CTLE Faculty Spotlight: James Fortuna – Mapping History with the Florida Parks Project

CTLE Faculty Spotlight: James Fortuna – Mapping History with the Florida Parks Project

James Fortuna standing amid a tree and shrubs

December 5, 2023 – James Fortuna has been teaching for the Faculty of Humanities and Foreign Languages since 2018. He joined the SF community after completing two master’s degrees – one in classics at Trinity College Dublin and another in modern history at the University of Cambridge. He is currently completing a doctorate in history at the University of St Andrews in Scotland and plans to defend his dissertation this summer.

James first came to the Gainesville area as a SCUBA instructor. He fell in love with Florida so much that he decided to make the Sunshine State his home. Over the past five years, he has taught SF’s “Introduction to the Humanities” (HUM2020) both in-person and online. 

James designed the Florida Parks Project, which encourages students to connect the ideas they’ve learned in class to Florida’s culturally significant natural sites. Through a sustainability curriculum enhancement award, he created a module that anyone can use to incorporate a similar project into their class or course work.

As the final assignment of a term, the Florida Parks Project invites students to map the ideas and concepts they’ve learned throughout the course onto a state park site they’ve likely not considered in terms of material culture, identity or heritage. Their presentations are being catalogued and will eventually be included on the Florida Parks Project website.

Building out the website has been a long process. James is working to create a completely Santa Fe College student-authored guide to the award-winning Florida State Park system – one that presents the 195 parks in terms of cultural heritage and identity and explains how our natural landscape informs the way we see ourselves as Floridians. 

Learn more about James’ work here.

For access to the Florida Parks Project module, please visit the Canvas Commons (must be logged into Canvas) or contact James at

About CTLE Faculty Spotlights

CTLE Faculty Spotlights highlight Santa Fe College instructors who implement new and innovative strategies in their classrooms. Check out each spotlight to learn more about the instructor, what they are doing in their classrooms and how to apply it to your own courses.

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