Pinellas County

July 11-17, 2017
Course Full. Contact instructor for wait list.
(Course Code: cs17-14)

Classroom Facilities Information

St. Petersburg College (SPC), Seminole Campus
Seminole Public Library, Classroom LI-115
119 9200 113th Street North, Seminole, FL, 33772

Weedon Island Preserve (WIP)
1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702

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

Classroom session will be hosted at the St. Petersburg College (SPC), except on 7/12 and 7/13 when we are at Weedon Island Preserve (WIP), St. Petersburg, all day for classroom sessions and field trips.

Field Trip Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances, such as inclement weather, but they will hopefully stay the same. It is the student's responsibility to verify field information.

Please be sure that you read the schedule, including Guidelines,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. Looking forward to a great class!


Day 1 Tuesday, July 11, 2017 (SPC)
Orientation to Florida; Estuaries
8:30am - 10:30am Orientation to the course, class mixer
10:45am - 12:00pm Ecology of Coastal Systems (Jeanne)
12:30pm - 1:45pm Marine & Estuarine Habitats (Brian)
1:45pm - 2:30pm Video—Coastal Estuaries
2:45pm - 4:00pm Saltwater Fish (Brian)
4:10pm - 4:45pm Naturalist Interpretation (Jeanne)
4:45pm - 5:30pm Discuss Field Trip prep, Group Projects, Interpretative Talk

Day 2 Wednesday, July 12, 2017 (WIP)
Nearshore Marine Seining — Field Trip
Nearshore Marine Systems — Class
8:30am - 8:45am Discuss Field Trips, Groups Projects, Interpretative Talks, etc.
8:45am - 12:00pm Seine for Nearshore Fish & Invertebrate Species
• Gather field gear, then walk to seining field site
• Learn and apply aquatic collection techniques and species identification
• Identify fish, invertebrate, and bird species abundant in area
12:30pm - 1:30pm Reptiles & Amphibians (Jeanne)
1:40pm - 2:30pm Video—Nearshore Marine Systems
2:30pm - 3:30pm Coastal Water Birds (Jeanne)
3:40pm - 4:30pm Invertebrates 1 (Brian)
4:40pm - 5:30pm Finish any other course material—presentations and videos (Jeanne & Brian) Wrap Up; Discuss Field Trips, Group Project, etc.

Day 3 Thursday, July 13, 2017 (WIP)
Estuary — Field Trip /Interpretative Talks
Human Dimensions & FL’s Coastal Ecosystem — Class
8:30am - 9:00am Meet at Weedon Island Cultural & Natural History Center; Get Gear for Canoeing then Walk to Boat Launch at the Fishing Pier
9:00am - 12:30pm Canoe some of Tampa Bay’s unique and peaceful mangrove tunnels and bays
• Some Students will Present Their Interpretative Talks
• Interpretative Talks: In pairs, some of the class will lead us through a fun, low-stress interpretive experience/talk in this beautiful estuarine county preserve.
1:00pm - 2:00pm Invertebrates II (Brian)
2:10pm - 3:00pm General Birds (Jeanne)
3:10pm - 4:00pm Coastal Uplands Habitats (Brian)
4:10pm - 4:45pm Video—Coastal Uplands
4:405m - 5:30pm Finish any other course material—presentations and videos (Jeanne & Brian) Wrap Up; Discuss Field Trips, Group Project, etc.

Day 4 Friday, July 14, 2017
Coastal Uplands & Interp. Talks — Field Trip, Fort De Soto Park
Coastal Upland Habitats, Human Dimensions — Class
8:30am - 12:30pm Field Trip: Coastal Upland Habitats & Interpretative Talks, Barrier Free Trail,
Ft. De Soto Park, Tierra Verde
• Visit one of Florida’s best beaches—dunes, beaches, maritime forest. Globally known for its avian diversity and recreational beauty.
• Meet at Ft. DeSoto Admin Building Parking Lot—Labeled “Headquarters” on map
• Enjoy this coastal stroll while some students will lead the class in pairs on a fun, low-stress interpretive talk.
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch: Caravan to the North Beach; Bring Your Lunch and Enjoy a Coastal Picnic
1:00pm - 5:30pm Field Trip: Coastal Upland Habitats & Interpretative Talks (continued), North Beach Caravan to the North Beach where the rest of the students will lead the class in pairs on a fun, low-stress interpretive talk.
  Class: If time allows, travel to SPC, Seminole classroom to finish any remaining

Day 5

Monday, July 17, 2017 (SPC)
Complete Coursework, Group Project Presentations (indoors) & Graduation

8:30am - 9:00am Discuss Estuary & Upland Field Trips, Projects, Interpretative Tour, etc.
9:00am - 10:00am Mammals (Jeanne)
10:10am - 10:45am Video—Society and the Coast
10:45am - 12:00pm Environmental Ethics (Jeanne)
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch: Bring a Sack Lunch to Enjoy
1:00pm - 5:30pm Present Your Group Projects to the Class, Graduation

FMNP Coastal Systems Class Guidelines

Classroom Presentations: “Class” means we are at the St. Petersburg College, Seminole Campus, except on 7/12 and 7/13 when we are at Weedon Island Preserve for class.

Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to verify field information. 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 can miss 1 classroom session and 1 field trip session (typically the equivalent of one day) during the course and still become certified as a Coastal Florida Master Naturalist.
• The time and material must be made-up with an instructor’s approval before the material is missed and after the material is made-up.
• If you miss more than 2 sessions, the University of Florida will not certify you as a naturalist, but please keep coming to as many classes as possible…this is your class.

Make-up time frame: If you miss a class or a field trip, you must make-up the same material. The make-up time needs to be completed within a week when possible. This will keep you from getting behind, as much of the material builds upon itself.

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).

Caffeine & Snacks! If you enjoy coffee or need a snack, you may bring your own. No Styrofoam.

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.

Field clothes:
• 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, hat, sunglasses and sunscreen.
Must wear close-toed shoes for every field trip. The field trails are not always level and oysters will cut your feet when walking in the water. Wear walking shoes or appropriate foot wear like closed-toe water shoes for each day’s field trip.
• It might be very hot on our field trips—please, dress accordingly.

Field items:
You must bring water with you to drink on each field trip. No exceptions.
Bring: water, 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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