St. Johns County

September 14 - November 4, 2020 (100% online)
Course full. Contact Instructor for waitlist.
(Course Code: cs20-15)


Instructor Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Kelly Ussia, Park Naturalist
Organization: St. Johns County Parks and Recreation
Phone: 904-209-0335
Email: kussia@sjcfl.us


Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Monday, September 14, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Welcome to FMNP course & Introductions (30 min)
  • Getting comfortable with Zoom/testing equipment (15 min)
  • What to expect from the course (15 min)
  • Review instructions for “on your own” assignments (15 min)
  • Pre-test (15 min)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
30 Minutes (total) Look through and get familiar with text (30 min)



Day 2 Wednesday, September 16, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Ecology Presentation (1 hour)
  • Questions/Discussion on Individual and Group Projects (30 min)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1 hour (total)
  1. Nearshore Environment Video (30 min)
  2. Estuarine System Video (30 min)


Day 3 Monday, September 21, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Discussion of Videos (30 min)
  • Marine & Estuary Habitats (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
30 Minutes (total) Beach & Dune Systems Video (30 min)


Day 4 Wednesday, September 23, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Discussion of Video (30 min)
  • Coastal Upland Habitats Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
3 Hours (total) Self-guided field trip Estuaries (3 hours)



Day 5 Monday, September 28, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Field Trip Discussion- Breakout Rooms (30 min)
  • Invertebrates I Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1 Hour (total)
  1. Microplastics (30 min)
  2. Finalize Groups for Final Project (30 min)


Day 6 Wednesday, September 30, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Microplastics Discussion (30 min)
  • Invertebrates II (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
3 Hours (total) Self-Guided Field Trip Beach/Dune/Maritime Forest (3 hours)



Day 7 Monday, October 5, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Field Trip Discussion- Breakout Rooms (30 min)
  • Reptiles and Amphibians Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1.5 Hours (total)
  1. Sea Turtle activity (1 hour)
  2. Finalize Group Topic (30 min)



Day 8 Wednesday, October 7, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Sea Turtle Discussion (30 min)
  • Interpretive Speaking Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
4 Hours (total)
  1. Work on group project (30 Mmn)
  2. Finalize interpretive speaking topic (30 min)
  3. Self-guided Near Shore Marine Field Trip (3 hours)



Day 9 Monday, October 12, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Field Trip Discussion-Breakout Rooms (30 min)
  • Coastal Waterbirds Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1.5 Hours (total)
  1. Work on interpretive speaking (30 min)
  2. Work on Group Project (1 hour)



Day 10 Wednesday, October 14, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Student Presentation/Group Project Check in (30 min)
  • General Birds in Coastal Systems Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1.5 Hours (total)
  1. Interpretive Speaking Outline (1 hour)
  2. E-Bird Activity (30 min)



Day 11 Monday, October 19, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Project Check in (30 min)
  • Mammals Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1.5 Hours (total)
  1. Group Project Outline (1 hour)
  2. Ocearch Tracking (30 min)



Day 12 Wednesday, October 21, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Ocearch Discussion (20 min)
  • Fish Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1 Hour (total)
  1. Coastal Systems & Modern Human Society Video (30 min)
  2. Sustainable Seafood (30 min)



Day 13 Monday, October 26, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Video Discussion- Breakout Groups (30 min)
  • Ethics Presentation (1 hour)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1 Hour (total) Finalize Interpretive Speaking Presentations (1 hour)



Day 14 Wednesday, October 28, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:45pm Live online via Zoom
  • Student Interpretive Speaking Presentations (1.5 hours)
  • Questions/Concerns about group projects (15 min)
ON YOUR OWN Links will be provided by instructor via email.
Please complete before posted deadlines.
1 Hour (total) Finalize Group Projects (1 hour)



Day 15 Monday, November 2, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:45pm Live online via Zoom
  • Finish any remaining Student Interpretive Speaking Presentations (30 min)
  • Group Projects (1 hour 15 min)



Day 16 Wednesday, November 4, 2020 (Online)
7:00pm – 8:30pm Live online via Zoom
  • Finish any remaining group projects (30 min))
  • Post Test & Evaluations (40 min)
  • Graduation (20 Min)


Course Guidelines

Live Online Meeting indicates when you are required to be online (via Zoom) at the designated time to participate in course presentations, discussions, and activities. Attendance will be taken by the instructor.

To participate, you must have:
• Zoom 5.0 application downloaded to their personal computer (https://zoom.us/)
• An internet connection suitable for live streaming (wired or wireless)
• Headset, or speakers and microphone (most laptops have this included)
• Web camera (most laptops have this included)
• A quiet location where you will not be disturbed

On Your Own describes required course activities you are expected to complete on your own prior to the next Live Online Meeting time. Assignments could include sedentary activities using a computer, hands-on exercises to practice skills, and/or self-guided field explorations

All outdoor activities involve some element of risk and we all are responsible to take measures to keep ourselves safe. FMNP participants assigned self-directed activities must assume responsibility for their own safety and conduct FMNP activities accordingly. We recognize that comfort levels as to what represents safe behavior will vary among individuals. We ask everyone make safety a priority and to work within their own comfort parameters to complete the intent of self-directed activities without putting themselves at risk. FMNP instructors are prepared to assist anyone with questions or concerns to ensure the FMNP learning experience is safe, productive, and enjoyable for everyone.

In-Person/Field Trip Locations & Times are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances and the status of the COVID-19 health crisis. It is the participant’s responsibility to verify meeting information. Transportation and lunches are not included. Times do not include travel time required to drive to meeting locations. Any gathering for in-person activities must be in compliance with local ordinances and follow safety guidelines including:
1) outdoors only
2) maintain physical distancing of >6 feet
3) wear a mask or cloth face covering
4) maintain group size <10 people
5) wash hands & sanitize frequently
6) stay home if sick or around others who may be sick.

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.

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!



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Get in Touch

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