Ethan is a graduate student at the University of Florida pursuing a master’s degree in journalism. He is the graduate assistant for the 21st Century News Lab and is serving as an executive producer for this project. A native of Pennsylvania, he has interned with the Erie Times-News, the Erie SeaWolves (Double-A affiliate of the Detroit Tigers) and held a variety of campus jobs creating written, still and motion media. He also maintained a freelance client base instructing various non-profit organizations in video editing and creating an online presence. He graduated in 2011 from Mercyhurst College with a bachelor’s degree in communication.
Matt Bledsoe, assistant park manager at Paynes Prairie State Preserve, explains the various issues facing park staff due to a lack of rainfall in the past year.The Gainesville region received no heavy tropical systems in summer 2011, Bledsoe said, which has strongly contributed to the ongoing drought and wildfire conditions at Paynes Prairie. The dry conditions have inhibited the staff’s ability to conduct prescribed fires and have also sent the gators north toward Newnans Lake.
Additional alligator photos courtesy of Matt Bledsoe.