Engaging FMNP Graduates
e N c uro /f Greetings! The first 6 months of 2003 have been very productive,
,> )with 20 Coastal Systems courses taught and 221 graduates!
/ ', Wetlands courses had a strong showing too, with 12 classes and
86 graduates. This brings the total number of FMNP graduates to
just over 800!
This brings me to the most important point of this column. We
need to remember that our mission goes beyond providing
^ information to FMNP participants we need to prepare them to
help us with our mission of educating Florida's citizens and
Visitors. To strengthen a strong conservation ethic that will
ensure Florida continues to be a natural wonderland long into
the future. For our enjoyment and the enjoyment of future
generations, and perhaps even for our survival.
Instructors impress upon your students that they are to be
S UNIVERSITY' OF teachers. They are to use their enthusiasm, knowledge, and the
'i O R I A knowledge they will continue to accrue to share the mysteries of
FLORIDA nature with others.
________FMNP Graduates you have a role in our mission, and it is an
important one. Get engaged in your communities. Talk to a child,
E X T E N S IO N your neighbor, your homeowners association. Write a column
for the newspaper. Volunteer with a local nature center, park,
Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences refuge, or other facility where you can help others see what you
see, feel what you feel, and care like you care.
The FMNP Volunteer/Job Opportunities page is a new feature
S '. on the FMNP web site and is intended to help FMNP graduates
S become actively engaged in their communities. Please check it
out. Instructors, you need to send in your volunteer/job
sj Iopportunity links; see the site for specific information. Pass the
word on to other organizations that promote science-based
environmental education and we'll post their links as well. Our
goal is to make opportunities more accessible to FMNP
graduates, so they can become active emissaries for
environmental education and a stronger conservation ethic in
Florida. Together we can make a difference!
June Graduating Coastal Class,
Gumbo Limbo Nature Center
Program Update ........................................ 1 Dr. Martin B. Main
FMNP Program Director
instructor Information ...................................... 2 UF Associate Professor and Ecologist
ild Eye ............................................................... 3 Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
interpretive Tracks .................................... 3
lass Inform ation ......................................... 4
contacts ..................................... 4
FMNP Director Marty Main loses his head in a solution hole
UF Whitney Lab Instructor Bill Buzzi leads salt marsh discussion
NEW FMNP Coastal Instructors attend St. Augustine Workshop, May 21-22, 2003
The FMNP Spring Instructor Training session added 28 new Coastal Instructors and 8 new organizations to our group
(listed below). We now have 135 FMNP Instructors in 40 counties.
Collier County Public Schools Leslie Breland
Highlands County Soil & Water Jennifer Brunty
Learning Gate Comm. School, Hillsborough Betty
Wargo, Seaton Tarrant
Okaloosa UF/Extension Sheila Dunning
Gumbo Limbo Nature Ctr. Dom Cosica, Susan Elliott,
Dori Faerman, Nancy Leeds, Debra Wilson
Sarasota Crowley Museum Debbie Dixon
GTM NERR, St. Johns Janet Zimmerman
Collier County Parks Nan Gerhardt, Nancy Olson
FCES Riverwoods Field Lab Loisa Kerwin
Env. Learning Ctr. Indian River Heather Stapleton
Orange Co. Audubon Soc. Deborah Green
FWCC, FMRI, Pinellas Chris Anderson
Manatee Community College Denise Bristol
UF Whitney Lab, St. Johns William Buzzi
Walton County UF Extension Kim McDonald
Marine Discovery Center, Volusia Gary Melsyn,
Bruce Jaildagian, Barbara Plourde
Featured Web Site: Frogs & Toads of Florida: http://www.wec.ufl.edu/extension/frogs
Tell us your favorite Naturalist Site!
Marine Posters available for purchase:
Cetaceans to invertebrates, ocean currents and topography. Some have worksheets.
Interested in becoming an FMNP Instructor?
FMNP Instructor Workshops are required for all new instructors and existing, certified instructors who want to teach a new
module. There is no fee for attending Instructor Workshops, but prospective instructors must submit an instructor application
(available on the FMNP web site) and receive approval to attend. Instructor workshops are 2 days long with an optional field
trip on the second day. More information about Instructor benefits, qualifications, and responsibilities can be found on the
Master Naturalist Website: www.MasterNaturalist.org under the "Information" link.
Wild Eye Watch fg on:
Bioluminescent Plankton, Pyrocystis noctiluca
Identifiers: single-celled with paired, flagella
Status: abundant, common in Gulf of Mexico
Reproduction: by cell division
Adaptations: bioluminescent defense system
created by chemical reaction
Fun Facts: latin name = night light fire cell
exhibit limited mobility
Kayak hull and paddles disturb bioluminescent plankton
Plankton species contribute approximately one-third to the earth's total primary production. Dinoflagellates are micro-
phytoplankton which have characteristics of both plants and animals and move with the aid of small flagella.
Pyrocystis noctiluca is a marine dinoflagellate, capable of bioluminescence. During the day chloroplasts are distributed
throughout the entire cell, then they migrate to the cell's center at night and create an emission (transformation of
enzyme) or flashes of light. Many flashes can be generated in a single cell. In the summer P. noctiluca can undergo mass
propagation (blooms). Countless light flashes from blooms make the sea glow at night. When disturbed (paddles, motors,
zooplankton etc.), the plankton flash, resulting in light that deters predation from zooplankton and attracts larger
predators (fish) to eat the zooplankton.
