Dr. Gary R. Mormino

AVON PARK, Fla. – Jan. 15, 2020 – Through a National Endowment for the Humanities (NEH) grant, Dr. Gary R. Mormino will present “Florida Dreams Amid the Storms: An Environmental History of Modern Florida” on Thursday, Jan. 30, at 4 p.m., in Building B, Room 204, on the South Florida State College (SFSC) Highlands Campus in Avon Park. The presentation is free and open to SFSC faculty, high school and college/university educators, and museum and archive professionals. Others who are interested in attending should email Dr. Charlotte Pressler, SFSC professor of English and humanities, at presslerc@southflorida.edu.

Dr. Mormino will present an environmental overview of Florida and plans to discuss the eco-system of the Lake Wales Ridge. The Lake Wales Ridge runs approximately 150 miles, from Highlands County in the south through Lake County in the north, and provides habitat for 21 federally listed plant species, many of which are found nowhere else on Earth.

Dr. Mormino is the Frank E. Duckwall professor emeritus of Florida history at the University of South Florida (USF) St. Petersburg and the scholar in residence at the Florida Humanities Council. He is the recipient of the 2015 Florida Lifetime Achievement Award for Writing. Two decades ago, he began to research a social history of modern Florida. Published in 2005, his book, “Land of Sunshine, State of Dreams: A Social History of Modern Florida,” follows the rapid development and growth of Florida in the 20th century. Dr. Mormino has written several op-eds for the Tampa Bay Times that urge Floridians to help restore and preserve the state’s natural environment.

He received his Ph.D. from the University of North Carolina and began teaching at USF in 1977. In 2003, the Florida Humanities Council named him its first Humanist of the Year.