Spring 2022 Sustainability Fellow: Karina Sultan
Partner: Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club (ACKC)
Project: Big Bend River Advocate
Student: Karina Sultan, Second Year Undergraduate in Environment and Society
In Spring 2022, Karina worked with the Apalachee Canoe and Kayak Club (ACKC) to create a website informing the public about the organization’s activities.
Karina collaborated with Dr. Ron Saff and other members of ACKC, which is a local paddling club in the Tallahassee area. The club was organized in the 1970s by local canoeists, and the organization holds monthly meetings with related programs and discussion on past and future paddling events.
As a Sustainability Fellow, Karina was tasked with creating a Wix website to share information about ACKC and educate the public about the value of Big Bend waterways. The goal of Karina’s project was to help others gain an understanding of how to stay safe on the waterways, how to keep them clean, and how to get involved in ACKC.
Over the course of the semester, Karina participated in two kayaking trips, paddling over 14 miles. Specifically, Karina explored waterways that have experienced various water pollution concerns, including the Chipola River and the Wacissa River. At both waterways Karina was able to observe debris from Hurricane Michael as well as litter from waterway users. She was also able to see the different flora and fauna of the various locations she visited.
“I was really wanting to get more involved,” said Karina, “and I liked that I was able to learn more about the different waterways. Kayaking is a very intense thing to do. I liked getting to go down all the little side paths, learning about the different birds, and even seeing an alligator!”
For the Wix website, Karina compiled information about the history of ACKC, created a link to the organization’s Meet Up page, and organized the club’s images into an online picture gallery. She also developed a user-friendly contact form for prospective ACKC members.
"Overall, the experience was worthwhile for ACKC," said Dr. Saff. "Karina is very smart, very bright, and we wish we could have accommodated more paddles for her Fellowship."
In the future, Karina believes that volunteers can help make updates to the website as needed and create a social media presence for the club via Instagram.
To learn more about the Sustainability Fellows program, visit sustainablecampus.fsu.edu/sustainability-fellows.