmental Science & Policy students to fulfill their Senior Project/Internship requirement, by learning to identify plants on campus and developing a means to communicate this information to the public. In Spring 2013, two ESP seniors – Douglas Franz and Angel Aquino – were assigned the task of surveying areas of the USF Tampa campus, photographing and identifying plants, and constructing a web page that showed not only detailed information about the plants, but also areas of campus where they could be found. Information about the plants includes their common and scientific names, nativity, provenance, and prominent locations on campus.
This project is ongoing. In future semesters, more ESP students will continue to survey the campus and update the website as more plant species are found and identified. It is hoped that students, faculty, staff, and visitors to campus will use the information collected to better understand and appreciate the flora of USF Tampa campus.