Pinellas County

July 7-13, 2020
Registration closes at 10:00am on July 1, 2020
(Course Code: cs20-09)

Class Facility Information

Weedon Island Preserve (WIP)
Cultural and Natural History Center: Auditorium
1800 Weedon Dr. NE, St. Petersburg, FL 33702

Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Jeanne Murphy, Senior Wildlife Biologist, Environmental Educator,
NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
Lead: Brian Lane, Senior Ecologist, Environmental Educator, NAI Certified Interpretative Guide
Organization: Sensing Nature, LLC
Phone: 727-397-2306

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, July 7, 2020 (WIP)
8:30am - 10:00am Welcome to FMNP Coastal Systems; Objectives & Overview; Paperwork
10:00am - 10:30am Class Mixer
10:30am - 11:30am Ecology of Coastal Systems (Jeanne)
11:30am - 12:30pm Marine & Estuarine Habitats (Brian)
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch: Eat Your Sack Lunch
1:00pm – 1:45pm Video — Estuarine Systems
1:45pm – 3:15pm Saltwater Fish (Brian)
3:15pm – 4:45pm Interpretation of Coastal Systems (Jeanne)
4:45pm – 5:30pm Review Course Expectations; Discuss Field Trips, Group Projects, and
Interpretative Talks

Day 2 Wednesday, July 8, 2020 (WIP)
8:00am - 12:00pm Meet in Room to Prepare for Field Trip
We will be wading while seining and dip netting for nearshore fish & invertebrate species
  • Gather Field Gear, then Walk to Seining Site at Weedon Island
  • Learn and Apply Aquatic Collection Techniques and Species Identification as Biologists Do
  • Fish, Invertebrate, and Bird Species Abundant in Area
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch: Eat Your Sack Lunch
12:30pm - 1:45pm Reptiles & Amphibians (Jeanne)
1:45pm – 3:15pm General Birds in Coastal Systems (Jeanne)
3:15pm – 4:00pm Video — Nearshore Environment
4:00pm – 5:15pm Invertebrates 1 (Brian)
5:15pm – 5:30pm Wrap Up; Discuss Field Trips, Group Project, etc.

Day 3 Thursday, July 9, 2020 (WIP)
8:30am - 12:00pm Field Trip – Estuary: Canoe Tampa Bay Estuary’s Mangrove Tunnels & Interpretative Talks
  • Half of class presents their interesting and relevant Interpretative Talks while on the water
  • Other half of class: Meet in Room; Discuss Canoe and Water Safety; Get Gear; Wait in Room for Jeanne

  • Jeanne will lead an informative coastal guided walk for the whole class while we walk together to the boat launch area near the fishing pier.
  • Canoe Tampa Bay’s unique and peaceful mangrove tunnels and bays
  • Students Present Interpretative Talks: In pairs, half of the class will lead us through fun, low-stress interpretive experiences/talks in this beautiful estuarine county preserve.
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch: Eat Your Sack Lunch
12:30pm - 1:30pm Coastal Waterbirds (Jeanne)
1:30pm - 2:45pm Mammals (Jeanne)
2:45pm – 4:00pm Coastal Upland Habitats (Brian)
4:00pm - 4:45pm Video — Coastal Uplands / Beach & Dune Systems
5:00pm – 5:30pm Finish any other course material—presentations and videos (Jeanne & Brian)
Wrap Up; Discuss Field Trips, Group Project, etc.

Day 4 Friday, July 10, 2020 (AM at Fort De Soto Park & PM at WIP)
8:30am - 12:00pm Field Trip – Coastal Uplands’ Maritime Forest, Dunes, Beaches & Shoreline; Interpretative Talks at Fort De Soto Park, Tierra Verde (south Pinellas County)
Fort De Soto Park is known globally for its coastal beauty, avian diversity and recreational opportunities. Enjoy visiting an award-winning “Best Beach” while learning about its impressive and dynamic changes.
  • Carpool within park as needed
  • Present Interpretative Talks: In pairs, half of the class will lead us through a fun, low-stress interpretive experience/talk in this beautiful coastal county park.
12:00pm - 12:20pm Lunch: Eat Your Sack Lunch
12:20pm - 1:30pm Travel to Classroom, Change Clothes if Needed, and Be Ready to Start on Time
  Classroom – Human Dimensions
1:30pm - 1:45pm Discuss Estuary & Upland Field Trips, Projects, Thoughts about Interpretative Talks, etc
1:45pm – 2:45pm Invertebrates II (Brian)
2:45pm - 4:00pm Environmental Ethics (Jeanne)
4:00pm – 5:00pm Video — Coastal Systems & Modern Human Society
5:00pm – 5:30pm Finish any other course material—presentations and videos (Jeanne & Brian)
Wrap Up; Discuss Group Projects, etc.

Day 5 Monday, July 13, 2020 (WIP)
8:30am - 11:30am Classroom – Finish Any Course Work as Needed (Jeanne & Brian)
11:30am - 1:00pm Students Present Group Projects to the Class
1:00pm - 1:30pm Lunch: Eat Your Sack Lunch
1:30pm - 5:00pm Classroom – Finish Group Projects Inside
5:00pm – 5:30pm Post-test, Certificates & Graduation!


Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at the Weedon Island Preserve in the Cultural and Natural History Center in their auditorium, St. Petersburg. If you ordered a USB, bring a charged computer to view your course material.

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.

Course Time Schedule does not include travel time, except between AM & PM classes.

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.

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 will keep you from getting behind, as much of the material builds upon itself.

Student Carpooling is Suggested (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.
  • Course time schedule does not include your travel time (except between AM & PM classes).

Caffeine & Snacks! If you enjoy coffee or need a snack, you may bring your own. No Styrofoam.

Field Trip Recommendations:

  • 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.

Field Clothes & Footwear:

  • It might be very warm or very cool on our field trips—please, dress accordingly
  • Be aware that typically you will be experiencing wet and muddy environments. For your comfort, always bring a spare change of clothes.
  • Required – wear closed-toe shoes at all times in the field. No exceptions.  
  • Wear: layered clothes, maybe long sleeves and pants for sun protection, closed-toe shoes (wet shoes or other appropriate footwear), sunglasses, sunscreen.

Field Items to Bring:

  • Drinking water is required in the field. No exceptions. Bring it in a reusable, non-single use container.
  • Suggestions: snacks, field ID books, notepad and pen, binoculars, insect repellent, towels and a complete change of clothes (spare shoes/socks/pants/shirt).

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