Lake County

February 25 - April 1, 2019
Full. Contact instructor for wait list
(Course Code: fs19-03)

Class Facility Information

Trout Lake Nature Center: Environmental Education Center
520 East CR 44, Eustis, FL 32736-2518

Instructors Information

Lead: Patricia Larson
Assistant: Sandie Selman
Organization: Trout Lake Nature Center
Phone: 352-685-0727

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Monday, February 25, 2019
9:00am - 12:00pm Classroom at Trout Lake Nature Center
  • Welcome to class, Introductions, and Paperwork
  • Pre-test
  • Powerpoint: Ecology
  • Video: Wetlands and Modern Human Society
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 1:00pm Classroom
Video: Florida’s Lakes
1:00pm - 3:00pm Walk to Trout Lake
  • Discussion of freshwater habitats
  • Water Quality testing
3:00pm - 4:00pm Classroom
Powerpoint: Permanent Wetlands

Day 2 Monday, March 4, 2019
9:00am - 12:00pm Blue Springs State Park, Orange City
Boat ride into spring run
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 1:00pm Discussion of springs, springsheds, and their protection
1:00pm - 3:00pm Ranger Walk
  • Habitat of springs
  • Inhabitants of springs
  • Upland connection
3:00pm - 4:00pm Further discussion/classroom time at park

Day 3 Monday, March 11, 2019
9:00am - 11:30am Emeralda Marsh, Leesburg
  • Field discussion of herbaceous wetlands
  • Role of birds in habitat
  • Discussion of invasive species<
11:30am - 12:00pm Travel back to Trout Lake
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
1:00pm - 4:00pm Classroom
  • Powerpoints: Herbacious wetlands, birds
  • Video: Florida’s Marshes
Walk through cypress swamp

Day 4 Monday, March 18, 2019
9:00am - 11:30am NURF, Ashtatula
  • Water treatment facility on Lake Apopka
11:30am - 12:00pm Travel to Hickory Point Recreation Park, Tavares
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 1:00pm Hickory Point
  • Speaker on freshwater fish and hydrology
  • Powerpoint: freshwater fish
1:00pm - 4:00pm Hickory Point
  • Fish netting
  • Boat ride into lake for habitat evaluation

Day 5 Monday, March 25, 2019
9:00am - 10:00am Alexander Springs Recreation Area, Altoona
  • Walk to springs overlook along hammock trail
  • Discussion of historic use of springs
  • Comparison of fish in springs to lake
  • Discussion of floodplains<
10:00am - 10:30am Travel back to Trout Lake Nature Center
10:30am - 12:00pm Classroom
  • Powerpoints: forested wetlands, invertebrates
  • Video: Florida’s swamps
12:00pm - 12:30pm Lunch
12:30pm - 4:00pm Classroom
Powerpoints: amphibians, reptiles, mammals

Day 6 Monday, April 1, 2019
9:00am - 10:00am Walk to Trout Lake
10:030am - 10:30am


Powerpoints: interpretation, ethics
10:30am - 12:00pm


Student presentations
12:00pm - 12:30pm Potluck Lunch
12:30pm - 3:00pm


  • Student presentations
  • Post-tests
  • Evaluations


Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at Trout Lake Nature Center 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 and schedules of speakers. 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 can miss 1 classroom session and 1 field trip session (typically equivalent to no more than one day) during the course and still become certified.
• The time and material must be made-up with an instructor’s approval before the material is missed and after the material is made-up.
• If you miss more than 2 sessions, 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.

Make-up time frame: If you miss a class or a field trip, you must make-up the same material. The makeup 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 and is up to students to arrange.

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.

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.

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Get in Touch

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