Pulitzer Prize-winning author Jack Davis speaks at USFSP
On the evening of Oct. 8, University of South Florida St. Petersburg (USFSP) alumnus and Pulitzer Prize-winning author, Jack Davis, returned to the ballroom to give a speech on his award-winning book “The Gulf: The Making of an American Sea.” This inaugural event of the Joint Institute for the Gulf of Mexico Studies was a collaborative effort between USFSP and Duke Energy.
The night started with a few speeches, including one from Jeff Brandes, a Florida senator who represents Pinellas County. Sen. Brandes talked about, and praised, the sustainability efforts being made at USFSP.
Davis, currently a professor of environmental history at the University of Florida, was introduced to the audience by one of USFSP’s mass communications professors, Mark Walters. Walters introduced Davis, mentioning some of Davis’ accolades and giving a brief look into some of the contents of his acclaimed book.
Davis spoke about the history of, and his love for, the gulf as an introduction.
“The Spanish learned what the gulf is in their three decades that they spent exploring, and Columbus thought the gulf would be the route for his spices,” Davis said.
Davis went into detail about the various features of Earth’s 10th-largest body of water including its wealth of limestone, tarpon and vast mangrove forests.
The Gulf of Mexico, Davis explained, has helped shape the heritage and economics into a multimillion-dollar affair of the five gulf states.
Davis ended his talk with a Q&A session and imparted some advice.
“Artists, writers and even fisherman, when given a voice, have been able to create a greater intimacy with the gulf,” Davis said. “Everyone can help play a part in preserving the gulf and learning can be the first step.”
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