Sarasota County

May 22 - June 14, 2019
Registration closes at 10:00am on May 17, 2019
(Course Code: us19-09)

Class Facilities Information

UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County: Green Buidling
6700 Clark Road, Sarasota, FL 34241

Oscar Scherer State Park
1843 S. Tamiami Trail, Osprey, FL 34229

Myakka River State Park
13208 State Rd 72, Sarasota, FL 34241

Lemon Bay Park and Environmental Center
570 Bay Park Blvd, Englewood, FL 34223


Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Katherine Clements, Ecology and Natural Resources Educator
Organizations: UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County
Phone: 941-861-9822
Email: kclements@scgov.net
Website: http://sfyl.ifas.ufl.edu/sarasota



Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Wednesday, May 22, 2019 (Sarasota Co. Extension Office)
9:00am - 10:30am Intro to FMNP and being an environmental ambassador; Intro to Course: pre-test, paperwork, orientation to schedule and field trip locations, notebooks, final project, icebreaker with classmates
10:30am - 11:30am Presentation: Ecology
11:30am - 12:30pm Video: Florida’s Scrub, Dry Prairie, and Rangeland
12:30pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm - 2:00pm Presentation: Scrub, Prairie, Range
2:00pm - 3:30pm Presentation: Interpretation
3:30pm - 4:30pm Interpretive assignments and Group projects discussion


Day 2 Wednesday, May 29, 2019 (Oscar Scherer State Park)
8:30am - 12:00pm Field trip with State Biologist and Park Manager (Scrub and Pinelands); Special topic: Conservation issues: Florida Scrub Jay
(Guest Speaker: Tony Clements, OSSP Park Manager)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm - 2:00pm Presentation: Mammals
2:00pm - 3:00pm Video: Pine habitats
3:00pm - 4:00pm Presentation: Pinelands
4:00pm - 4:30pm Group work time


Day 3 Friday, May 31, 2019 (Myakka River State Park)
8:30am - 12:00pm Field Trip with Ranger Mike Stanfield (Dry prairie, Upland hardwood forests) and a stop at the canopy walk
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch on your own
1:00pm - 2:30pm Student Interpretive Talks
2:30pm - 3:30pm Presentation: Herpetofauna
3:30pm - 4:30pm Presentation: Upland Birds I


Day 4 Friday, June 7, 2019 (AM Field Trips & PM Classroom at Lemon Bay Park)
8:30am - 12:00pm Field Trip to County Parks highlighting Environmentally Sensitive Land Programs and Preservation of Upland Ecosystems (Manasota Scrub, South Venice Lemon Bay, Old Miakka Preserve, Pinelands Preserve, Carlton Reserve)
12:00pm - 1:00pm Lunch and travel to Lemon Bay classroom
1:00pm - 2:00pm Presentation: Upland Birds II
2:00pm - 3:00pm Video: Hardwood Forests
3:00pm - 4:00pm Presentation: Hardwood Forests
4:00pm - 4:30pm Group work time


Day 5 Wednesday, June 12, 2019 (Sarasota Co. Extension Office)
12:00pm - 2:00pm Presentation: Invertebrates I and II
Guest Speakers: Carol Wyatt-Evens and Wilma Holley, UF/IFAS Ext Sarasota
2:00pm - 3:00pm Invertebrates activity
3:00pm - 4:00pm Video: Upland Systems & Modern Human Society
4:00pm - 5:00pm Presentation: Ethics
5:00pm - 6:00pm Group work time
6:00pm - 7:30pm Dinner on Own and travel to Location TBD
7:30pm - 9:00pm Bat Program Location TBD


Day 6 Friday, June 14, 2019 (Sarasota Co. Extension Office)
9:00am - 10:30am Complete remaining material
10:30am - 2:00pm Group Projects and Potluck Lunch and Dessert
2:00pm - 3:00pm Final paperwork


Course Guidelines

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.: 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. 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.

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.
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 upland 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 showcase experience gained.


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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.

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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