Jupiter Life Magazine2014 5K GREEN RUN/WALK at RIVER BEND PARK

The Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy is an experiential science program at Jupiter High School.  It provides hands-on opportunities for students to study every major ecosystem in South Florida and work on environmental service projects throughout the year.  Outside funding helps pay for unique, field experiences that go beyond the curriculum

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Pawpaw Preserve Workday - Tuesday, December 10, 2013

 

JERFSAVolunteers from Jupiter High School Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy helped the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management remove 110 pounds of trash and 32 pounds of recyclables from this 3-acre preserve located in Palm Beach Gardens. Total volunteer hours = 20

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

A recent Jupiter High School graduate, Bryan Pepper, has given new meaning to his "SENIOR" project

 

bryan-pepper-senior-project

 

JUPITER — In addition to the general high school curriculum, students in the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) at Jupiter High School learn about wildlife, ecology, conservation, ecosystems, and green building solutions through a variety of classes ranging from APES (AP Environmental Science) to Zoology.

 

As a requirement for completion of the JERFSA program, all students are asked to embark on a Senior Project that falls into one of four categories including: Environmental Action, Eco-Political Action, Ecological Research Investigation, or Environmental Education.

 

For his senior project, Bryan Pepper (JHS/JERFSA class of 2013) chose to design, plant and maintain a butterfly garden composed of locally grown Florida native plants. In search of a meaningful location for this garden, Bryan met with John D. Couris, President & CEO of Jupiter Medical Center (JMC), who was enthusiastically supportive of the idea. read more

 

 

 

Juno Dunes Natural Area Workday - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

 

Juno Dunes Natural Area Workday - Tuesday, October 9, 2012

Volunteers, including students from Jupiter High School Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy helped the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management remove 190 pounds of trash from this 569-acre natural area! Total volunteer hours = 32.5

Enviroservice at Riverbend Park in Jupiter

 

JERFSA Student at Riverbend

A group of ten JERFSA students planted the entire garden at the Farmstead at Riverbend Park during an Environmental Resouce Management word day enviroservice!

 

 

 

 

JERFSA places 12th in nationwide North American Envirothon Competition

 

Canon Environthon Competition

The team members were Becky Meiser, Veronica Gall, Elizabeth Isner, Shayne DeRuysscher (Mr. Weinrich) and Stephanie McCrate!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Palm Beach County - Environmental Resource Management Thank You to JERFSA - Pawpaw Preserve Clean Up, September 2012

JERFSA-pawpaw preserve clean up

 

Neal and Dave,

I wanted to say thank you to the JERFSA students for helping the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management remove 100 pounds of trash and lots of love vine during the September 7 volunteer event at Pawpaw Preserve. I attached a PDF file filled with pictures from the project. Please share this file with the students who participated in the event. Let me know if you want me to send you a particular photo – I can email you the JPEG image. Thanks for helping the Department keep Palm Beach County clean and green.

 

Ann Mathews, PBC Department of Environmental Resources Management

 

 

Neal White Named 2012 Environmental Champion! -Environmental Champion Award Presented at NatureScaping 2012

 

Neal White Environmental Champion!

The Environmental Champion of John D. MacArthur Beach State Park’s NatureScaping 2012 event has been selected and he is Neal White, Director of the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy. Neal White has been the Director of the Environmental Academy at Jupiter High School since its inception 19 years ago. He has given his time and energy tirelessly and unselfishly, inspiring hundreds of students along the way. READ MORE

 

 

Jupiter High School Wins the State Envirothon Again in 2012!

 

Envirothon State Champion Team 2012

 

 

this year and will represent the State of Florida for the second time in a row at the National Envirothon in Pennsylvania this summer. The team members are (from left to Right) Becky Meiser, Veronica Gall, Elizabeth Isner, Shayne DeRuysscher (Mr. Weinrich) and Stephanie McCrate. Last year the girls placed 9th in the Nation, this year, I know their sights are set for #1 as returning champions.

 

 

 

Jupiter Tequesta Garden Club hosts fundraiser highlighted by guest speaker John Klingel, “The Frugal Florist.”

 

Click for detailsThe Jupiter Tequesta Garden Club hosted a fundraising event on Sunday, March 18, 2012 highlighted by guest speaker John Klingel, “The Frugal Florist.” The event was to benefit Jupiter High School’s “Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Study Academy.”  JERFSA is a four-year Magnet school program that is designed to meet the needs of students who wish to pursue an academic curriculum with emphasis on environmental studies.

 

Funds raised are going to be used to convert an existing retention pond at Jupiter High School into a bonafide multipurpose outdoor created wetland that students will use as an onsite ecology science lab. This created wetland will allow students to easily and efficiently observe native Florida plant and wildlife as well as collect and test water samples for use in their hands-on lab studies.

