Sarasota County

February 4-25, 2020
Full - Contact Instructor for wait list
(Course Code: fs20-02)

Classroom Facility Information

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County: Twin Lake Park - Green Buidling
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241

Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Katherine Clements, Ecology and Natural Resources Educator
Associate: Abbey Tyrna, Water Resources Agent
Organizations: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Phone: 941-861-9822

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, February 4, 2020
9:00am –10:30am Introduction to Participants and Course, Course Paperwork, Icebreaker
(Katherine & Abbey)
10:30am –12:00pm Presentation: Freshwater Ecosystems Ecology (Katherine)
12:00pm–1:00pm Lunch (bring your own)
1:00pm–2:30pm Presentation: Interpretation of Freshwater Ecosystems (Katherine)
2:30pm–3:30pm Video: Florida’s Lakes, Rivers, Springs
3:30pm–4:30pm Presentation: Permanent Wetlands
4:30pm–5:00pm Discussion of Interpretive Activity homework and Group Project (Katherine)

Day 2 Friday, February 7, 2020
8:30am–12:00pm Meet at Myakka River State Park

Field experience Myakka River State Park (bring a change of clothes and footwear)

12:00pm–1:0pm Lunch (on your own) and travel to Extension office
1:00pm–2:00pm Presentation: Fish with Armando Ubeda, FMNP Instructor and Sea Grant agent
2:00pm–3:00pm Video: Florida’s marshes
3:00pm–4:00pm Presentation: Herbaceous Wetlands
4:00pm–4:30pm Student work time for Interpretive Activity and Group Project

Day 3 Friday, February 14, 2020
8:00am–12:00pm Meet at Celery Fields
Field trip (marshes): Guided Bird walk of Celery Fields and
Student Interpretive Presentations
12:00pm–1:30pm Lunch (on your own) and travel to Extension office
1:30pm–3:00pm Presentation: Birds
3:00pm–4:00pm Group project work time

Day 4 Tuesday, February 18, 2020
9:00am –10:30am Presentation: Invertebrates with special guest Mike Barber, PhD
10:30am –11:30am Activity: Lake sampling at Twin Lakes for Invertebrates, Microscope ID
11:30am–12:30pm Lunch (bring your own)
12:30pm–2:00pm Presentation: Mammals
2:00pm–3:00pm Video: Florida’s swamps (Abbey)
3:00pm–4:00pm Presentation: Forested Wetlands (Abbey)
4:00pm–5:00pm Group Project work time

Day 5 Friday, February 21, 2020
9:00am – 12:30pm Meet at Stoneybrook Golf and Country Club
Field trip (lakes): Managing and Restoration of Wetlands and Stormwater Retention Ponds at Stoneybrook community
12:30pm – 2:00pm Lunch (on your own) and travel to Extension office
2:00pm – 3:00pm Presentation: Amphibians
3:00pm – 4:00pm Presentation: Reptiles
4:00pm – 5:00pm Group Project work time

Day 6 Tuesday, February 25, 2020
9:00am – 10:00am Presentation: Environmental Ethics
10:00am – 11:00am Video: Wetlands in a Modern Day Landscape
11:00am – 2:00pm Potluck Lunch and group presentations
2:00pm – 3:00pm Final paperwork, graduation


Classroom Presentations: We will be meeting at a variety of locations throughout Sarasota County, please pay close attention to the schedule. Instructors will provide detailed directions via email prior to the first class and ongoing throughout class prior to each field trip/new location. Please contact instructor if you have any questions. In 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.

Course Time Schedule does not include travel time required to drive to meeting locations.

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 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! 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 classrooms. Please bring your own beverages and snacks. Lunch is on your own and often out in the field, so best to plan to pack your lunch each day.

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. Violators have to bring snacks to the hungry class the next day.

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 an optional 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. Also, recommended to not wear in class, as many people are sensitive.
    • 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.
    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. Freshwater ecosystems are sometimes wet!
    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 or cold, or wet on our field trips—please, dress accordingly.

Homework: An interpretive presentation in the field and a group project reflecting the freshwater ecosystems you have learned about are a required part of this class. We will discuss these requirements on Day 1 and will provide support necessary for this to be a comfortable, successful experience. Assignments are not meant to be “graded” homework, but rather an opportunity to synthesize your knowledge and experience gained.

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 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.


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.

Stay Connected

Follow FMNP on Facebook and Instagram to get the latest information regarding the many different courses.



Get in Touch

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