Interpretive Tracks aV d*
Feeling At 'Home' With Your Interpretive Programs
During our recent (May 2003) Coastal Systems Instructor training
workshop, Steve Bass (Gumbo Limbo Nature Center) had an excellent tip
about interpretation. As Steve informed us, this technique was one that
was used by Roman senators in preparation for their orations before the
assembly. The Roman Room technique is an ancient and effective way of
remembering information where its structure is not important. For
example, it serves as the basis of one of the powerful mnemonic systems
used to learn foreign languages. To use the technique, imagine a room
that you know, such as your sitting room, bedroom, office, or classroom.
Within the room are objects. Associate images representing the
information you want to remember with the objects in the room. To recall
information, simply take a tour around the room in your mind, visualizing
the known objects and their associated images.
This particular technique is one that can be useful when planning a nature
walk or field trip. The essence of the technique is to consider the area
your home, and each interpretive stop is a room within that home. You
should be familiar with items in your room. There may be a specific
component or item within each room that is particularly interesting, or
that makes that room unique, that you may wish to feature. Perhaps it is
the architecture of the room (such as a live oak overstory), a principal
function of the room (such as water storage and recharge), the primary
inhabitants of the room (such as invasive species), or the history of the i
room (such as restoration) that you choose to illustrate.
There are many options for the components you may wish to feature in Blazing Star (Liatris spicata)
each "room" (each interpretive stop) and, collectively, your "home." Flowering herb found in moist pinelands.
This strategy provides a simple technique that can be useful in visualizing Purple florets bloom from the top of the spike downward.
your interpretive options and consider how you might string together
different components to build on an interpretive theme or provide insight Butterfly nectar plant: Monarch, Eastern Tiger
into the ecology of the area. Swallowtail, Cabbage White, Gray Hairstreak.
For more information on this technique, go to:
For more information on this technique, go to: Drawing by Ann Murray, Center for Aquatic & Invasive
http://www.mindtools.com/romanrom.html Plants, University of Florida, Gainesville
Current Course Offerings
Freshwater Wetlands Classes:
July 21-August 23, 2003 (Palm Beach County)
Coastal Systems Classes:
July 16-25, 2003 (Volusia County)
July 17-August 30, 2003 (Alachua County)
Go to www.MasterNaturalist.org
Click on "Course Offerings" for locations and time
schedules. After you have chosen your course, follow
the prompts to register online.
For program details: Click on "Information"
FMNP Graduate Testimonials
Tillandsia, Guzmania, Catopsis...were foreign words to me- now they
flow from my mouth like names of old friends ...well, almost!!
After taking the FMNP Freshwater Wetlands Module, my eyes were
opened to the fascinating world around me. In 2000, I was hired to
manage the 150-acre South Florida United Methodist Camp, which
borders the Caloosahatchee River. I knew that it was a special place
before I took the wetlands course; but now realize that it is a fragile,
vital site to be protected. Gone are the days when I could wander the
forest in blissful ignorance and enjoy the "view." Now, I wander with
guidebook and notepad in hand. Learning about the amazing
biodiversity of SW Florida and the tragic manner in which it is
disappearing challenged me to start a site inventory of flora and
faunathat could be used to educate visitors. I began with an inventory
of 15 acres of river bed/oak and palmetto forest. For my final project, I
planned the inventory and mapping of 15 acres of cypress head,
which is ongoing and challenging. We have a large variety of ferns
and bromeliads, including Butterfly orchids, Strap and Whisk ferns.
At least the animals are easily identified! The Gopher Tortoises thrill
visitors with their casual indifference. 8 12 foot "granddaddy" Indigo
Snakes bring more excitement, as does the Scarlet Kingsnake. A
female Bobcat is so comfortable on our trails that she parades her
Most importantly my FMNP training has enabled me to share my
enhanced awareness with others. Now, I have more answers to visitor
questions and more joy to share. The more people come to
understand and appreciate the world around them, the more they will
want to protect it for future generations. More than anything else, I
would want my legacy to be that I passed along such attitudes.
Martha E. Pierce, FMNP Wetlands Naturalist
FMNP Wetlands Module funding provided by:
-Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission,
Advisory Council on Environmental Education (ACEE)
-Southwest Florida Council for Environment Education,
FMNP Coastal Module funding provided by:
-Florida Sea Grant, University of Florida, IFAS
-Florida Marine Research Institute,
Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
-Hubbs-Sea World Research Institute
Florida Master Naturalist Program
Director: Dr. Martin Main, Associate Professor
Coordinator: Ginger Allen
Assistant: Annisa Karim
Southwest Florida Research & Education Center
2686 State Road 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142-9515
Phone: 239-658-3400; Fax: 239-658-3469
FMNP Newsletter Staff
Editor: Dr. Martin Main
Managing Editor: Ginger Allen
Contributing Editors: Julie Carson, Annisa Karim
Web Coordinator: Buddy Walker