Student NameChristopher Cuevas
Faculty Mentor NameDavid Kaplan
CollegeCollege of Engineering
MajorEnvironmental Engineering and Political Science
MinorSustainability Studies
Research InterestsEnvironmental policy , Harmful algal blooms , Nonpoint source pollution
Academic AwardsDean's List , Haskell Faculty and Student Research Award , PPIA Fellow
OrganizationsBrown Center for Leadership and Service (BCLS) , Bob Graham Center , Gators for Environmental Community Outreach (GECO) , Outdoor Adventure Recreation (OAR)
Hobbies and InterestsBackpacking , Reading , Community Service

Research Project

State Government Responses to Harmful Algal Blooms: A Meta-analysis

Our overarching goal is to investigate what kinds of environmental policies could be implemented by the state of Florida to mitigate the impact of Harmful algal blooms (HABs), a recurring environmental issue throughout the state. We know that HABs experienced in Florida are caused by the explosive growth of cyanobacteria in freshwater ecosystems, and by dinoflagellates such as Karenia brevis in coastal ecosystems. Nearly a century of development- and agriculture-oriented policy decisions in Florida have given rise to conditions that are suitable for HABs to occur frequently throughout the state, with substantial environmental, public health, and economic impacts. HABs are a problem found in all 50 states, each with their own unique environmental policy context. Our objective is to conduct a meta-analysis of different cases of HABs throughout the United States caused by cyanobacteria and dinoflagellates, with a focus on the environmental policies implemented by state governments. A review of existing academic and government literature may allow us to determine whether certain actions are more effective than others in mitigating algal blooms. Ultimately, this project intends to use these results to speculate about potential policy solutions that could be implemented in Florida to mitigate the future statewide impacts of HABs.