Podcast Articles

From Florida

Welcome to From Florida, a podcast that showcases the student success, teaching excellence and groundbreaking research taking place at the University of Florida. Episodes are published weekly during the academic year. From Florida is produced by Nicci Brown, Brooke Adams, Emma Richards and James L. Sullivan. Original music by Daniel Townsend, a doctoral candidate in music composition in the College of the Arts.

Here's why your health care provider may tell you to go take a hike

Social prescribing allows care providers to connect patients to a broad range of social, physical and cultural services in their communities that may help boost their health and wellbeing. In this episode, Jill Sonke of the Center for Arts in Medicine at UF and Christopher Bailey, arts and health lead at the World Health Organization talk about this approach to good health.

The New Worlds Reading Initiative is working to increase children’s reading skills, one free book at a time

If a child is unable to read on level by third grade, there’s a good possibility they’ll struggle throughout the rest of their school years. Shaunté Duggins talks about Florida’s New Worlds Reading Initiative, based at the Lastinger Center for Learning at UF, and how it hopes to change that trajectory, one free book at a time.

Researchers are using the world’s largest butterfly collection to learn about and help protect these fragile
insects

The migratory monarch butterfly has been placed on the endangered species list by the International Union for the Conservation of Nature. In this episode, Jaret Daniels, curator at the McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity at the Florida Museum of Natural History, discusses UF’s focus on butterfly conservation and research.

How Mary McLeod Bethune became the first Black woman selected to represent a state at the U.S. Capitol

Florida made history this summer with the installation of a statue of Mary McLeod Bethune in the National Statuary Hall collection, making her the first Black woman selected to represent a state at the U.S. Capitol. UF History Professor Paul Ortiz and Yolanda Cash Jackson, a member of the statue committee and a UF alumna, talk about Mary’s many accomplishments and her selection.

How this college marching band gets ready to take the field

With 425 members, the Gator Marching Band is one of the biggest in the nation. Jay Watkins, associate director of bands, shares what it takes to get members ready for a new season of setting the tempo for Gator Nation and what fans should watch for this year.

Here’s what $1 billion in research spending does for UF and for Florida

The University of Florida has achieved $1 billion in research spending, a historic milestone that puts UF in a select group of about 15 public universities with expenditures of this magnitude. In this episode of From Florida, Vice President for Research David Norton explains what that means for UF, Gainesville and for the state.

NSF director: Let’s seize this moment to achieve prosperity for all

The Honorable Sethuraman Panchanathan, director of the National Science Foundation, visited the University of Florida on Friday, May 27, to learn more about UF’s research initiatives and share his vision for accelerating scientific advancements to benefit all.

The best climate change reporting drives solutions

Environmental journalist Cynthia Barnett was at the forefront of climate reporting and has seen the field grow exponentially in recent years. She explains why doomsday reporting is not the answer and recommends coverage that offers a balance of wonder and warning, along with options for what can be done. 

Preparing students to take the lead in protecting our planet

Coleen Sailsman and Sarisha Boodoo are among 12 students in the first cohort of the Environmental Leaders Fellowship program, hosted by the Thompson Earth Systems Institute. They spent the semester gaining skills that will make them better advocates for our planet and our communities.

Sharing the experiences of African American elders

The Joel Buchanan Archive of African American Oral History includes 1,000 interviews with elders in Florida, Mississippi, Georgia and elsewhere about their experiences in the Civil Rights Movement and their efforts to establish churches, schools, businesses and build their communities.

Does medical marijuana work? Florida consortium seeks answers

A consortium of nine universities in Florida, led by two professors at the University of Florida, is in the early stages of investigating medical marijuana. In this episode, Professor Almut Winterstein describes the consortium, its three major efforts and the opportunities and challenges in understanding how marijuana works as a medical treatment.

An expert shares best practices for preventing cybersecurity attacks

Charles Carmakal is a UF alumnus and senior vice president and chief technology officer at Mandiant, a cybersecurity firm that works with government entities, corporations and law enforcement agencies around the world. On this episode of From Florida, Carmakal shares what organizations and individuals should do to protect themselves against cyberattacks.

Digging up facts, telling stories and busting myths with a university archivist

Carl Van Ness has worked as an archivist at the George A. Smathers Libraries for nearly 40 years – and that’s given him a lot of time to read letters from the past, set the historical record straight when needed and uncover interesting facts about the University of Florida. Listen as Carl describes some of his favorite items in the archive and a few myths he's unraveled.

Meet the astrobiologist and her students who are searching for life on Mars

As a child, Amy Williams gazed at the skies and had the same thought many of us do: Is there life out there? Now, as an astrobiologist at the University of Florida, Williams and her students are actively working on NASA’s Curiosity and Perseverance missions to find out if ancient life forms ever existed on Mars.

The bald eagle’s surprising history – and its ties to Florida

The bald eagle wasn’t the hands-down choice to be our national emblem but today it is widely acknowledged as a perfect symbol of American patriotism. Pulitzer-Prize winning author Jack Davis, an environmental historian, has a new book out about the bird, its surprising past and why it is an environmental success story.