Pinellas County

May 27-29, 2020
Registration closes at 10:00am on May 21, 2020.
(Course Code: E20-01)


Classroom Facility Information

Brooker Creek Preserve (BCP): Butterfly Room / Auditorium
3940 Keystone Rd., Tarpon Springs, FL 34688


Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Jeanne Murphy, Senior Wildlife Biologist, 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

Lead: Brian Lane, Senior Ecologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide


Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Wednesday, May 27, 2020  (BCP)
  Large Scale Habitat Assessment: To increase understanding of why habitat evaluation is conducted and the methods used to assess habitat quality at large scales
8:00am - 9:30am Welcome to FMNP Habitat Evaluation
9:30am - 10:00am Introduction to Large Scale Habitat Assessment, Objectives, & Overview
10:00am - 12:00pm 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
12:00pm - 12:30pm Review; Questions about Field Trip; Discuss Homework Assignment
Bring to next class 1 recent (within 5-7 years) Large Scale Habitat Evaluation Study to share with class
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch: Bring your sack lunch; not time to drive to anywhere for food
1:00pm - 5:00pm Field Trip – Large Scale Habitat Assessment at BCP
Walk from the Auditorium to areas within the preserve. In teams, use remote sensing technologies to ground-truth and conduct Large Scale Habitat Assessments. Utilize large scale field equipment the same as field biologists. Although most of the area is easy to walk through, wear close-toe shoes, and wear long pants and long sleeves to avoid possible contact with poison ivy or scratches from thorny plants.


Day 2 Thursday, May 28, 2020 (BCP AM & Field Trip PM)
  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
8:00am - 8:30am Introduction to Local Scale Habitat Assessment, Objectives, & Overview
8:30am - 10:30am Local Scale Habitat Assessment Presentation
10:30am - 11:00am Video – Local Scale Habitat Assessment
11:00am - 12:00pm Today’s Homework Assignment—Share with Class Your 1 Recent Large Scale Habitat Evaluation Study
12:00pm - 12:30pm Review, Questions, Discussions
Homework Assignment: Bring to next class 1 recent (within 5-7 years) Local Scale or Water Quality Monitoring Project Study to share with class
12:30pm - 1:00pm Carpool to Field Site - Take all personal items - not returning to BCP
1:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch: Bring your sack lunch; not time to drive to anywhere for food
1:30pm - 5:00pm Field Trip – Local Scale Habitat Assessment at John Chesnut Park, Palm Harbor (Pavilion# TBA)
Using field equipment from quadrats to the densiometer, receive hands-on experience conducting multiple local scale habitat assessments


Day 3 Friday, May 29, 2020 (BCP AM & Field Trip PM)
  Water Quality Monitoring: To increase understanding of why habitat evaluation is conducted and the methods used to evaluate water quality
8:00am - 8:15am Objectives and Overview
8:15am - 9:00am Evaluating Water Quality presentation
Water chemistry parameters, measuring water quality, trophic status, test kits
9:00am - 9:45am Evaluating Water Quality presentation continued
9:45am - 10:15am Today’s Homework Assignment—Share with Class Your 1 Recent Water Quality or Local Scale Habitat Evaluation Study
10:15am - 10:45am Video – Water Quality Monitoring
10:45am - 11:00am Review, Questions about Field Trip
11:00am - 12:00pm Carpool to Field Site - Take all personal items - not returning to BCP
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch: Bring your sack lunch; not time to drive to anywhere for food
12:30pm - 3:30pm Field Trip – Water Quality Monitoring: Meet at Lake Seminole Park
(Pavilion #TBA)
then carpool to nearby site

Learn the history about some of Pinellas County’s watershed projects and other Florida water quality projects with guest field trip leader, Rob Burns, Senior Environmental Specialist, Pinellas County Environmental Management Division. Carpool to visit county project sites, learn about water quality testing equipment, and water treatment options.
3:30pm - 4:30pm Water Quality Activity – It’s your turn! Conduct water quality tests critical to
healthy watersheds.
4:30pm - 5:00pm Post-Test, Wrap-up & Graduation!


Habitat Evaluation Class Guidelines:

Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at Brooker Creek Preserve in the Auditiorum unless otherwise instructed. Indoors,it might be warm or cool—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, except between AM & PM classes.

Attendance Policy:

  • You cannot miss more than 4.75 hours (20% of the 24 contact hours) This is a FMNP policy and cannot be modified by the Instructor.
  • To receive certification, the 4.75 hours or less missed must be made up by completing an assignment of equal time and content. Approval of the Instructor is required.
  • If total hours missed exceeds 4.75 hours, certification is not possible regardless of material made up.
  • All absences should be discussed with the instructor in advance. In case of emergencies, please notify Instructor as soon as possible.

Student Carpooling is Suggested and is 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.

Food & Drinks! Food and drinks are allowed in the classroom. 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.

Field Trips:
Water is Required to be Carried with You – 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).
• 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.
Required: Always Wear Close-toed Shoes. The field trails are not always level or easy to travel; some plants have thorns; there may be poison ivy; fire ants, etc. Open-toed shoes are not acceptable to be worn in the field.
• Be aware that typically you will be experiencing a variety of environments. For your comfort, always bring a spare change of clothes.
Wear: layered clothes, long sleeves and pants, hiking boots or appropriate foot wear for the day’s field trip, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent (especially on feet/legs).
• It might be very hot on our field trips—please, dress accordingly.


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We are building a legacy of informed citizens to promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Florida's natural ecosystems. To ensure we continue inspiring conservation education and action for decades to come, we need to raise $2 million to establish an endowment for an FMNP Program Leader in perpetuity.

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Thank you for your ongoing actions to help conserve Florida’s environment so future generations may enjoy it!



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  • Email:
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