Pinellas County

July 6-8, 2017
Registration closes at 10:00am on June 30, 2017.
(Course Code: M17-03)

Classroom Facility Information

Brooker Creek Preserve (BCP): Classroom Building
3940 Keystone Rd, Tarpon Springs. FL 34688

Instructors Information

Jeanne Murphy, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
Brian Lane, Senior Ecologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
Organization: Sensing Nature, LLC – Environmental Education, Ethical Ecotours, Nature Products
Phone: 727-397-2306

Tentative Course Agenda

It is the student's responsibility to be flexible and verify field information. Please be sure that you read the schedule, including Guidelines (end of page), prior to class.

Your instructors, Jeanne and Brian, will provide additional information, including maps and directions to field trip locations via email approximately 3 days prior to class starting.

Day 1 Thursday, July 6, 2017
Surveying and Monitoring Mammals Workshop

To increase understanding of why wildlife monitoring is conducted, how to design wildlife surveys and monitoring programs, and methods used to survey and monitor mammals.

Meet in Classroom Building (not main Education Center)

8:00am - 8:45am Orientation to Wildlife Monitoring, Objectives and Overview
8:45am - 9:15am Wildlife Monitoring Group Mixer Activity
9:15am - 9:30am Break
9:30am - 11:30am “Surveying & Monitoring Mammals” presentation
11:30am - 12:00pm Current Mammal Project Case Studies
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 4:00pm Field Trip Learning and Practicing Mammal Surveying Techniques
4:00pm - 4:30pm Discuss Homework* - Next class, bring 1 Recent (within 5-7 years) Mammal or
Avian Surveying/Monitoring study to verbally share with class.

* Homework Assignments: No homework is due on the first day of class. In class, we will discuss possible case study topics to research for your homework assignment for the next class. Outside class, students look up research surveying or monitoring projects about mammals, avian species, and herptiles (preferably FL species). During the next classroom session, students will verbally share this information with the other students. All students will turn in to the instructors a hardcopy of their article/report/summary about the project and electronically provide a link to the source.

For these assignments, students are not required to discuss surveys that they themselves have conducted nor do students need any previous experience. Actually, we expect many of the students will have little to no monitoring experience and that is fine. We only need students to have an interest in learning about wildlife surveying and monitoring. The homework assignments are very informal; they are discussions, not presentations.

Day 2 Friday, July 7, 2017
Surveying and Monitoring Birds Workshop
  To increase understanding of why wildlife monitoring is conducted, how to design wildlife surveys and monitoring programs, and methods used to survey and monitor birds.
8:00am - 11:30am Morning: Field Trip Surveying & Monitoring Beach Nesting Birds
• Visit TBA Pinellas beach bird nesting colony – likely Indian Shores or
Fort De Soto Park
• Beach bird colonies move quickly due to unpredictable environmental changes (storms, human disturbances, non-native predators like dogs and cats, native predators like crows and hawks, etc.). Therefore, our field trip site will be announced shortly before our field trip date.
• Carpool to beach and conduct nesting coastal bird counts.
11:30am - 1:00pm Lunch and Travel to Classroom
1:00pm - 1:30pm Review; Orientation to Avian Monitoring, Objectives and Overview
1:30pm - 2:30pm “Surveying & Monitoring Birds” presentation
2:40pm - 3:45pm “Surveying & Monitoring Birds” presentation continued
4:00pm - 4:30pm Today’s Homework - Current Bird Project Case Studies
Tomorrow’s Homework* - Next class, bring 1 Recent (within 5-7 years) avian or herptofauna surveying/monitoring study to verbally share with class.
Summary, Wrap Up

Day 3 Saturday, July 8, 2017
Surveying and Monitoring Herpetofauna Workshop
  To increase understanding of why wildlife monitoring is conducted, how to design wildlife surveys and monitoring programs, and methods used to survey and monitor herpetofauna (reptiles, amphibians).
8:00am - 8:30am Review; Orientation to Herp Monitoring; Objectives, Overview
8:30am - 9:30am “Surveying & Monitoring Herptofauna” presentation
9:30am - 9:45am Break
9:45am - 10:45am “Surveying & Monitoring Herptofauna” presentation (cont.)
11:00am - 11:30pm Current Avian or Herptofauna Project Case Studies
11:30am - 12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm - 3:30pm Afternoon Field Trip, BCP: Surveying & Monitoring Herpetofauna
• Use herptofauna survey techniques including dip nets, cover boards and frog pipes to document species richness.
3:30pm - 4:30pm Post-test, Wrap-up & Graduation!

FMNP Class Guidelines

Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at Brooker Creek Preserve (BCP) Classroom unless otherwise instructed. It might be very warm or very cool inside or outside—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, except between AM & PM classes.

Missing a class or a field trip:

  • You cannot miss a classroom session or field trip session and still become certified.
  • If you miss a session, the University of Florida/IFAS will not issue you a certification, 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! Both are allowed in the classroom. Please, absolutely no Styrofoam containers during the course (take-out containers, coffee, etc.). Learn to use sustainable alternatives instead of making trash that does not decompose. 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.

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 many of these beautiful creatures. Always watch where you are putting your hands and feet. Use your brain before your body.

What to Wear:
• Be aware that typically you will be experiencing a variety of environments. For your comfort, always bring a spare change of clothes.
• Wear: Cool, breathable clothes, long sleeves and pants, hiking boots or other appropriate (closed-toe) foot wear for the day’s field trip, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
• Always wear closed-toe shoes. The field trails are not always level or easy to travel.
• It might be very hot on our field trips—please, dress accordingly. Always wear long, breathable pants.

Field Items:
• Bring: WATER (required on field trips May – September), snacks, field ID books, notepad and pen, binoculars, insect repellent, towels and a change of clothes (spare shoes/socks/pants/shirt).

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.


OCI stands for the Office of Conferences & Institutes. It is a full service conference planning agency at the University of Florida. OCI was created to support the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) mission to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and to make that knowledge available to people to sustain and enhance the quality of life.

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Get in Touch

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