FORT PIERCE FOLKS
was really into horses and horse racing and I knew a lot about
In her research in Florida’s state archives, she learned that
the Legislature’s opposition to horse racing eased in the 1930s,
when lawmakers realized the industry could be taxed and
licensed to produce additional revenue for the cash-strapped
state during the Depression.
Since retiring, Hamburger completed coursework with the
University of Florida’s Master Naturalist Program and has devoted
herself to citizen science projects. She led the Volunteer
Algae Monitoring Project in 2017 to sample water in the Indian
River Lagoon. In 2018 she joined the Florida Microplastics
Awareness Project to collect water samples in the lagoon.
The project will be completed for a graduate student at the
University of Central Florida. For the National Oceanic and
Atmospheric Administration, she collects freshwater samples
at the Richard E. Becker Preserve and coastal samples at
Jaycee Park every two weeks and analyzes them for the presence
of harmful phytoplankton. Several times a year she joins
other volunteers to weed invasive plants near the endangered
Lakela’s Mint in St. Lucie and Indian River counties, and to
monitor the plants’ survival and growth under the direction
of a botanist from Bok Tower.
She also spends time at the Savannas Preserve State Park, a
7,000-acre preserve in southern St. Lucie and northern Martin
counties. She volunteers there as treasurer of Friends of Savannas
Preserve State Park, webmaster and gift shop manager.
“It’s the most pristine ecosystem of its kind on the east
coast of Florida,” she said. “It’s a beautiful freshwater marsh
without any of the pollution problems of Lake Okeechobee
One special feature is a rookery island accessible only by boat.
“It protects birds from predators such as feral pigs and raccoons
that can’t get to the island.”
In her spare time, the American Canoe Association’s Level
1 Certified Kayak Instructor likes to kayak with friends and
offer private kayak instruction, camp with her partner, Neil
Stover, in their 26-foot RV, play guitar, attend rock concerts,
especially those of Bruce Springsteen, read, amuse her three
cats, and swim.
And she loves helping to educate people about the environment.
“I really like getting outside and helping people.’’
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Where I live: Fort Pierce
Occupation: Retired manuscripts
cataloging librarian at
Pennsylvania State University,
and now an active volunteer in
St. Lucie County
Education: Master’s degree and
doctorate in American History from Florida State University,
and bachelor’s degree and Master of Library Science from
Family: Neil Stover, her partner of ten years, and three cats.
Something people don’t know about me: “I play the guitar.
Rock and roll is my life! I have played on the same stage as
Bruce Springsteen, but not at the same time.”
What are you proudest of? “That I have made it this far and
still can do everything I want to do.”