Where am I? The Florida Scurb

Archbold Biological Station

Right now I am living in central Florida in one of the rarest and most unique ecosystems in North America: the Florida Scrub. I am currently the environmental education intern at Archbold Biological Station (ABS) located in Venus, Florida. ABS is a nonprofit, private organization dedicated to “long-term ecological research, part of the global effort to understand, interpret and preserve the world’s natural heritage.” As the education intern, I help lead school group visits, attend festivals, and help with special events. But I also live at the edge of over 5,000 acres of wild, vibrant scrub. Scrub is really a mosaic of habitats including xeric oak forest, seasonal wetlands, sandhills, and pine flatwoods, but in general it is dry, sandy, shrubby habitat. Because the ridge that ABS is located on (the Lake Wales Ridge) was an island when sea levels were much higher, the flora and fauna found here is unique from the rest of Florida. And because so much of the scrub has been destroyed and converted to buildings and citrus farms, much of the wildlife is very rare. Luckily, ABS has preserved a vast and healthy ecosystem, and I get to spend much of my time exploring and photographing it. For the next two months, my blog posts will feature plants, animals, insects, landscapes, and observations of this incredible place.

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