Manatee County

June 9 - July 14, 2020
Registration closes at 10:00am on June 4, 2020
(Course Code: fs20-08)

Classroom Facilities Information

UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County: Kendrick Auditorium
1303 17th St. West, Palmetto, FL 34221

UF/IFAS Gulf Coast Research and Education Center (GREC) - Balm
14625 Co Rd 672, Wimauma, FL 33598

"The NEST" at Robinson Preserve
840 99th St NW, Bradenton, FL 34209

Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Alyssa Vinson, Extension Agent I - Residential Horticulture
Organization: UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County
Phone: 941-722-4524 x. 1822

Lead: Angela Collins, Regional Extension Agent, Florida Sea Grant
Associate: Katherine Oliver, Program Assistant, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County
Assistants: Susan Griffith, Florida Friendly Landscape Coordinator and Michelle Atkinson,
Extension Agent Ii - Environmental Horticulture

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Tuesday, June 9, 2020 (Classroom: Manatee Co. Extension)
8:30am – 10:30am Welcome to FMNP Freshwater Wetlands; Objectives & Overview;
Paperwork; Class Icebreaker
10:30am – 10:45pm Break
10:45am – 12:15pm Freshwater Wetlands Ecology - Alyssa Vinson
12:15pm – 12:45pm Lunch on your own
12:45pm – 2:00pm Interpretation of Freshwater Wetlands - Michelle Atkinson
2:00pm – 2:15pm Break
2:15pm - 3:00pm Video: Florida’s Marshes
3:00pm – 5:00pm Herbaceous Habitats - Alyssa Vinson
5:00pm – 5:15pm Review course expectations, field trip prep; interpretive practice

Day 2 Tuesday, June 16, 2020 (Field Trip & Classroom: Manatee Co. Extension)
8:30am – 11:30am Field trip: Celery Fields - Wetland Mitigation (6893 Palmer Blvd.) and
Guest Speaker: John Ryan, Sarasota County Government
11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch on your own and travel back to classroom
12:30pm – 1:00pm Video: Forested Wetlands
1:00pm – 2:30pm Forested Habitats - Alyssa Vinson
2:30pm – 2:45pm Break
2:45pm – 4:00pm Permanent Wetlands - Kathy Oliver
4:00pm – 4:45pm Video: Florida’s Swamps
4:45pm – 5:00pm Review course materials, field trip prep; interpretive practice

Day 3 Tuesday, June 23, 2020 (Field Trip & Classroom: Manatee Co. Extension)
8:30am – 12:00pm Field Trip: Myakka River State Park
12:00pm – 1:30pm Lunch on your own and travel back to classroom
1:30pm – 2:30pm Wetland Invertebrates - Lisa Hickey
2:30pm – 2:45pm Break
2:45pm – 4:45pm Amphibians and Reptiles - Guest Speaker: Dr. Taegan McMahon,
University of Tampa
4:45pm – 5:00pm Review course materials, field trip prep; interpretive practice

Day 4 Tuesday, June 30, 2020 (Field Trip & Classroom: GREC)
8:30am – 12:00pm Field Trip: Se7en Wetlands City of Lakeland: Presentation, tour and
bioblitz with iNaturalist  
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch and Travel to classroom (GREC)
1:00pm – 2:30pm Mammals - Susan Griffith
2:30pm – 2:45pm Break
2:45pm – 4:15pm Wetland Birds - Kathy Oliver
4:15pm – 4:45pm Interpretive practice
4:45pm – 5:00pm Review course materials, field trip prep

Day 5 Tuesday, July 7, 2020 (Classroom: The NEST & short field trip)
8:30am – 9:45am Ethics in Environmental Education and Ecotourism - Angela Collins
9:45am – 10:30am Review expectations for group projects, interpretive practice
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 11:30am Video: Florida’s Lakes, Rivers and Springs
11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 2:30pm Freshwater Fish - Angela Collins
2:30pm – 3:00pm Break
3:00pm – 4:45pm Video: Wetlands and Modern Human Society - Alyssa Vinson
4:45pm – 5:00pm Review and debrief

Day 6 Tuesday, July 14, 2020 (UF/IFAS Extension Manatee Co.)
8:30am – 9:30am Course evaluation
9:30am – 10:30am Student presentations
10:30am – 10:45am Break
10:45am – 12:00pm Student presentations
12:00pm – 1:00pm Potluck celebration lunch – bring a dish to share
1:00pm – 3:00pm Student presentations
3:00pm – 3:15pm Certificate of completion

OPTIONAL Tuesday, July 28, 2020 (Manatee Co. BOCC)
8:45am – 9:45am Graduation Day
Certificates presented in the presence of the Manatee County Board of County Commissioners.
Location: Patricia M. Glass Commission Chambers on the first floor of the County Administrative Center at 1112 Manatee Ave. West, Bradenton, FL 34205.


Classroom Presentations: “Classroom” means we are at the UF|IFAS Extension office in Manatee County (address: 1303 17th St. West, Palmetto, Florida) unless otherwise instructed. Specific classroom at the office is noted in parentheses each day (e.g., Kendrick or Rogers).

In the classroom, it might be very warm or very cool—please, bring an extra layer in case.

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.

Student Carpooling is suggested and is up to students to arrange as convenient for them.

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 do our best but please roll with the waves if schedules vary slightly.
• Course time schedule does not include your travel time.

Food & Drinks: Food and drinks are allowed and we encourage you to bring as many snacks and beverages as you like (but please no alcohol.) Please keep in mind environmental stewardship and do your best to bring reusable containers for food and drink.

Cell Phones: Please set your phones to silent or vibrate during class. We try to build ample time into breaks and lunch, but if you must take a call during class please be considerate and step outside. 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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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.

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