St. Lucie County

September 24 - October 22, 2020 (100% online)
Course full. Contact Instructor for waitlist.
(Course Code: us20-09)

Instructors Information

Lead and Point of Contact: Kenneth Gioeli, Extension Agent IV/Natural Resources & Environment
Organization: UF/IFAS Extension St Lucie County
Phone: 772-462-1627
Email: ktgioeli@ufl.edu
Website: stlucie.ifas.ufl.edu

Guest Lead: Amanda Thompson, St. Lucie County Environmental Resources Department
Associates: Irene-Eva Ries, One More Generation and Carey Minteer,
UF/IFAS Indian River Research and Education Center
Assistants: John Nelson, The Audubon Moment and Jerry Bott, Florida Master Naturalist



Tentative Course Agenda

Day 1 Thursday, September 24 , 2020 (Online)
11:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom: Meeting link provided by instructor via email
  • Welcome to FMNP course, Iintroductions, Icebreaker (30 min)
  • Getting comfortable with Zoom/testing technology (20 min)
  • Present instructions for “on-your-own” assignments. Students will create a journal describing the plants, animals, invertebrates of a nearby Florida national, state, county or municipal preserve. The finished journal will be presented as their final project at the end of the course. (10 min)
ON YOUR OWN ­ Instructions and online links provided by email
­ Please complete before next live Zoom session or posted deadline.
30 minutes Video: Upland Habitats in the Modern Human Landscape.
Take notes and include your thoughts and observations.
120 minutes
  1. Course Pre-test (20 min; complete online within 3 days)
  2. On-your-own assignment and begin final project
NOTE: Begin your journal project by going online to discover a national, state, county or municipal preserve near you with upland natural areas in Florida. Private preserves and ranches are allowed provided you can gain access. Look for nearby preserves featuring Florida scrub, pinelands, hardwood hammocks or another upland habitat. Remember, this course is an uplands course so coastal areas such as the beach or wetland areas such as the Everglades National Park are not what you should be looking for. Examples of preferred locations would be Ocala National Park, Jonathan Dickinson State Park, or Archbold Biological Station. Your first assignment will be to begin a journal describing the:
(1) size of the preserve
(2) dominant upland plant and animal species in that preserve
(3) how many miles of trails are present (if any)
(4) what are the dominant upland habitats found in the preserve (scrub, hardwood hammock, pinelands, etc), and
(5) name and contact information for the person or people responsible for managing the preserve.
You will be visiting this preserve later in this course either on your own or with a classmate, spouse, friend or family member. This part of the journal is due to the instructor on Monday, September 28.


Day 2 Tuesday, September 29, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • 5-6 students debrief their on-your-own assignments from previous session
    (30 min)
  • Presentation: Upland Ecology (60 min)
  • Presentation: Ethics - Irene Eva Ries (30 min)
  • Present instructions for “on-your-own” assignments (30 min)
ON YOUR OWN ­ Instructions and online links provided by email
­ Please complete before next live Zoom session or posted deadline.
30 minutes Video: Hardwood Forests.
Take notes and include your thoughts and observations.
60 minutes Students will draft their own personal ethics statement and include it in their journal. Ethics statements are to be emailed to instructor by Wednesday, September 30.


Day 3 Thursday, October 1, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • 5-6 students will share their ethics statement from previous on-your-own assignment (30 min)
  • Presentation on Hardwood Forests (60 min)
  • Presentation on Pineland Communities (60 min)
  • Present instructions for “on-your-own” assignments (30 min)
ON YOUR OWN ­ Instructions and online links provided by email
­ Please complete before next live Zoom session or posted deadline.
120 minutes

*Visit the national, state, county or municipal upland preserve you researched online for your previous assignment. If you are uncomfortable going alone, you can bring a companion. If you would prefer doing this in your backyard, that’s fine but clear it with the instructor in a private conversation.

1. Refer to the course materials for the Hardwoods and Pines presentations. See if you can find any of these plants in the upland preserve you are studying. Photograph them and include them in your journal. Use genus and species as well as common names. Do your own work and photography.

2. Try to find at least one nonnative invasive plant species in the preserve you are studying. Once again, you can use your course materials as a reference. You can also contact the preserve manager for the list of invasive plants they are managing. Photograph these invasive plants and include an original photo in your journal along with the genus and species. In addition, look up the invasive plant in the IFAS Assessment and determine if there are federal or state rules prohibiting their use. http://assessment.ifas.ufl.edu



Day 4 Tuesday, October 6, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • 5-6 students will debrief on-your-own assignment from previous session by sharing the native and invasive plants observed in their preserve (30 min)
  • Presentation: Scrub (55 min)
  • Interpretation (55 min)
  • Present instructions for “on-your-own” assignments (10 min)
ON YOUR OWN ­ Instructions and online links provided by email
­ Please complete before next live Zoom session or posted deadline.
30 minutes Video: Florida’s Scrub, Dry Prairie & Rangelands.
Take notes and include your thoughts and observations.
60 minutes *On your visit to the preserve you are examining in this course, please do the following:
1. Photograph or draw an interpretive displays and signage. Include this in your journal (45 min)
2. Provide a critique of the displays and signage using the terms taught to you in the interpretation presentation. Include this in your journal (15 min)


