Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Festival Involves PCGS Faculty and Students

hansPicture: Sustainable Tourism student interns Sophia Annis and Samantha Vorce engage in community outreach and education at the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot Festival with Professor Hansen, Professor Harrison and Richard Sanchez, President of the Egmont Key Alliance. Credit: Professor Brooke Hansen

On Saturday, Feb. 12, PCGS faculty and students, including GLOBE (PCGS Graduate Student Club), came together to support the Florida Gulf Coast Hope Spot in Dunedin. The Hope Spot is one of Professor Sylvia Earle’s designated regions that highlight conservation, education, and restoration of key global ecosystems. Professor Earle is the founder of the organization Mission Blue and a documentary about her work, also called Mission Blue, can be viewed on Netflix. Organized by the non-profit Blue Green Connections, the festival featured zero waste stations overseen by Professor TH Culhane and Professor Joseph Dorsey and a virtual reality showcase of the USF Egmont Key Project led by Professor Brooke Hansen and Professor Laura Harrison, along with PCGS Sustainable Tourism interns Sophia Annis and Samantha Vorce. Informational booths by PCGS alumni and current students included Kelly Clark (’20) at the Keep Pinellas Beautiful booth and Sharon Kemp-Gonzalez at the Eat the Peach Travel exhibit highlighting the upcoming ecotour to Costa Rica. Leading up the event, Drs. Hansen and Harrison organized a pop-up virtual reality tour of Egmont Key in downtown Dunedin at Casa Tina’s to promote the festival.