Sarasota County

January 11 - February 22, 2020
Full - Contact Instructor for wait list
(Course Code: cs20-01)

Classroom Facility Information

Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Keating Marine Education Center: Coral Classroom
1599 Ken Thompson Parkway, Sarasota, FL 34236

Instructors Information

Associate and Point of Contact: Kiley Gray, Public Programs Coordinator
Organization: Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium
Phone: 941-388-4441 ext 515

Lead: Jason Robertshaw, Education Manager

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Saturday, January 11, 2020
9:00am - 10:30am Introduction, welcome to FMNP Coastal Marine Systems; Course overview, paperwork
10:30am - 12:30pm Presentation: Interpretation of Coastal Systems
Presentation: Ethics in Environmental Education and Eco-Heritage Tourism
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 1:45pm Video: Coastal Systems and Modern Human Society
Video discussion/questions
1:45pm – 4:45pm Presentation: Coastal Systems Ecology
Presentation: Marine and Estuarine Habitats
Presentation: Coastal Uplands Habitats
4:45pm – 5:00pm Review group project expectations, course objectives, student interpretive practice guidelines

Day 2 Saturday, January 18, 2020
9:00am - 9:30am Welcome, review
9:30am - 10:15am Visit Mote Aquarium invertebrate exhibits
Guest speaker(s): Mote Marine Aquarium biology staff
Cephalopods and other invertebrates
10:15am - 12:15pm Presentation: Invertebrates l
Presentation: Invertebrates ll
12:15pm - 12:45pm Lunch on your own
12:45pm - 1:30pm Video: Beach and Dune Systems
Video discussion/questions
1:30pm – 3:30pm Presentation: Reptiles and Amphibians (Herptiles)
Presentation: Fish

Day 3 Saturday, January 25, 2020
Field Locations: Lido Beach and Durante Park
meet at Lido Beach
9:00am - 12:30pm

Lido Beach: 400 Benjamin Franklin Drive, Sarasota, FL 34236

NOTE: Please wear clothing that can get wet and sandy. During this field experience we will be using core samplers and sieves to examine the shoreline invertebrate community
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm - 1:30pm Travel to second field experience
Durante Park: 5550 Gulf of Mexico Dr., Longboat Key, FL 34228
1:30pm – 5:00pm

Field Experience: Nearshore Marine Environments
NOTE: Student interpretative practice will take place during this field experience

Day 4 Saturday, February 1, 2020
9:00am - 9:30am Welcome, review
9:30am - 11:30am Presentation: Coastal Waterbirds
Presentation: General Birds in Coastal Systems
11:30am - 12:30pm Visit Save our Seabirds rescue and rehabilitation facility (walkable distance from classroom) for a docent guided tour
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm - 1:45pm Video: Nearshore Environment
Questions and discussion
1:45pm – 2:45pm Presentation: Mammals in Coastal and Marine Areas
2:45pm – 3:30pm Video: Estuarine Systems
Questions and discussion
3:30pm – 4:15pm Group project work time

Day 5 Saturday, February 8, 2020 (Mote Marine Laboratory)
9:00am - 11:30am Field Experience (part 1): Estuaries
Kayaking in Sarasota Bay
NOTE: Please wear light layers as it may be cooler on the water than expected and shoes and clothes that can get wet
11:30am - 12:00pm Lunch on your own
12:00pm - 3:00pm Field Experience (part 2): Dip netting in seagrass beds in Sarasota Bay
NOTE: Please wear clothes that can get wet and dirty and closed toe, closed heel water shoes as we will be wading in to the water to sample the biodiversity in a local seagrass bed

Day 6 Saturday, February 15, 2020
9:00am - 9:30am Welcome, review
9:30am - 10:00am Group project questions, presentation practice time
10:00am - 12:00pm Group Project Presentations
12:00pm - 1:00pm Potluck
1:00pm - 2:00pm Group Project Presentations
2:00pm – 3:00pm Guest Speaker: Darcy Young, Director of Planning and Communications,
Sarasota Bay Estuary Program
Topic: Sarasota Bay Estuary Program projects, health of Sarasota Bay
3:00pm - 4:00pm

Course wrap up, discussion

Post-test and evaluations

Day Saturday, February 22, 2020
  Make-up date


Class location: Coral Classroom at Mote Marine Laboratory unless otherwise indicated.
• In the Keating Marine Education Center. This building is located on the left hand side of Ken Thompson Parkway and has a large octopus painted on the front.
• Take the elevator in the center of the Keating building to the second floor, turn right off the elevator, classroom will be on the left hand side of the hallway

Schedule is subject to change:
• The schedule times listed are as close as possible, but we need you to be flexible.
• Course time schedule does not include your travel time

Attendance Policy:

  • You cannot miss more than 8 hours (20% of the 40 contact hours) This is a FMNP policy and cannot be modified by the Instructor.
  • To receive certification, the 8 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 8 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.


  • When class is held at Mote Marine Laboratory, you may park across the street from the Keating Marine Education Center, in the dirt lot of the MERC building, or in the main parking lot of the aquarium.
    See the map above.
  • Carpooling to and from class and field trips is suggested and is up to students to arrange.

Food & drinks

  • Please, absolutely no polypropylene (Styrofoam) containers. Please also try to reduce or eliminate your use of single-use plastics during this course (and life!). Food and drinks are allowed in the classroom.
  • Lunch will be about half an hour each day. Bringing a packed lunch is highly recommended. There are three restaurants within walking distance of Mote but are not the fastest options.

Field Trips:

  • Always bring water with you on field trips!
  • 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 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 closed-toed, comfortable 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..
  • 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).
  • The temperature on or near the water is variable, it might be very hot or cool while on our field trips—please, dress accordingly:  multiple, light layers are recommended.

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