Program Activities

For a downloadable sample schedule of the week’s activities: General Schedule

Program curriculum is designed to engage highly motivated students in experiential activities that enrich humanities learning with the fun of discovery. Program activities range from faculty lectures, to hands-on activities, to exploring natural and cultural resources in the field, to tours of historical and culturally significant landmarks, to dining at local, culturally-rich restaurants. Participants will gain a deeper appreciation for the role of humanities research in understanding the changing landscape of Florida’s water from the perspective of cultural, historical, political, environmental, and social developments. Additionally, students will be challenged to evaluate, critique, and synthesize the week’s activities in a capstone project presented on the final day to parents and faculty.

Sunday– Opening Day

  • Arrival and check-in to residence halls.
  • Convocation with parents, afterwards parents depart.
  • Icebreaker activities.
  • Water scavenger hunt with honors humanities students.

Monday- Florida’s Water Sources

  • Visit the UF George A Smathers Libraries Special and Area Studies Collections where students will view and discuss original documents (such as from Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings and Zora Neale Hurston) from Florida’s history that anticipate the week’s site visits. Students will have the opportunity to handle these historical documents and learn how historians use them in research.
  • Samuel Proctor Program for Oral History: Learning how to study and conduct living history interviews about Florida’s waters for the preservation of cultural experiences and personal histories. Student will first learn about the history of the SPOHP, important contributions being made by oral history in documenting recent history, and how to write, conduct, and record an oral interview.
  • Scott Nygren Scholar’s Studio: Exploring new tools for humanities research in the digital age
  • Interact with librarians and researchers at UF Digital Collections ( to learn about New Tools for Humanities Research ( and receive instruction for creating a digital footprint in the capstone project.
  • Watch John Sayles’ “Sunshine State” (2002) on the UF campus

Tuesday- Florida’s Fresh Waters

  • Visit to Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings Historic State Park in Cross Creek, Florida, where author Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings wrote The Yearling to see her historic home and surrounding community.
  • Fieldtrip to Silver Glen Springs for a discussion on the role of water in Florida’s past, present, and future; the history of Native American use of the springs; Florida’s tourist industry; and the future of the environment in these fragile ecosystems. The day will continue with a canoe trip lead by a certified kayak guide and leader.
  • Visit the Micanopy Historical Society to learn how water history is preserved locally.
  • Dinner at Blue Highway Pizza, a well-establish, locally-owned, and community-based restaurant in Micanopy, Florida.

Wednesday- Florida Water Ethics

  • Visit to Forage Farm and the Alachua Conservation Trust’s Prairie Creek Preserve to discuss sustainable farming practices and water conservation.
  • Discussion of farmworker migration and justice with UF Women’s Studies affiliate.
  • Locally-sourced lunch provided.
  • Engage in a discussion on environmental ethics and social change.
  • Presentation on ancient Rome, aqueducts, and culture’s influence on water use.
  • Watch the 1994 Florida Crossroads “Rosewood” film.

Thursday- Florida’s Salt Waters

  • Visit to Cedar Key Shell Middens with a viewing of archaeological artifacts from the Cedar Key area and discussion of archaeological evidence for water use. Shell middens are the collection of human debris (typically kitchen waste) and, along the Florida coast, consist primarily of mollusk shells piled up over millennia.
  • Discussion of the archaeological evidence of water use through viewing artifacts from Cedar Key area.
  • Reflect upon the history of the events of January 1923 in Rosewood through Visits to water sites involved (brackish water south of Cedar Key, Otter Creek).
  • Discussion of relationships between water resources and social inequality.
  • Enjoy a historic “soul food dinner” at a church in Chiefland, Florida.

Friday- Telling Water Stories

  • Engage in a discussion on eco-criticism and reading water stories through literature.
  • Visit to the Harn Museum of Art, UF Campus and tour of artworks portraying Florida’s waters.
  • Lunch at the Harn’s Camelia Café.
  • Complete Seminar Group Projects
  • Pool party at UF’s Broward Pool and catered dinner from the Reggae Shack Cafe.

Saturday- Closing Banquet

  • Closing discussion with co-leaders.
  • Admissions panel and Q&A with UF humanities, pre-health, and pre-law advisers (parents welcome).
  • Lunch with parents and instructors.
  • Present capstone projects to families and faculty during a lunch reception.