George N. Avery Award for Senior High and Middle School South Florida Science & Engineering Fair Projects

The award, given in honor of George N. Avery, a self-taught native plant expert who was a mentor and friend to many local enthusiasts, consists of a $50 bookstore gift certificate and a one year subscription to the monthly DCFNPS Newsletter, Tillandsia.

The Avery prize is awarded to one or more Senior High and Middle School students annually for outstanding projects that enhance the student's understanding of Florida's native plants or plant communities.

In order to qualify for the Avery award, projects should be scientifically sound and appropriate for the student's grade level.

For questions or further information regarding the DCFNPS George N. Avery Award, please call 305-255-6404, or contact Gita Ramsay (

Past Awardees

2012: none awarded

2011: none awarded

2010: (1) Jonathan Prendergast, Felix Varela Senior High School, 12th grade, Interpreting the nutrient limitations, salinity, and seasonal variations of Florida Bay in order to analyze shifts in species and biomass productivity.
(2) Victor Moas, Jesus Melendez, and Robert Wollbert, Christopher Columbus High School, 12th grade, Breaking the Dormancy of S. mexicana Seeds.

2009: "Interpreting the hydrological history of an Everglades wetland through microscopic characterization of phytoliths" Christopher Allen Sanchez, Grade 11, Felix Varela Senior High School.
"Growth analysis of Jacquemontia reclinata using various substrates." Rafael David Moas, Grade 10, Christopher Columbus High School.
"Are the seeds of Small's milkpea (Galactia smallii) candidates for frozen storage?" Victor M. Moas, Grade 12, Christopher Columbus High School.

2008: none awarded

2007: Congratulations to Nia Brisbane, recipient of the Dade Chapter FNPS 2007 George N. Avery Award for Outstanding Science Fair Projects! Nia is a senior at Felix Varela Senior High School. "Tiny Seeds Present the Big Picture for Everglades Restoration."

2006: none awarded

2005: (1) Sarah Bartleson, Evan Downs (South Miami Middle School, 8th Grade). The Genetic Diversity of Red Mangrove, Rhizophora mangle, in Southern Florida.
(2) Ethan Addicot (Highland Oaks Middle School, 7th Grade). Do Beaches Need Veggies Too?

2004: none awarded

2003: Carli Koshal, Lucia Goyen (Dr. Michael M. Krop Senior High School, 12th Grade). Discriminant Analysis of Mitigated vs. Unmitigated Red Mangroves: The Effect of Turbidity on Growth Rates.

2002: none awarded

2001: (1) Nicholas Detrio (Hammocks Middle School, 7th Grade). Differences in host plants for the giant swallowtail butterfly larvae.
(2) Michael Garcia, Vartan Pogharian, Eduardo Saverin (Gulliver Preparatory School, Seniors). Evaluation of the biodiversity present within the lichen community of the Florida Everglades ecosystem.

2000: Marilyn Lindsley (Westminster Christian School, 11th Grade). Do temperature effects prevent turtle grass colonization?

1999: (1) Kelley Lee. (Coral Reef Senior High, 10th Grade). Salinity effects of salt water stress and UVB radiation on the flotation angle of the Red Mangrove propagule.
(2) Lashunda Lynch (Miami Edison Middle School, 7th Grade). Stomatal adaptations in xeriphytic plants in the sand pine and scrub communities.

1998:Rebecca Panko (Coral Reef Senior High). Pineland thousand hour fuels: How accurate are computer models?

1997: Arielle Castillo (Carver Middle School). Natural pesticides from native plants.

1996: none awarded.

1995: James Hutson. Survival of South Florida Slash Pine seedlings.

1994: none awarded.

1993: (1) Joshua Rosen (Glades Middle School). For the birds - recreating a backyard biome.
(2) Genie Oppenheimer (Carver Middle School). Trees that survived Hurricane Andrew.

1992: (1) Virginia Dunn (Palmetto Middle School). Do mangrove shoreline restorations enhance water clarity in shallow bays?
(2) Emilio Travieso (Pinewood Acres). Does the near-endangered Florida silver palm absorb water from sea spray through the undersides of its leaves?

1991: none awarded

1990: (1) Michael Brooks. Saltwater intrusion effect on freshwater plants.
(2) Jeff Tompkins. Effects of tropical and subtropical climates on plants (part 2 of 2-year study).

1989: Jeff Tompkins. Effects of tropical and subtropical climates on plants (part 1 of a 2-year study).

1988: Michael Liberman. Castellow Hammock - a 50-year study.

1987: none awarded

1986: Michael Fleming (Southwood Junior High). Allelopathy in South Florida exotics.

1985: Alissa Grand (Highland Oak Junior High, 9th Grade). Effects of environmental. conditions on microfauna in the soil.

1984: Jennifer Hoffman (South Dade High, Senior). Relative habitat value of mangrove fringes and sea grass beds for a species of commercial shrimp.

Corkystem passionflower
Corkystem passionflower

Featured Plant:

Corkystem passionflower (Passiflora suberosa)

Vine found in Florida forests and pinelands, Texas, West Indies, Mexico - S. America. Stem has corky exterior on older portions. Leaf shape is extremely variable. Small pale-green flowers. Pea-sized purple fruits are eaten by birds. Larval host plant for Gulf fritillary, Julia & Zebra heliconian butterflies. May be temporarily defoliated by caterpillars.

  • Tolerates a wide range of soils and light
  • Support on a fence, trellis or shrub, or let it sprawl on the ground
  • Can be grown in a pot

Find out more from FNPS | Find out more from Natives For Your Neighborhood

Information from: Natives For Your Neighborhood - The Institute for Regional Conservation