Brevard County

January 8 - February 26, 2022
Class filled. Contact Instructor for wait list
(Course Code: fs22-03)


Classroom Facilities Information

Erna Nixon Park: Nature Center
1200 Evans Rd., West Melbourne, FL 32904

Turkey Creek Sanctuary
1518 Port Malabar Blvd. NE, Palm Bay, FL 32905

Field Trip Locations

Erna Nixon Park: Nature Center
1200 Evans Rd., West Melbourne, FL 32904

St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park (SSRPSP)
1000 Buffer Preserve Dr., Fellsmere, FL 32948

Enchanted Forest Sanctuary
444 Columbia Blvd. Titusville, FL 32780


Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Cheryl Caldwell, Environmental Program Supervisor
Organization: Brevard County Parks and Recreation - Erna Nixon Park
Phone: 321-508-3441
Email: cheryl.caldwell@brevardfl.gov

Lead: Tracey Wright, Park Ranger/Naturalist, City Of Palm Bay Parks & Recreation
Assistant: Mark Prynoski, FMNP Advanced Naturalist


The course format is in-person.

Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Saturday January 8, 2022 - Class at Erna Nixon Park and PM Field Trip
8:30am – 9:30am Welcome & Introductions, Course Overview, Final Project Requirements, Pre-test
9:30am – 12:00pm Classroom Presentations: Ecology & Forested Wetlands
12:00pm – 12:30pm Video: Lakes, Rivers, Streams
12:30pm – 1:30pm Lunch on your own
1:30pm – 5:00pm Field Trip: Turkey Creek Sanctuary-Freshwater Rivers & Streams
Day 2 Saturday January 15, 2022 - Field Trip & Class at Erna Nixon Park
8:30am – 11:00am Field Trip at Erna Nixon Park: Freshwater Marshes
11:00am – 12:30pm Lunch on your own
12:30pm – 1:00pm Video: Marshes
1:00pm – 4:00pm Classroom Presentations: Herbaceous Wetlands & Wetland Birds
4:00pm – 5:00pm Student Interpretive Practice
Day 3

Saturday January 22, 2022 - Class at Erna Nixon Park

8:30am – 11:00am Classroom Presentations: Reptiles & Permanent Wetlands
11:00am – 12:00pm Video: Swamps
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm – 2:30pm Classroom Presentation: Amphibians
2:30pm – 5:00pm Group Project work time & Student Interpretive Practice
Day 4

Saturday January 29, 2022 - Field Trip: St. Sebastian River Preserve State Park

8:30am – 12:00pm Field Trip: Cypress Forest & Dome
Freshwater Swamps - long hike with speaker
12:00pm – 1:00pm Lunch: Bring your own lunch! No close places to eat or purchase lunch!!!
1:00pm – 4:00pm Afternoon hike to pitcher plants! Student Interpretive Practice during hikes
Day 5 Saturday February 5, 2022 - AM Field Trip & PM Class
8:30am – 11:30am

Field Trip: Enchanted Forest Sanctuary trails with Guest Speaker

11:30am – 1:00pm Lunch on your own and travel to classroom (CHEC)
1:00pm – 4:00pm Classroom Presentations: Invertebrates & FIsh
4:00pm –5:00pm Group Project work time & Student Interpretive Practice
Day 6

Saturday February 19, 2022 - Class at Turkey Creek Sanctuary

8:30am – 11:30am Classroom Presentations: Interpretation & Mammals
11:30am – 12:30pm Lunch on your own
12:30pm – 2:30pm Video: Wetlands in Modern Human Landscape
Presentation: Ethics in Environmental Education & Eco-Heritage Tourism
2:30pm –5:00pm Group Project work time/make up time & Student Interpretive Practice
Day 7 Saturday February 26, 2022 - Class at Turkey Creek Sanctuary
8:30am – 2:00pm Final Project Presentations, Post-Test then Graduation with Pot-luck lunch

The course format is in-person.

Course Guidelines

Covid-19 safety precautions

To protect yourself and others from the Covid-19 virus, we expect all persons participating at in-person FMNP events to wear masks at events conducted in UF-owned facilities and any facility where the host’s policy is to wear masks indoors, even if you are vaccinated. Outdoor venues pose reduced risks but we encourage mask wearing and social distancing as personal choices.

Classroom Presentations: We will be at multiple locations for our classroom presentations, both inside and outside. The inside classrooms could be be very warm or very cool—please dress accordingly. The outside classroom is a roofed pavilion but benches are wood so some might want to bring stadium seats or pillows to sit on. All classrooms both inside and outside are large and will have space to be socially distanced. Although not required, masks will be expected to be worn while inside and during field trips when social distancing is not possible..

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. Student Carpooling is Suggested and is up to students to arrange. Course Time Schedule does not include travel time required to drive to meeting locations.

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.

Flexible Schedule – Agenda Details are subject to change:
• The schedule times are listed are as close as possible, but we need you to be flexible.
• We probably 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, absolute not polypropylene (Styrofoam) containers ---violators will have to bring snacks to the hungry class the next day. Food and drinks are available 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. Violators will 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 locations before going out in the field. This may attract more unwanted buzzing invertebrates known as mosquitoes, midge (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 my 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 footwear for the day’s field trip, hat, sunglasses, sunscreen, insect repellent (especially on feet/legs).
• It might be hot on our field trips---please, dress accordingly.


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  • Phone:
    (352) 294-3583
  • Email:
    msowder@ufl.edu
  • Address:
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    Gainesville, FL 32611