Polk County

May 20-22, 2019
Registration closes at 10:00am on May 15, 2019.
(Course Code: S19-07)

Classroom Facility Information

Polk’s Nature Discovery Center at Circle B Bar Reserve
4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland FL 33830

Instructors Information

Lead and Contact: Tabitha Biehl, Environmental Lands Stewardship Coordinator
Organization: Polk County Environmental Lands Program
Phone: 863-668-4673 x 201
Email: tabithabiehl@polk-county.net
Website: polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve/

Associates: Shannon Carnevale, Natural Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
Art Wade, Polk County Natural Resources

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Monday, May 20, 2019
  Biological Diversity: To increase understanding of the role that biodiversity plays in conservation science
8:00am – 8:30am Meet and Greet
8:30am – 8:45am Pre-test
8:45am – 9:00am Learning objectives
9:00am – 9:15am Break
9:15am – 10:45am Biological Diversity
10:45am – 11:15am Questions
Discuss Field Trip
11:15am – 12:00pm Lunch
12:00pm – 4:00pm Field Trip Exercise
Research Changes to Circle B Bar Reserve
4:00pm – 4:30pm Wrap-up / Comments

Day 2 Tuesday, May 21, 2019
  Ecosystem Integrity: To increase understanding of the factors that sustain or threaten ecosystem integrity
8:00am - 8:45am Learning objectives / Overview
8:45am - 9:45am Ecosystem Integrity Video
9:45am - 10:00am Break
10:00am - 10:45am Continuation of Ecosystem Integrity
10:45am - 11:15am Questions / Discuss Field Trip
11:15am - 11:45am Lunch
11:45am - 4:00pm

Field Trip to Lake Wales Ridge State Forest

4:00pm - 4:30pm

Wrap-up / Comments

Day 3 Wednesday, May 22, 2019
  Conservation Strategies: To increase understanding of strategies and approaches used to conserve biodiversity and maintain ecosystem integrity
8:00am - 8:45am Learning objectives / Overview
8:45am - 9:45am Conservation Strategies for Sustainable Ecosystems Presentation
9:45am - 10:00am Break
10:00am - 10:45am Continuation of Conservation Strategies
10:45am - 11:15am Questions, Discuss Field Trip
11:15am - 11:45am Lunch
11:45am - 4:00pm Field Trip – Disney Wilderness Preserve
4:00pm - 4:30pm Post-Test


Classroom Presentations: Classroom” means we are at Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland, FL 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.

Attendance Policy:

  • You cannot miss more than 4.5 hours (20% of the 24 contact hours) This is a FMNP policy and cannot be modified by the Instructor.
  • If you exceed more than 4.5 hours, you must make up the exceeded time by completing an assignment of equal time and content. Approval of the Instructor is required.
  • 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 - Agenda Details are Subject to Change:
  • 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—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.

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 mmain@ufl.edu 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!

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.


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