 

Bentz and her team are volunteering their time to design and implement the necessary changes to turn the existing retention pond into the onsite created wetland ecolab. She said that with existing budget restraints, students are given less opportunities for fieldtrips, so having the ecolab on site will save time and gas and provide students with convenient access to endless environmental learning opportunities. Design plans will eventually include a dock in the wetland so students can easily access deeper water studies as well.

 

The location of the fundraising event, The Evergrene Community Clubhouse at 650 Evergrene Parkway in Palm Beach Gardens, was a worthwhile visit in itself.  For going on eight years, Evergrene has held the proud distinction of being a Certified Gold Audubon International Signature Sustainable Development, which means it purposefully gives protection to Florida’s natural resources by successfully integrating an ecosystem approach to design, construction and management of the development. The event was coordinated by Jupiter Tequesta Garden Club President, Dottie Wisch, at 561-746-7017.

 

 

FRENCHMAN'S FOREST / PROSPERITY OAKS WORK DAY WITH ERM

 

I wanted to say thank you to the JERFSA students for helping the Palm Beach County Department of FRENCHMAN'S FOREST / PROSPERITY OAKS WORK DAY WITH ERMEnvironmental Resources Management (ERM)remove 1,180 pounds of trash during the February 15 volunteer event at Frenchman’s Forest / Prosperity Oaks Natural Areas. I attached a PDF file filled with pictures from the event. Please share this file with the students who participated in the event. Let me know if you want me to send you a particular photo – I can email you the JPEG image. Thanks for helping the Department keep Palm Beach County clean and green.    READ MORE

 

Ann Mathews, Palm Beach County
Department of Environmental Resources Management

 

 

JUPITER HIGH SCHOOL WINS 9TH PLACE AND $5,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AT THE 2011 CANON ENVIROTHON COMPETITION

Posted by: Vickie Middlebrooks  |  photo by: April Smith/Canon Envirothon - November 11th, 2011

photo by: April Smith/Canon Envirothon

 

After advancing through local, regional, and state competitions, five students from Jupiter High School’s Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) were selected to represent the state of Florida at the 2011 Canon Envirothon competition. The team of motivated sophomores and juniors traveled to New Brunswick, Canada to compete against 54 teams representing 45 U.S. states, eight Canadian provinces and one Canadian territory. The students tested their knowledge of soils and land use, forestry, wildlife, aquatic ecology, and current environmental issues in an in-depth, multi-disciplinary competition that comprised of a rigorous written examination, field testing, and a 20-minute oral presentation.

 

The team of five girls (Stephanie McCrate, Elizabeth Isner, Veronica Gall, Becky Meiser, and Shayna DeRuysscher) spent much of their summer preparing for the competition, working with local experts from the Jupiter High School Debate team, Florida Division of Forestry, Loxahatchee River District, USDA Natural Resources Conservation District, and several other knowledgeable professionals to polish their public speaking skills and improve their command of natural resource management techniques.

The students’ hard-work certainly paid off as they beat out 53 other teams, earning them a coveted 9th place slot in the North American competition and a cumulative $5,500 in scholarship money.

 

Team captain Stephanie McCrate attributes their success to passion, teamwork, dedication, and the support of their coach Mr. Phil Weinrich (lead teacher at JERFSA). “The competition itself was a wonderful experience—we met people from all over the continent, saw some of the beautiful New Brunswick countryside, and were challenged intellectually and as a team,” said Ms. McCrate.

 

Since 1994, Jupiter High School has won Palm Beach County Envirothon sixteen times, earned 1st place at Florida Envirothon five times, and ranked at the North American level four times. Envirothon.org calls Canon Envirothon “North America’s largest high school environmental science competition.” Sponsored by Canon U.S.A., Inc., the National Association of Conservation Districts, and the United States Forest Service, Canon Envirothon is a powerful educational initiative that impacts over 500,000 students each year. Next year’s competition will be held in Selinsgrove, Pennsylvania and mark the 25th anniversary of the program.

 

The School District of Palm Beach County is embracing this opportunity to expand our collaborative efforts through environmental science education with Canon Envirothon. Community partnerships such as these strengthen our organization and advance student environmental science achievement.

