Pinellas County

March 24 - April 7, 2018
Registration closes at 10:00am on March 20, 2018.
(Course Code: M18-02)

Classroom Facility Information

Brooker Creek Preserve (BCP): Classroom Bldg
(1st bldg.on left when walking from main parking lot)
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

• Student Carpooling Suggested
• Transportation & Meals not included
• Drinking Water Required Every Field Trip; Bring Sack Meal Each Day
• Field Trip Locations area Times May Change (although that’s not expected)
• Schedule Does Not Include Your Travel Time, Before & After 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 are to turn in to the instructors a hardcopy about the research/monitoring project, and electronically provide a source link.

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. 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 1 Saturday, March 24, 2018
Surveying and Monitoring Mammals
  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.
  Surveying & Monitoring Mammals: Classroom, BCP
12:00pm – 12:45pm Orientation to Wildlife Monitoring, Objectives and Overview
12:45pm – 1:15pm Wildlife Monitoring Group Mixer Activity
1:15pm – 1:30pm Break
1:30pm – 4:00pm “Surveying & Monitoring Mammals” presentation
4:00pm – 4:30pm Current Mammal Project Case Studies
4:30pm – 5:00pm Dinner
  Field Trip Surveying & Monitoring Mammals, BCP
  • At Brooker Creek Preserve, Tarpon Springs
  • Field Trip Applications and Practicing Mammal Surveying Techniques
5:00pm – 7:00pm Daytime - Mammal Line Transects and Presence / Absence Surveys
7:00pm – 7:30pm Break; Discuss Homework* - Next class, bring 1 Recent (within 5-7 years) Mammal or Avian Surveying/Monitoring study to verbally share with class
7:30pm – 9:00pm Nighttime - Bat Monitoring; Mammalian Presence / Absence Surveys

Day 2 Saturday, March 31, 2018
Surveying and Monitoring Birds
  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
  Morning: Classroom Surveying & Monitoring Birds
8:00am – 8:30am Review; Orientation to Avian Monitoring, Objectives and Overview
8:30am – 10:30am “Surveying & Monitoring Birds” presentation
10:30am– 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:30am “Surveying & Monitoring Birds” presentation continued
11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch / Travel to Field Site
1:00pm – 4:30pm Afternoon: Field Trip Surveying & Monitoring Coastal Birds
at Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
  • Meet at park headquarters (huge flag)
  • Fort De Soto Park is a worldwide birding destination. We will be carpooling throughout the park learning how to conduct nesting and migratory coastal bird surveys, and realizing how Florida’s citizen scientists are significantly contributing to our continents’ coastal avian species’ survival.
  • Guest Field Trip Leader – Holley Short, Audubon Florida, Project Manager - Bird Monitoring & Stewardship
4:30pm – 5:30pm

Today’s Homework - Mammal or Avian Surveying/Monitoring Case Studies
Discuss 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

1 Hour Online FWC Training: On your own outside of class and prior to 4/7/18, participate in an online FWC citizen science training. You must have access to a computer and completion is required prior to participating in the field trip.Details will be provided before or on the first day of class.

Day 3 Saturday, April 7, 2018
Surveying and Monitoring Herpetofauna
  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).
9:00am – 12:0opm

Morning: Field Trip at Bullfrog Creek Mitigation Park & Wildlife Environmental Area (WEA), Hillsborough County

Meet at field site to learn about herptofauna survey techniques used by field biologists and citizen scientists. Then, conduct a gopher tortoise survey with our guest field trip leader Brendan O’Connor, Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission, Southwest Regional Volunteer Coordinator
12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch / Travel to Classroom – Eat sack lunch that you brought with you
1:30pm – 2:00pm Review; Orientation to Herp Monitoring; Objectives, Overview
2:00pm – 3:00pm “Surveying & Monitoring Herptofauna” presentation
3:00pm – 3:15pm Break
3:15pm – 4:15pm “Surveying & Monitoring Herptofauna” presentation continued
4:15pm – 5:30pm Current Avian or Herptofauna Project Case Studies;
Post-Test, Wrap-up & Graduation

FMNP Wildlife Monitoring Class Guidelines

Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at the Brooker Creek Preserve (BCP) classroom, unless otherwise instructed (4/7/18 afternoon class may be at a facility closer to the field site - TBD). In the classroom, it might be very warm or very cool indoors—please, dress accordingly.

Field Trip Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances (this rarely happens). It is the student’s responsibility to verify field information. 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.
  • 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 (except between AM & PM classes).

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