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Randell Research Center offering Florida Master Naturalist Program Coastal Systems module

By Staff | Sep 30, 2015

The Randell Research Center will offer the Florida Master Naturalist Program Coastal Systems module beginning Friday, Oct. 26. The Florida Master Naturalist Program is an adult-education, University of Florida/IFAS Extension program for persons interested in learning more about Florida’s ecosystems or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs as volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and others.

Through classroom work, field trips and practical experience, this 6-day module will provide instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife and conservation issues of coastal systems in Florida. Further, the class will address naturalist interpretation skills, environmental ethics and the role of humankind in shaping our past and determining our future.

Classroom learning includes instructional videos and presentations. Field learning will include a wading trip in the Pine Island Sound estuary, a salt marsh meander at the Pine Island Flatwoods Preserve, a visit with a local commercial fishing operation and seashore explorations at Fort Myers Beach and Lover’s Key State Park.

Classes begin on Friday, Oct. 26 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and continue on Oct. 31 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Nov. 2 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Nov. 7 (8 a.m. to 4 p.m.), Nov. 9 (8:30 a.m. to 4 p.m.) and Nov. 16 (9 a.m. to noon). Field trip details will be provided during the first class.

The cost for the course is $225, which includes all field trips, 40 contact hours of instruction, a comprehensive student reference workbook, and, upon completion, registration in the UF FMNP database as a Coastal Naturalist.

A UF-IFAS certificate of achievement, embroidered FMNP patch, and FMNP Coastal lapel pin also will be provided at completion.

The only requirements of students are enthusiasm, attendance, and completion of group final projects.

The Randell Research Center is a permanent facility dedicated to learning and teaching the archaeology, history, and ecology of Southwest Florida. The RRC encompasses more than 60 acres at the heart of the Pineland archaeological site, a massive shell mound site extending across more than 100 acres from the mangrove coastline, and operates the Calusa Heritage Trail. The website www.flm-nh.ufl.edu/rrc/ provides a map.

Register on-line at www.MasterNaturalist.org, “Course Offerings.” Additional information about the program and other modules are also available on the website.

Please call Cindy Bear, FMNP Coastal Module instructor, at 239-283-6168 if you have additional questions.