Sumter County

March 6 - April 17, 2019
Registration closes at 10:00am on February 28, 2019
(Course Code: fs19-04)


Class Facility Information

UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension
7620 SR 471 Suite 2, Bushnell, FL 33513-8716


Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Jim E. Davis
Associate: Nancy Kolkebeck
Assistant: MJ Sawyer
Organization: UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension
Phone: 352-569-6768
Email: dvisshdn@ufl.edu
Website: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sumter/




Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Wednesday, March 6, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Orientation, Pre-test, Overview
  Presentations: Ecology and Herbaceous Wetlands
  Video- Wetlands in the Modern Human Landscape
  Field trip – Baird Unit, Green Swamp
(We will test for microplastics in a local pond. We will discuss and observe the many herbaceous plants found in the manual. Common plants and wildlife in these systems will also be covered.)


Day 2 Wednesday, March 13, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Presentations: Permanent Wetlands and Forested Wetlands
  Video- Florida’s Swamps
  Field trip - Half Moon WMA
(Discussion of wetlands and land management. Common plants and wildlife in these systems will also be covered.)


Day 3 Wednesday, March 20, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Presentations: Invertebrates and Fish
  Field Trip – Florida Bass Conservation Center
(Discussion will be pond management and the science of raising fish in a controlled environment.)


Day 4 Wednesday, March 27, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Presentations: Amphibians and Reptiles
  Video- Florida’s Lakes, Rivers and Springs
  Field Trip – TBA


Day 5 Wednesday, April 3, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Presentations: Birds and Mammals
  Video- Florida’s Marshes
  Field Trip – Hog Island
(We will tour areas along the river and discuss the local ecosystem. We will collect insects for display and discuss local flora and wildlife.)



Day 6 Wednesday, April 10, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Presentations: Interpretation and Environmental Ethics
  Interpretive Student Hikes -Field Trip - Richloam WMA
(Student interpretative walks, each 5 minutes)


Day 7 Wednesday April 17, 2019
8:30am - 4:30pm Final Project Presentations
  Post-test, Evaluation and Graduation

COURSE GUIDELINES

*Course Schedule is Subject to Change*

Classroom Presentations: The classroom sessions will be held at various locations. Please refer to the agenda and pay attention to emails from the instructors with further instructions. Depending on 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.

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.

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).

Food & Drinks! Food and drinks are allowed in the classroom.

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.

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.

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.

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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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.

UF/IFAS OCI

OCI stands for the Office of Conferences & Institutes. It is a full service conference planning agency at the University of Florida. OCI was created to support the Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (IFAS) mission to develop knowledge in agriculture, human and natural resources, and to make that knowledge available to people to sustain and enhance the quality of life.

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