John U. Lloyd Beach State Park ("The Park") consists of 251 acres of barrier island beachfront lying between the Atlantic Ocean and the Intracoastal Waterway. Its natural setting contrasts sharply with the urban development of Ft. Lauderdale and provides an underutilized laboratory for the teaching of ecology and environmental sciences in a field setting. The climate, geology, and vegetation have been relatively well characterized. In contrast, the fauna, especially small mammals, are poorly characterized and incompletely documented. Standard survey methods for terrestrial fauna, including small mammal live-trapping, early morning bird counts, and vegetative transects, etc, will be utilized to gather the data. Standard methods will be used to analyze these data and incorporate them into a book that represents the output work product of this project. Graduate students will be utilized to the collect data, providing both financial assistance and thesis research topics that further their education at the Oceanographic Center.
A secondary goal of this project is to develop an undergraduate science course in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences entitled "The Natural History of John U. Lloyd Beach State Park". This course will meet the needs of students in the Farquhar College of Arts and Sciences for field-based education, as required for their major. The course will provide education in the fields of ecology, natural history, environmental science, and oceanography, and prepare students for internships at the Park where they could lead educational tours for the general public and school groups; assist with habitat restoration, remediation, and management; and assisting Park personnel with other priority activities. A peer-reviewed paper in the open literature, and the output volume, provide the mechanisms for the dissemination of the results of this effort, as well as an educational resource for the general public.