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The Institute of Florida Studies
is now part of the
Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education!


Mission Statement

The Institute of Florida Studies (IFS) at Hillsborough Community College (HCC) is a community based educational center designed for the study of ecology, biology, earth sciences, and natural history of Florida. Our mission is to promote a greater understanding and appreciation of the biological, economic, recreational, and aesthetic importance of environmental systems, and of the natural history of Florida through education, training, research, and information. IFS is committed to providing quality programs.

Brief History

CockroachBay01IFS and the Department of Environmental Programs began with the development of HCC Environmental Studies Center (ESC) through the efforts of several community organizations such as the Tampa Junior League, Tampa Audubon Society, and Save Our Bay. Approximately 22 acres of land at Cockroach Bay (Ruskin, FL) was donated to HCC and field trips to this site began in 1975. In addition to hosting The Annual Conference on Coastal Restoration (currently known as Beyond Sustainability), in the 1970’s IFS entered into an agreement with the Hillsborough County to conduct formal environmental education programs at the Upper Tampa Bay Park (Tampa, FL). The HCC Foundation obtained approximately 120 acres of land at English Creek (adjacent to another 266 acres of ELAPP land), a $1.4 million grant was obtained for construction of facilities, and the English Creek Center has been offering educational programs since 1991.

In April of 2014, the Institute of Florida Studies became part of the Institute for Corporate and Continuing Education (ICCE), greatly expanding its capacity to offer additional programs to the community.

Please browse our website to find out more about what IFS has to offer.  Feel free to contact us if you would like any more information about our programs.

We ask that appointments be made to visit staff members in person as our schedules vary and much of our work is in the field.