Day 5 Thursday, October 8, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • 5-6 students will discuss on-your-own assignments (60 min)
  • Presentation: Invertebrates I & II (120 min)
ON YOUR OWN ­ Instructions and online links provided by email
­ Please complete before next live Zoom session or posted deadline.
30 minutes Video: Florida’s Pine Habitats.
Take notes and include your thoughts and observations.
60 minutes Visit the preserve you have been learning about.
  • Photograph the vertebrates and invertebrates you find at the preserve you are studying.  Since there is a possibility of large numbers of invertebrates, you should try to confine your examination to those invertebrates found in your course materials. 
  • Include the original photos and genus/species and common names in your journal.
SELF-GUIDED
FIELD ACTIVITY

 

180 minutes Final Projects - Your final assignment will involve completion of your course journal. It should include the following:

  • Original photographs, sketches, or names/description of plants, animals, invertebrates, invasive species and interpretative displays you discovered at the preserve you are examining. 
  • Credits (use your own photos/drawings) and genus/species and common names. 
  • Literature citations.
  • Your name and date in the journal

  • This project will be due to the instructor by Tuesday, October 20, 2020.
    Use Microsoft Word, PDF, Wordpress, or PowerPoint for your project.


Day 6 Tuesday, October 13, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • Presentation: Upland Birds 1&2 by John Nelson (150 min)
  • Progress discussion (30 min)


Day 7 Thursday, October 15, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • General course discussion (30 min)
  • Presentation: Upland Mammals by Jerry Bott (60 min)
  • Presentation: Upland Herpetofauna by Amanda Thompson (60 min)
  • Final Project Showcase Discussion (30 min)
ON YOUR OWN
FIELD TRIPS

120 minutes

Visit Oxbow Ecocenter, 5400 NE Saint James Dr, Port St. Lucie, FL 34983.
- Explore the Blue Heron Trail and the Scrub Jay Trail https://www.stlucieco.gov/home/showdocument?id=6124

- Refer to your course materials and describe the types of habitat you encounter
on each trail. 
- Compare the differences in plant and animals you see on both these trails.
- Provide a list of 5-10 different plants you see on both trails.
120 minutes

Visit Steven J. Foesek Preserve, 8551 Carlton Rd, Port Saint Lucie, FL 34987.
- Explore Paleo Hammock and Teague Hammock, which are literally right across the street from each other.
https://www.stlucieco.gov/departments-services/a-z/environmental-resources/preserve-listing/steven-j-fousek-natural-area

- Refer to the course materials and describe the types of habitat you encounter at each hammock.
- Compare the plants and animals you see on both hammocks.
- Provide a list of 5-10 plants you see on both hammocks.


Day 8 Tuesday, October 20, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 11:00am Live online via Zoom
  • Prior weekend field trip discussions
  • Open discussion on final projects


Day 9 Thursday, October 22, 2020 (Online)
9:00am – 12:00pm Live online via Zoom
  • Final Project Showcase (120 min)
  • Post-Test (20 min; complete online within 3 days)
  • Evaluation of online course format (20 min; complete online within 3 days)
  • FMNP Course Evaluation (20 min; complete online within 3 days)
  • Graduation (10 min)


Course Guidelines

Live Online Meeting indicates when you are required to be online (via Zoom) at the designated time to participate in course presentations, discussions, and activities. Attendance will be taken by the instructor.

To participate, you must have:
• Zoom 5.0 application downloaded to their personal computer (https://zoom.us/)
• An internet connection suitable for live streaming (wired or wireless)
• Headset, or speakers and microphone (most laptops have this included)
• Web camera (most laptops have this included)
• A quiet location where you will not be disturbed

On Your Own describes required course activities you are expected to complete on your own prior to the next Live Online Meeting time. Assignments could include sedentary activities using a computer, hands-on exercises to practice skills, and/or self-guided field explorations

All outdoor activities involve some element of risk and we all are responsible to take measures to keep ourselves safe. FMNP participants assigned self-directed activities must assume responsibility for their own safety and conduct FMNP activities accordingly. We recognize that comfort levels as to what represents safe behavior will vary among individuals. We ask everyone make safety a priority and to work within their own comfort parameters to complete the intent of self-directed activities without putting themselves at risk. FMNP instructors are prepared to assist anyone with questions or concerns to ensure the FMNP learning experience is safe, productive, and enjoyable for everyone.

In-Person/Field Trip Locations & Times are subject to change due to unforeseen circumstances and the status of the COVID-19 health crisis. It is the participant’s responsibility to verify meeting information. Transportation and lunches are not included. Times do not include travel time required to drive to meeting locations. Any gathering for in-person activities must be in compliance with local ordinances and follow safety guidelines including:
1) outdoors only
2) maintain physical distancing of >6 feet
3) wear a mask or cloth face covering
4) maintain group size <10 people
5) wash hands & sanitize frequently
6) stay home if sick or around others who may be sick.

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.

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 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