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Professor Don Spence Collaborates with Friends of Canaveral to Publish New Book

Don Spence"Human health is directly tied to how healthy the environment is around us. I am a native of Daytona Beach, and I have been working at educating people about ways to reduce using chemicals in our landscapes and ways to increase local biodiversity by planting native plants for almost 20 years," said Department of Natural Sciences Professor Don Spence, Ph.D., who has recently published a new book entitled Plants of Canaveral National Seashores, authored in collaboration with Friends of Canaveral.

Spence is a frequent lecturer and was one of the inaugural speakers at the University of Florida's First Annual Plants Beyond Limits Conference. He brought the 2018 Volusia County Science Fair to B-CU, initiated a native landscaping project with Sarah Krejci, Ph.D. and coordinated the purchase of a greenhouse for B-CU. 

"Over the past three years, the Natural Science department has hired several faculty members who are committed to connecting students to the natural world through the courses and labs we teach, and through our small research projects," he said. "I think the most important aspect involved with getting young people connected to the natural world is through discussions of clean water, healthy food and the loss of species through habitat destruction. Most people, once they are exposed to these topics, begin to care about nature because they have made the connection to their lives, it has become personal."

Spence's vision for the greenhouse is to have a place to grow plants for B-CU ecology, general bio and plant physiology classes. He has also been working on research projects that will require space to grow lots of plants. Proceeds from the book will benefit Friends of Canaveral.

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About Bethune Cookman University:

Founded in 1904 by Dr. Mary McLeod Bethune, Bethune-Cookman University (B-CU) today sustains her legacy of faith, scholarship, and service through its relationship with the United Methodist Church and its commitment to academic excellence and civic engagement.  B-CU offers 38 degrees on its main campus and online college. Located in Daytona Beach, B-CU is one of three private, historically black colleges in the state of Florida. The institution boasts a diverse and international faculty and student body of nearly 4,000.  For more information, visit

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