Sarasota County

January 23 - February 9, 2018
Course Full. Contact instructor for wait list.
(Course Code: fs18-04)

Class Facility Information

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County: Green Building
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241

Instructors Information

Lead: Dr. Katherine Clements, Ecology and Natural Resources Educator
Associates:Abbey Tyrna, PhD, Water Resources Extension Agent
Sarah Davis, MS, CIT, CIG, CIH; 4H Youth Development Extension Agent II,
NAI Interpretive Guide/Host/Trainer
Organization: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Phone: 941-861-9822

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, January 23,, 2018
9:00am - 10:00am Introduction, Paperwork, Course Overview, Icebreaker
10:00am - 12:30pm Lecture: General Ecology; Video: Permanent Wetlands
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch Break 
1:30pm - 5:00pm Lecture: Permanent Wetlands; Video: Swamps (Forested Wetlands)
Lecture: Forested Wetlands

Day 2 Friday, January 26, 2018
9:00am - 5:00pm Myakka River Marsh/Kayak Field trip and Microplastics: details TBA

Day 3 Tuesday, January 30, 2018
9:00am - 12:30pm Video: Marshes (Herbaceous wetlands)
Lecture: Herbaceous wetlands; Amphibians
12:30pm - 1:30pm Lunch Break
1:30pm - 4:00pm Lecture: Invertebrates, Fish, Interpretation
4:00pm - 5:00pm Group project time: groups and topic due

Day 4 Friday, February 2, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm Lecture: Birds, Mammals,Reptiles
12:00pm - 12:30pm Group project time: presentation outline due today
12:45pm - 1:45pm Lunch Break at local restaurant
2:00pm - 5:00pm Phillippi Creek Kayaking and Water Sampling Field trip

Day 5 Tuesday, February 6, 2018
9:00am - 11:00am Celery Fields Field trip
11:30am – 1:00pm Storm water retention ponds field trip to Stoneybrook Community
1:00pm – 2:00pm Lunch Break
2:00pm – 4:00pm Video: Wetlands in the Modern Human Landscape; Lecture: Ethics
4:00pm - 5:00pm Group project time

Day 6 Friday, February 9, 2018
9:00am - 12:00pm Water sample analysis; Complete any remaining topics
12:00pm - 1:00pm Potluck lunch
1:00pm - 4:00pm Group Presentations
4:00pm - 5:00pm Final paperwork, Awards


Classroom sessions will be hosted at the Sarasota County Extension Office (6700 Clark Road), except where noted. Please bring your own snacks and beverages in reusable or recyclable containers. Please silence cell phones during classroom sessions and field trips.

Field Trip Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances, such as inclement weather. It is the student's responsibility to verify field trip information. Transportation and lunches are not included. Please consider carpooling. On first day of class, you will receive additional information, including finalized schedule, maps/directions to field trip locations.

Lunch Please try to bring a packed lunch, especially on field trip days where we will eat on-site. We will set aside time for lunch each day, but timing will be flexible based on the day’s activities.

Course Time Schedule does not include travel time, except between AM & PM classes. Please arrive at field trip locations at scheduled time so we are able to start on time with our guides.

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 an Freshwater Florida Master Naturalist.
  • The time and material must be made-up with an instructor’s approval.
  • 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 keeps you from getting behind, as the material builds upon itself.

Field Recommendations:
We will spend as much time as possible outdoors. There is walking involved but not extensive or rigorous, but weather can be variable at this time of year and you may get wet. If you have any concerns about the physical demands, please contact the instructor.

  • 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 we may encounter red ants or poison ivy, so best to protect yourself. Feet may likely get wet during kayaking or swamp walks, so prepare accordingly.
  • 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.
  • It will be very hot on our field trips—please, dress accordingly and HYDRATE.
  • You must bring water with you to drink on each field trip. No exceptions. You will not be allowed on the field trip if you do not have adequate water or hydration with you.
  • Bring: lunch, water, snacks, field ID books, notepad and pen, binoculars, insect repellent, sunscreen, hat, and a change of clothes- as we may get wet and still have a full day of class.

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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