Pinellas County

May 6-20, 2017
Registration closes at 10:00am on May 1, 2017.
(Course Code: E17-02)

Classroom Facility Information

Honeymoon Island State Park: Osprey Center (not the Rotary Centennial Nature Center)
31 Causeway Blvd., Dunedin, FL 34698

Instructors Information

Jeanne Murphy, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
and
Brian Lane, Senior Ecologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
Organization: Sensing Nature, LLC – Environmental Education, Ethical Ecotours, Nature Products
Phone: 727-397-2306
Email: jmurphy@sensingnature.com
Website: www.sensingnature.com



Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Saturday, May 6, 2017
Large-Scale Habitat Assessment
:
  Large-Scale Habitat Assessment: To increase understanding of why habitat evaluation is conducted and the methods used to assess habitat quality at large scales.
8:30am – 9:15am Orientation to Habitat Evaluation, Objectives and Overview
9:15am – 9:45am Habitat Evaluation Activity
10:00am – 11:30am “Large-Scale Habitat Assessment” presentation Habitat quality assessment, understanding large-scale habitat functions, management and conservation, data collection resources (aerial, digital remote sensing, field mapping, GIS, Land Cover/Land Use), models
11:45am – 12:00pm Data Collection Resource Activity
12:00pm – 12:30pm Review, Questions about Field Trip
12:30pm – 1:00pm Lunch
1:30pm – 5:30pm Field Trip
Carpool from the Osprey Center to areas within the state park. Wear close-toe shoes; wear long pants and long sleeves to avoid scratches from plants with thorns or possible direct contact with poison ivy. Utilize large-scale field equipment the same as field biologists.


Day 2 Saturday, May 13, 2017
Local-Scale Habitat Assessment
  Local-Scale Habitat Assessment: To increase understanding of why habitat evaluation is conducted and the methods used to assess habitat quality at the local scale
8:30am – 8:45am Objectives and Overview
8:45am – 9:15am Today’s Homework Assignment—Share with Class Your 1 Recent Large Scale Habitat Evaluation Study
9:15am – 10:00am “Local-Scale Habitat Assessment” presentation
10:15am –11:00am “Local-Scale Habitat Assessment” presentation continued
11:15am – 12:00pm Video
12:00pm – 12:30pm Review, Questions about Next Field Trip
Discuss Homework Assignment—Bring to Next Class 1 Recent (within 5-7 years)
Local-Scale or Water Quality Monitoring Project to Share with Class
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch / Travel to Field Site (Take all personal items - not returning to HISP)
1:30pm – 5:30pm Field Trip: John Chestnut Park, Palm Harbor, Pavilion #1
Hands-on Experience Conducting Multiple Local-Scale Habitat Assessments


Day 3 Saturday, May 20, 2017
Water Quality Monitoring
  Water Quality Monitoring: To increase understanding of why habitat evaluation is conducted and the methods used to evaluate water quality.
8:30am - 8:45am Objectives and Overview
8:45am – 9:30am “Evaluating Water Quality” presentation Water chemistry parameters, measuring water quality, trophic status, test kits
9:45am – 10:15am “Evaluating Water Quality” presentation continued
10:15am – 10:45am Homework Assignment—Share with Class Your 1 Recent Local-Scale or Water Quality Monitoring Project Study
10:45am – 11:15am Video
11:15am – 11:30am Review, Questions about Field Trip
11:30am – 12:45pm Lunch / Travel to Field Site (Take all personal items - not returning to HISP)
12:45pm – 3:30pm Field Trip: Water Quality Monitoring Meet at Lake Seminole Park (pavilion #TBA) and carpool to other nearby sites
Guest Field Trip Leader from Pinellas County’s Watershed Management Department – Learn about Water Quality Testing, Watersheds and Water Treatment
3:30pm – 4:00pm Drive back to Lake Seminole Park; Restroom Break
4:00pm – 5:30pm Post-Test, Wrap-up & Graduation!

FMNP Habitat Evaluation Class Guidelines

Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at Honeymoon Island State Park in the Osprey Center unless otherwise instructed. This is not the Rotary Centennial Nature Center. In the Osprey Center classroom, it might be warm or cool—please, dress accordingly.

Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances (this rarely happens). Transportation and lunches are not included.

Course Time Schedule does not include travel time.

Missing a class or a field trip:

  • You cannot miss a classroom session or field trip session and still become certified in Habitat Evaluation.
  • If you miss a session, the University of Florida will not issue you a certification for this class, but please keep coming to as many sessions as possible…this is your course.

Student Carpooling is Suggested (up to students to arrange)

Flexible Schedule:

  • The schedule times listed are as close as possible, but we need you to be flexible.
  • We probably will not get out early; however, we may run late. We will try to stick to the listed times, but please arrange your schedule so that the class can be flexible.
  • Course time schedule does not include your travel time.

Food & Drinks! Please, absolutely no “Styrofoam” containers—violators have to bring snacks to the hungry class the next day.

Cell Phones: They are fine to use outside of class. Please don’t allow them to ring during classroom sessions or on field trips. Talk on the gadgets during break time, lunchtime, before and after class. Violators have to bring snacks to the hungry class the next day.

If the Weather Cooperates, We will Apply the FMNP Teachings to On-site Examples. For Your Comfort, Here are Some Field Recommendations:

  • Don’t wear perfume/cologne or use perfumed soap/body lotion before going out in the field. This may attract more unwanted buzzing invertebrates known as mosquitoes, midges (no see ‘ems) and flies.
  • There are insects (including mosquitoes), spiders, and snakes outdoors. Hopefully, we will see these beautiful creatures. Always watch where you are putting your hands and feet. Use your brain before your body.
  • Be aware that you may be experiencing a variety of environments if outdoors. It might be very warm or very cool indoors and outside—please, dress accordingly. For your comfort, always bring a spare change of clothes.
  • Wear: layered clothes, long sleeves and pants, hiking boots or appropriate close-toed and comfortable foot wear for the day, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent (especially on feet/legs).
  • Please wear close-toed shoes. The site may not be level or easy to travel in open-toed shoes.
  • Suggested field items: water, snacks, notepad and pen, binoculars, insect repellent, change of clothes.


The University of Florida’s Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF/IFAS) is a federal-state-county partnership dedicated to developing knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and the life sciences, and enhancing and sustaining the quality of human life by making that information accessible. While extending into every community of the state, UF/IFAS has developed a national and international reputation for its accomplishments in teaching, research and Extension.

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Get in Touch

  • Phone:
    (352) 294-3583
  • Email:
    msowder@ufl.edu
  • Address:
    2311 Mowry Road, Bldg. 78
    PO Box 110750
    Gainesville, FL 32611