Polk County

March 17-21, 2020
Registration closes at 4:00pm on March 9, 2020
(Course Code: fs20-04)

Classroom Facility Information

Polk’s Nature Discovery Center at Circle B Bar Reserve
4399 Winter Lake Rd, Lakeland FL 33830

Potential Field Trips Locations

Circle B Bar Reserve

Peace River Swamp

Walk-in-Water Kayaking

Colt Creek- Green Swamp

Marshall Hampton Reserve

Instructors Information

Associate and Point of Contact: Pam McDonald, Volunteer Circle B Bar Reserve and FMNP Board Member
Organization: Polk County Environmental Lands Program
Phone: 813-951-2622
Email: pxm9244@yahoo.com
Website: polknature.com/explore/circle-b-bar-reserve/

Lead: Tabitha Biehl, Environmental Lands Stewardship Coordinator
Associates: Shannon Carnevale, Natural Resources and Conservation, UF/IFAS Extension Polk County
Art Wade, Polk County Natural Resources

Guest Speakers: Pam DeNeve, Audubon Society Officer & Birding Guide, Gopher Tortoise Expert, and
Volunteer at Circle B Bar Reserve
Steve King, Advanced Master Naturalist and volunteer Circle B Bar Reserve

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, March 17, 2020
8:00am –8:30am Welcome, intro of instructors, course overview, discuss group project, ice breaker
8:30am –9:30am Paperwork, pretest
9:30am –10:30am Freshwater Systems Ecology
10:30am –12:30pm Field trip of Circle B Marsh
12:30pm–1:15pm Working Lunch
Video: Freshwater Systems
1:15pm–2:15pm Interpretation
2:15pm–3:15pm Environmental Ethics
3:15pm–4:30pm Video:  Lakes, Rivers & Springs
4:30pm–5:00pm Discussion on Group Project
  Assignment:  Article pertaining to Swamps (student interpretive talk)

Day 2 Wednesday, March 18, 2020
8:30am – 12:30pm Field Trip (Location TBA) and Student Interpretive Talk
12:30pm – 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 2:00pm Forested Wetlands
2:00pm – 3:00pm Permanent Wetlands
3:00pm – 4:00pm Amphibians
4:00pm – 5:00pm Reptiles
  Assignment:  Article pertaining to Lakes, Rivers, Springs, Birds or Freshwater Fish - Discuss articles pertaining to Forested Wetland (student interpretive talk)

Day 3 Thursday, March 19, 2020
8:30am – 1:30pm Field trip (Location TBA) and Student Interpretive Talk
1:30pm – 2:00pm Lunch on your own
2:00pm – 4:30pm Classroom Time for field trip extension, field discussions, group projects

Day 4 Friday, March 20, 2020
8:30am – 12:30pm Field Trip (Location TBA)
12:30pm – 1:30pm Working Lunch
Video: Florida’s Swamps
1:30pm – 2:30pm Mammals
2:30pm – 3:30pm Birds
3:30pm – 4:30pm Herbaceous Wetlands

Day 5 Saturday, March 21, 2020
8:30am – 9:00am Wetland Wildlife Hike and Review of Class Activities
9:00am – 10:00am Interpretive talks
10:00am – 11:00am Invertebrates
11:00am – 12:00pm Freshwater Fish
12:00pm – 12:45pm Working Lunch
Video: Permanent Marshes
12:45pm – 4:00pm Class Final Group Presentation
4:00pm – 4:30pm Classroom discussion and review of the course
4:30pm – 5:00pm Post Test & evaluations - Graduation


Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at Circle B Bar Reserve, Lakeland, FL 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. It is the student’s responsibility to verify field information. Transportation and lunches are not included. Carpooling suggested.

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.

Student Carpooling is Suggested and is up to students to arrange.

Flexible Schedule - Agenda Details are Subject to Change:
• 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 need bring snacks to the hungry class the next day. Food and drinks are allowed in the classroom. A refrigerator and microwave are available on site

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 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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  • Phone:
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  • Address:
    2311 Mowry Road, Bldg. 78
    PO Box 110750
    Gainesville, FL 32611