About the Project

Forever in Florida? is a project of the Fall 2020 Environmental Journalism class at the University of Florida’s College of Journalism and Communications (CJC). We extend our deepest thanks to the guest speakers and sources who helped us report on PFAS, especially journalists Cheryl Hogue, senior correspondent at Chemical & Engineering News, and Sharon Lerner, investigative reporter for The Intercept.

To learn about this family of chemicals, their reach and their impacts, environmental journalism students also took a water-testing course with chemistry professor John Bowden in UF’s Center for Environmental & Human Toxicology. Bowden is testing waters across Florida to suggest areas of concern and courses of action on PFAS contamination. UF students have helped him collect more than 1,600 water samples from the Keys to the Panhandle. He expects results later in 2021, and we’ll continue to cover the story.

CJC master’s students Kim Fowler and Amy Fu produced the short film, Forever in Florida? They are working on a full-length documentary on PFAS in Florida. If you or someone you know has a PFAS story, please contact Kim and Amy at PFASinFlorida@gmail.com.

For questions about Forever in Florida? or to get in touch, contact the editor, Cynthia Barnett, clbarnett@jou.ufl.edu.

The Team

photo of Justin Bright
Justin Bright
photo of Elise Elder
Elise Elder
photo of Kimberly A. Fowler
Kim Fowler
Photo of Amy Fu
Amy Fu
Photo of Valerie Izquierdo
Valerie Izquierdo
Photo of Jordyn Kalman
Jordyn Kalman
Photo of Sarah Mandile
Sarah Mandile
Natalie Nix
Marlowe Starling

Additional editing: Katie Hyson and Ethan Magoc. Production Editing: Matt Sheehan


Environmental Journalism at UF is offered each fall with CJC Environmental Journalist in Residence Cynthia Barnett. If you have a story for us to look into, or if you’re a student interested in taking the class, please email clbarnett@jou.ufl.edu. Some of our previous investigations:

The Human Hazard on the influence of climate change on public health in Florida.

Peak Florida on the acceleration of population growth and climate change amid weakened development regulations.

Energy Burden on how the poor pay more for energy, from the portion of income spent on utilities to the days without power in the wake of a hurricane.