 

For more information about JERFSA student involvement, please contact Nathalie McCrate at 561-543-8670 or email her at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it or Jupiter High School Principal Cheryl Alligood at 561-744-7900 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

Above photo: JUPITER HIGH SCHOOL WINS 9TH PLACE AND $5,500 IN SCHOLARSHIPS AT THE 2011 CANON ENVIROTHON COMPETITION

(Left to right) JERFSA teacher Jessamyn Ramsey, Veronica Gall, Becky Meiser, Elizabeth Isner, Shayna Deruysscher, Stephanie McCrate, and coach Phil Weinrich [PHOTO CREDIT: APRIL SMITH OF CANON ENVIROTHON]

 

 

Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management remove 420 pounds of trash at Delaware Scrub Natural Area

JERFSA Delaware Scrub Natural Area Work DayHello JERFSA!

I wanted to say thank you to the JERFSA students for helping the Palm Beach County Department of Environmental Resources Management remove 420 pounds of trash during the November 4 volunteer event at Delaware Scrub Natural Area......

 

Thanks for helping the Department keep Palm Beach County clean and green. I’ll see you in December!

 

Ann Mathews, Palm Beach County, Department of Environmental Resources Management

 


Way to go Mr. Weinrich!

Nurturing Environment Comes Naturally

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Jupiter High School's Envirothon winners to represent JERFSA in July 2011 Canada Competition Posted on TCPalm.com May 3, 2011

 

Photo by Rosanna McCrate: Pictured (left to right) is coach Phil Weinrich and winners Shayna DeRuysscher, Stephanie McCrate, Elizabeth Isner, Becky Meiser and Veronica Gall.

 

JUPITER — On the morning of April 30, not a sound was heard in the forests of Jonathan Dickinson State Park. With mingled hope and excitement, 120 high schoolers waited anxiously to hear the results of the 2011 Florida Envirothon competition. Demonstrating their mastery of soils, wildlife, forestry, aquatics, and current environmental science issues, the Jupiter Environmental and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) team, "Shrub Patrol," defeated all 23 of Florida's district champion teams—earning them first place in the state competition.

 

Demonstrating their mastery of environmental principles of Soil, Wildlife, Forestry, Aquatics, and Estuaries, our team of Stephanie McCrate, Elizabeth Isner, Becky Meiser, Veronica Gall, and Shayna DeRuysscher defeated 24 other county champion teams to take top honors. Wish them luck as they advance to the international Canon Envirothon competition in New Brunswick, Canada this summer.

 

The team of five high school juniors will now advance to the Canon National Envirothon competition to be held in New Brunswick, Canada July 24-29 2011. Sponsored by Canon and the USDA Conservation Service Districts, Envirothon is a comprehensive, problem-solving natural resource education program for high school students. With 45 states and 7 Canadian Provinces participating in the National Canon Envirothon competition, the program is North America's largest environmental science competition. Several thousand dollars in scholarships are awarded to the top 15 winners of the Canon National Envirothon Competition. The team that earns first place will bring home a nice plaque—and a collective $25,000 in scholarship money.

 

“This is an incredibly hardworking and focused group of girls," said Phil Weinrich, their coach and instructor at Jupiter High’s JERFSA program.” They placed in the top three in all five categories,” he added. “Our team split up the research for each of the categories," said Stephanie McCrate, the team’s captain. Elizabeth Isner, fellow team member continued, “we rotated between the five categories and answered technical questions regarding field and practical skills as well as oral question." This is Jupiter’s fifth state title and 15th county championship win in the 18 years that they have competed. “Nobody else even comes close to that record,” added Weinrich.

This story is contributed by a member of the Treasure Coast community and is neither endorsed nor affiliated with TCPalm.com


 

The Health of 'One World' Unites Local Non-Profits

 

staceybrandt
- Posted on TCPALM.com April 29, 2011 at 10:57 a.m., updated April 29, 2011 at 11 a.m.

JUPITER — Jupiter Medical Center has joined forces with Busch Wildlife Sanctuary, Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) at Jupiter High School, and the Loxahatchee River Environmental Control District & River Center to present One World – One Health – One Jupiter. This free community event will take place at Busch Wildlife Sanctuary in Jupiter on Saturday, May 7 from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. The event is aimed at increasing awareness about health and environmental issues that affect our community.

 

 

Jupiter  Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy Students Commit to Clean Up at Adopt-A-Spot Day at Jupiter High School

 

 

April 2, 2011 Jupiter Florida - It takes an exceptional kind of teenager that is willing to get out of bed early on a Saturday morning and go to their high school to pick up trash. But that is exactly what 23 students did this past Saturday. Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) is filled with exceptional students and it was no surprise when JERFSA Booster President Joe Buckley put out the call for volunteers that so many students responded.

 

"It was an early start to the day, arriving at 9:00 am," Joe Buckley said "but the kids showed up with smiles on their faces eager to lend a hand." In fact, 7 parents and JERFSA Program Coordinator, Neal White also showed up for the event. Mr. White traveled between volunteers on his bicycle with cold bottles of water and words of encouragement for each student. "I am always amazed at how the kids have so much fun doing work," Mr. White commented.

