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Pulitzer Prize-Winning Author Jack E. Davis On The Importance Of The Gulf

Jack E. Davis is author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea.
Jack E. Davis is author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea.

This week on Florida Matters, we talk about how the environmental history of the Gulf of Mexico shaped human life over the years with Jack E. Davis, whose book The Gulf: The Making of An American Sea won the 2018 Pulitzer Prize for History.

Davis is a professor of history and sustainability studies at the University of Florida. His book received a number of other accolades, including the Kirkus Prize and a New York Times Notable Book.

Davis talks about his personal connections to the Gulf and how the sea and communities surrounding it have evolved since his childhood.

We talk with Davis about how the sport of tarpon fishing in the Gulf kick-started Florida’s tourism industry, and the important roles other marine species like oysters, sponges and mullet played in Gulf communities.

We also talk about some notable people who had connections to the Gulf, like painter Winslow Homer and baseball player Ted Williams.

Editor's note: This show first aired on May 28, 2019.

I cover health care for WUSF and the statewide journalism collaborative Health News Florida. I’m passionate about highlighting community efforts to improve the quality of care in our state and make it more accessible to all Floridians. I’m also committed to holding those in power accountable when they fail to prioritize the health needs of the people they serve.
Robin is Senior Editor at WUSF, spearheading the station's podcasting initiatives and helping to guide the vision for special reporting projects and creative storytelling. She created The Zest, the station's podcast that's all about food, which she continues to host and serve as senior producer.