About Gator Crossing

Welcome to your new Village! Gainesville is a lovely place, really. We think you will find that there are a lot of activities and great places to explore. In this course, students learn about Gainesville with the help of trusty resident "villagers". Students can expect an Animal Crossing experience full of bug catching, gardening, fossil hunting, and fishing. 

Gator Crossing is a camp for UF Honors students designed to emulate the open-ended gameplay of Nintendo's Animal Crossing. Students are introduced to Gainesville by village experts in entomology, ecology, paleontology, and marine bioscience. Students will be challenged to fill their pockets (hypothetically!) with all the information they learn about Gainesville’s bugs, fish, plants, and fossils. Along the way, students learn how to formulate their own research question - so they can propose a research project based on what they learn from faculty-- I mean, village experts. At the end of the multi-day immersive village tour, students can empty their pockets in exchange for bells by presenting their very own research project to the village.

This experience is a social, informational, environmental, and academic introduction to your new village. Move in and start building relationships with your fellow villagers as you explore the most exciting places on the map of Gainesville. Best of all, meet village experts that show you how they use research to explore, protect, and preserve the natural places we visit.


  • Students that sign up for Gator Crossing will be enrolled in a one-credit Honors class automatically as part of the experience. This one-credit class will be completed during the time period of the retreat, so there is no need to worry about a conflict with the schedule of another class.
  • Please do not register if you have a time conflict. All honors retreats and course-based camps have conflicting schedules with both sorority rush and marching band.

Registration Info

Summer 2024 Think Tank
Dates: Aug 15 - 19
Location: University of Florida Campus

Please read the FAQs before registering for Gator Crossing.
The registration date is still being finalized. Incoming students will be informed well before registration opens.

Students living on-campus should move in the morning of Aug 15.

Please contact Dr. Forbes at tforbes@honors.ufl.edu with any questions.

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