 

Over 40 bags of trash were collected starting from the corner of Tony Pena and Military Trail, through the Jupiter High School grounds and on into the North County Aquatic Complex. The most exciting trash collected? A scooter buried deep in a thicket of brush. The most common piece of trash found? "Cigarette butts!" the students shout in unison. JERFSA will be hosting additional Adopt-A-Spot volunteer days at Jupiter High School. Contact Joe Buckley at (561) 262-4286 or visit www.jerfsapartnership.org for upcoming dates and information.

 

Passion Begun In The 60’s Culminates With Environmental Educator of the Year Award


FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

"Connecting for Success"


Date: April 1, 2010

Phil Weinrich caught the "bug" at Pine Jog Environmental Center way back in 1967. As a young college student he helped guide school groups on field trips through the woods and he initiated Pine Jog's first Summer Day Camps. A graduate of Forest Hill High School and the University of Florida, Mr. Weinrich has been the Ecology and AP Environmental Science teacher at Jupiter High School's Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) since its inception in 1993. He recently received the Pine Jog Environmental Education Green Gala Award for Environmental Educator of the Year.

 


Mr. Weinrich has earned many environmental education awards over the years and has been the driving force in the many awards earned by JERFSA. As "Envirothon" Adviser he has won more "Envirothon" competitions than any teacher in the state of Florida with his students winning the State competition three times and placing as high as 6th at a National level.



“For the past eighteen years, Mr. Weinrich has provided students with the most passionate Environmental education experiences possible.  He makes the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy what it is today.  I think our students would say he is the Environmental educator of at least the decade because there is not a word for 18 years,” said Neal White, Jupiter High Choice Program Coordinator.



The Jupiter High Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy was also honored as the Environmental Education Program of the Year at the 2011 Pine Jog Environmental Education Center's Green Gala.  Mr. White, who has dedicated his career to the development of this very successful environmental education Program of Choice, accepted the award.


JERFSA is a four year course of study designed to meet the needs of talented and motivated students who wish to pursue a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on environmental studies. JERFSA program activities include: a core selection of courses for each grade level, environmental service projects with area agencies, instruction in field study skills, data collection technique training, environmental outreach through recycling and children’s literature projects, college classes, research project development and implementation, teamwork and leadership training, and career information seminars.



For more information please contact Mr. White, Choice Programs Coordinator Jupiter High School at  (561) 743-6014 or This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it

 

 

Phil Weinrich, Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Teacher, Receives 2011 Pine Jog Environmental Education Green Gala Award for "Environmental Educator of the Year"


WEST PALM BEACH, FL MARCH 26, 2011 - Mr. Weinrich has earned many environmental education awards over the years and has been the driving force in the many awards earned by JERFSA.  As "Envirothon" Advisor he has won more "Envirothon" competitions than any teacher in the state of Florida. His "Envirothon" students have won the State competition three times placing as high as 6th at a National level.  It is through Mr. Weinrich's efforts with the "Green Initiative' that Jupiter High School was the winner of the inaugural 2009 Green School of Excellence Award and recognized again in 2010. Mr. Weinrich is a passionate environmentalist and has dedicated his career to the development of environmental education based studies for students.

 

Also receiving awards at the Green Gala were; Neal White, Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy Program Coordinator accepting the  Environmental Education Program of the Year Award, Archibold Biological Station received Environmental Organization of the year, Solid Waste Authority received Green Business/Non-Profit/ Agency of the Year, Patrick Painter was named Environmental Visionary of the Year and Patrick Gleason, PhD, P.G. was awarded a Lifetime Achievement Award at the Green Gala.

 

 

Neal White, Program Coordinator at Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy Accepts 2011 Pine Jog Environmental Education Award for "Environmental Education Program of the Year"

WEST PALM BEACH, FL MARCH 26, 2011 - Neal White, Program Director for the Jupiter Environmental Research and Field Studies Academy (JERFSA) was honored to accept the Environmental Education Program of the Year award at the 2011 Pine Jog Environmental Education Center's Green Gala. Mr. White has dedicated his career to the development of this very successful environmental education Program of Choice, based at Jupiter Community High School.

 

JERFSA, created in 1993, is a four year course of study designed to meet the needs of talented and motivated students who wish to pursue a rigorous academic curriculum with an emphasis on environmental studies. JERFSA program activities include: a core selection of courses for each grade level,  environmental service projects with area agencies, instruction in field study skills, data collection technique training, environmental outreach through recycling and children's  literature projects, college classes, research project development and implementation, teamwork and leadership training, and career information seminars.