Florida Sea Grant established a sustained student-focused research program on water quality in memoriam of the program’s recently passed director, Dr. Karl Havens.

The “Karl Havens Excellence Fund” will support students and research at Florida Sea Grant affiliated institutions in the areas of limnology, coastal and estuarine water quality, and harmful algal blooms. Karl’s research focused on these areas, which are especially important now as the state is experiencing increased water quality and supply issues.

karl havens taking photos

“I have been humbled by witnessing the mobilization of the agents and specialists in their desire to honor Dr. Havens,” says Dr. Sherry Larkin, Florida Sea Grant interim director, who is leading the creation of the fund. “Certainly, trying to move on in the wake of Dr. Haven’s passing has been challenging, but it has also provided inspiration and a sense of purpose.”

Read Dr. Larkin’s letter requesting support from the Florida Sea Grant community.

“With this fund, Florida Sea Grant seeks to continue Karl’s legacy of both scientific discovery and communication of science-based information to serve our coastline,” Larkin continued. “If we reach the endowment level of $30,000 we will be able to fund fellowships with the ultimate goal of having an endowed chair to carry on this important work on behalf of Florida Sea Grant.”

Want to contribute to the fund? There are multiple ways to participate.


Visit the Karl Havens Excellence Endowment donation page and make a contribution. This secure page is hosted by the University of Florida and all donations will go directly to the fund. As of December 1, 2021, a total of $16,200 has been raised. We seek to reach the $30,000 to ensure a sustained endowment by fall 2024.

Tell Others

Karl was a leader in aquatic research of a type that is increasingly needed in Florida, as the state is experiencing increased pressures on its water supply and more frequent and severe harmful algal blooms on its coasts and in its rivers and lakes. Tell others about this opportunity to further research in this critical area.

Karl’s Legacy

Karl Havens was director of the Florida Sea Grant program from 2007 until his passing in spring 2019. He was a professor of aquatic ecology at the University of Florida and was a leading international expert on aquatic research, management, education and outreach. His area of expertise included the response of lakes and estuaries to natural and human-caused impacts such as nutrient enrichment, drought, climate variability and hurricanes. To read more about Karl and his legacy, go here.

Dr. Hans Pearl, researcher at the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill Institute of Marine Sciences, recently wrote this tribute in Limnology and Oceanography.


For additional information, to make a donation via different means, or to provide items to donate for the auction, please contact Sherry Larkin, Florida Sea Grant director, by phone or email:

Sherry Larkin, Director
Florida Sea Grant College Program
University of Florida
PO Box 110400
Gainesville, FL 32611-0400
(352) 392-5870

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