The Kapnick building, its natural areas and proximity to a variety of water bodies give us a marvelous location for wetland and aquatic ecosystem research.
The Everglades Wetland Research Park (EWRP), a research and teaching program of Florida Gulf Coast University (FGCU), is housed in a new 10,000 square ft Kapnick Education and Research Center on the campus of the Naples Botanical Garden in Naples, FL, approximately 35 miles south of the main FGCU campus in Ft. Myers. The EWRP provides teaching, research, and service related to wetland, river, coastal science and ecological engineering. The Kapnick Center address is 4940 Bayshore Drive, Naples FL 34112. The Kapnick building has a close proximity to Naples Bay and the Gulf of Mexico coastline a few miles to the west. As well as the freshwater Florida Everglades and Big Cypress Swamp to the east. Combined this gives us a marvelous location, at Kapnick center, for wetland and aquatic ecosystem research.
Teaching and Outreach
The Kapnick houses a 2250 sq ft auditorium with seating room for 160 people and 2960 sq ft in 3 smaller classrooms/meeting rooms. The auditorium is shared for large-audience lectures and meetings by FGCU and the Naples Botanical Garden such as the Moonlight on the Marsh lecture Series while the smaller classrooms are used for formal university classes, research meetings, and outreach events.
The Kapnick building includes 6 offices for FGCU researchers, a 1725 sq ft wetland biogeochemistry lab, a 230 sq ft soil/vegetation processing room (mud room), and a 50 sq ft walk-in cooler. Major lab equipment in the newly furnished laboratories includes an auto sampler and block digester for nutrient analysis, a total organic carbon analyzer for soil and water analysis of carbon and nitrogen, a gas chromatograph-mass spectrophotometer, two gas chromatograph with autosamplers for greenhouse gas analysis, and a germanium detector for carbon sequestration studies. The lab is also equipped with balances, hot plates, convection ovens, a muffle furnace, a plant mill, pH meters, a flurometer, an autoclave, and microscopes and dissecting scopes.
Field equipment available in the lab includes an ISCO automatic water sampler, water quality sondes, several OTT Thalimedes digital water level recorders, and many soil coring devices and greenhouse gas sampling chambers for field deployment.
Many Macintosh (Mac server, Power book, iMacs) and Windows computers are found throughout the research building and are all connected to to internet through an Ethernet network and wireless routers. Many latest versions of simulation modeling (including STELLA, and EXTEND), statistical (SAS, MINITAB, SPSS), CAD, MATLAB and GIS packages (ArcGIS) are maintained. A main file server, located on FGCU campus, hosts the wetland research database for the EWRP and is available via password to our researchers, even when they are traveling or not at the office.
We provide real-time Weather Data through Weather STEM for both Everglades Wetland Research Park and Florida Gulf Coast University.
Water Quality and Water level Monitoring
A real-time instrumentation system - monitoring systems for water quality (YSI 6-series multi-parameter sondes) and water level (Ott Thalimedes), have been established in two wetlands (one freshwater, one brackish) in SW Florida by the EWRP. The system automatically delivers real-time data to the Kapnick Building through spread-spectrum radio transmissions, which in turn are automatically published online, on a lobby display at the Kapnick, and stored on file servers for future analysis.
One of these real-time instrument systems is deployed at Freedom Park (Treatment Wetlands) and another is at restored freshwater marsh wetland on the campus of Florida Gulf Coast University.
We expect to deploy more such real-time sondes in the future at our EWRP research sites throughout south Florida.