Palm Beach County

March 18-30, 2019
Advance registration closes at 10:00am on March 13, 2019.
Completion after this date/time might delay course manual receipt.
(Course Code: S19-04)

Classroom Faciliies Information

Mounts Botanical Garden Auditorium
531 N Military Trail, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Grassy Waters Preserve
8264 Northlake Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33412

Pine Jog Environmental Education Center, FAU
6301 Summit Blvd, West Palm Beach, FL 33415

Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Chris Lockhart, Field Biologist, Plant Ecologist and
Environmental Educator, Habitat Specialists, Inc.
Associates: Sam Dorfman, Environmental Education Supervisor, Grassy Waters Preserve
Mary Crider, Environmental Education Coordinator, Grassy Waters Preserve
Molly Sims, Advanced Master Naturalist, Retired Educator

Organization: Habitat Specialists, Inc.
Phone: 561-738-1179

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Monday, March 18, 2019 (Mounts Botanical Garden)
6:00pm - 7:00pm Introductions, Pre-test and paperwork
7:00pm - 9:30pm Biological Diversity presentation Parts I and II
Questions, Discuss Field Trip

Day 2 Saturday, March 23, 2019 (Grassy Waters Preserve)
8:00am - 10:30am Ecosystem Integrity, fire management field trip – nearby Natural Area
10:30am - 12:00pm Presentation: Ecosystem Integrity, Part I
12:00pm - 12:30pm Working Lunch - discussion
12:30pm - 1:30pm Guest speaker: Jim Schuette, SFWMD - Land Management issues
and techniques
1:30pm - 2:45pm Biodiversity outdoor activity and discussion
2:45pm - 3:45pm Presentation: Ecosystem Integrity, Part II
3:45pm - 4:30pm Ecosystem Integrity discussion

Day 3 Tuesday, March 26, 2019 (Pine Jog EEC)
6:00pm - 8:00pm Guest speaker: Dr. Christa Zweig, SFWMD - Everglades Restoration       
Guest speaker: The Nature Conservancy
8:00pm - 9:30pm Conservation Strategies presentation, Part I, Issues in Conservation;
Sustainable Ecosystems
Discuss Field Trip, Assignment for Independent Study

Day 4 Thursday, March 28, 2019
6:30pm - 8:30pm Independent study on conservation strategies and topics on issues in conservation; relate to biodiversity and sustainability challenges

Day 5 Saturday, March 30, 2019 (Grassy Waters Preserve)
8:00am - 10:30am Sustainable Ecosystems (Part II)
10:30am - 12:00pm Visit GWP conservation area, role of restoration, sustainability
12:00pm - 12:30pm Pot luck Lunch
12:30pm - 1:30pm Guest speaker: Tatiana Villante, Rare Species Conservatory Foundation – wildlife conservation, including the Florida grasshopper sparrow
1:30pm - 2:30pm Guest speaker: Carman Vare, PBC ERM – Lake Worth Lagoon, Living Shorelines
Role of conservation as a network, restoration, climate change, ecosystem integrity and sustainability
2:30pm - 4:00pm Discuss articles brought in by class or a quote from a renowned ecologist
Role of conservation as a network, restoration, climate change, ecosystem integrity and sustainability
4:00pm - 4:30pm Post-test, evaluations, Graduation!


Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at indicated locations unless otherwise instructed. In the classroom, it might be very warm or very cool—please, dress accordingly.

Field Trip Locations & Times may change due to unforeseen circumstances. It is the student’s responsibility to verify field information. Transportation and lunches are not included. Carpooling suggested.

Course Time Schedule does not include travel time required to drive to meeting locations.

Missing a class or a field trip:

  • You cannot miss more than 4.5 hours (20% of the total course hours) and still become certified.
  • To receive your certificate, the time and material you miss must be made-up (by completing an assignment of equivalent time and content) with an instructor’s approval before the material is missed and after the material is made-up.
  • If you miss more than 4.5 hours, 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.

Student Carpooling is Suggested and is up to students to arrange.

Flexible Schedule - Agenda Details are Subject to Change:

  • The schedule times listed are as close as possible. 
  • On Day 2, we will begin the day by meeting on site for the field trip 

Food & Drinks! Please, absolutely no polypropylene (Styrofoam) containers—violators have to bring snacks to the hungry class the next day. Food and drinks are allowed in the classroom.

Cell Phones: They are fine to use outside of class. Please don’t allow them to ring during classroom sessions or on field trips.

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.

Donate to FMNP Endowment

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.

Ripples spread when a single pebble is dropped. Please click here if you wish to contribute to the FMNP Endowment Fund, or contact Dr. Main at to discuss options for a major gift.

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

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