Editor’s Note:  The following article was written by Cedar Key School 2015 Valedictorian and University of Florida student Sarah Bartholemy as part of her current studies.  Cedar Key News staff believes that you will enjoy the article.  Perhaps even more, you will enjoy the note from Sarah; it is positioned after the article itself.  Cedar Key News hopes to hear more from Sarah and other Cedar Key School graduates.  12/2/17


In late September, the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences at the University of Florida opened the doors of its brand-new Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key, Florida.

DEC 3 NCBS DEBldg Rr008xeUF/IFAS has conducted research in the area for many decades. This new station will serve as a research hub, enabling easier access to field locations, said Charlie Martin, Research Assistant Professor at the NCBS.

“We hope to learn an incredible amount about the ecology of the Nature Coast with the establishment of the new station,” Martin said.

Researchers at the station will be working with local stakeholders to generate new hypotheses and develop sustainable practices, Martin said.

“The mission of our station is to improve the conservation and management of natural resources in our region,” said Mike Allen, NCBS Director. This facility will expand outlets of research for faculty at UF/IFAS, Allen said.

UF/IFAS selected Cedar Key, Florida, to be the home of their new facility because it is the only location that made sense, Allen said.

Cedar Key’s central location along the Nature Coast, access to the Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission and the Lower Suwannee Wildlife Refuge, makes it the ideal setting, Allen said.

Even though Cedar Key only has 700 people, it has a lot of scientists in town that we collaborate with regularly,” Allen said.

The NCBS is a unique building because of its height and historical features, Allen said.

“Because it’s located in the Historic District of Cedar Key, we had to work closely with the City of Cedar Key and the Cedar Key Historic Board to get approval for how this thing would look,” Allen said.

Having a research station on the island benefits the clam, oyster and fishing industries of Cedar Key, said Dennis Voyles, owner of Voyles Guide Service in Cedar Key, Florida. The NCBS benefits these industries through the conservation of natural resources.

“I think it’s good to have professional researchers right here in our community,” Voyles said “They are very interested in what we have to say as well.”


My name is Sarah Bartholemy, and I am the daughter of Heath and Jolie Davis.  I grew up in Cedar Key, Florida, and graduated from Cedar Key High School in 2015.  I am now a junior at the University of Florida majoring in public relations with a minor in business.  I am currently taking a class at UF that requires students to write articles, compile press releases, build portfolios, participate in mock interviews and even produce TV scripts. 

When the opportunity arose to write an article about the environment, I chose a topic that was close to home (literally).  It was important for me to write about UF’s Nature Coast Biological Station in Cedar Key because this structure represents the combination of two important pieces of me: Cedar Key and the University of Florida.  Mike Allen, NCBS Director; Charlie Martin, Research Assistant Professor at the NCBS; and Denny Voyles, citizen of Cedar Key and owner of Voyles Guide Service were generous enough to participate in interviews, and provide insight into this new advancement. Jack Payne, the University of Florida’s Senior Vice President for Agriculture and Natural Resources, wrote about the purpose of the station and how it will serve as a “listening post” for scientists to learn from the people of Cedar Key.  I enjoyed learning about the NCBS and I look forward to all the good that will come of it.

Sarah Bartholemy


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