, -UNIVERSITY OF
FMNP Instructor Serena Rinker assists Carolyn Saft's
Palm Beach Class.
Program Update .............................................. 1
Education/Conservation Events.................. 2
Wild Eye ........................ ........... ............. 3
Interpretive Tracks ........................................ 3
Class Inform ation......................................... 4
Contacts ......................... .......... .............. 4
FMNP Training for Target Audiences
Several Instructors have scheduled FMNP courses for target
audiences with success. Two target audiences that have shown
interest are ecotour operators and teachers (see "In-service
credit info" link on the FMNP web site for school district contact
information). "Friends of" volunteer groups may also be good
Closed registration (i.e., not open to the public) should be
considered for target audiences so that training can focus on
specific audience needs. To organize a course with closed
registration, contact Shelby Tatlock by e-mail and outline dates,
target audience, anticipated class size, and how you plan to
organize registration and payment. Shelby will provide a course
code for registration.
Closed courses are not listed on the web site. Obtain registration
forms via any open course and under Comments type -
"Registering for course ." Submit the registration form online
or print and fax to Shelby. Instructors may also collect
registration forms and fax to Shelby with company credit card
number or check to pay for all participants simultaneously. This
is an excellent strategy if you obtain a grant to cover tuition fees.
Registration questions? Ask Shelby, our FMNP conference
Dr. Martin B. Main
FMNP Program Leader
UF Associate Professor and Ecologist
Southwest Florida Research and Education Center
Dr. Main rounds up Florida Grasshopper Sparrows
Photo by: Bill Combs
Volume 4, No. 2 April 2004
Florida Master Naturalist Program
Spring Environmental Education and Conservation Events
Submit educational events or conservation project needs by e-mail to email@example.com
Call to Artists, Rookery Bay National Estuarine Research Reserve and the United Arts Council of Collier County
Theme: "Natural Elements: earth, air, fire & water," Reception: May 6, 2004 5-7pm Exhibition: May 6 -August 29
Art Contest: Open to Collier/Lee County residents. Artworks: address theme, two-dimensional artwork. Not to exceed
6' and 80 lbs. Submission Deadline: rcv'd by April 15th. Details: http://www.rookerybay.org/pdf/call_to_artists.pdf
Saturday, April 17, Earth Day Celebration at Sanibel Captiva Conservation Foundation: noon to 4 pm.
Partners: Tarpon Bay Explorers, Ding Darling Refuge, The Shell Museum, and Sanibel Inn
Saturday, April 24, Earth Day Celebration at the SW FL Conservancy: Dozens of local environmental groups, a kids eco-
carnival, native plant sale, organic farmers market and an Eco-Auction. All Conservancy attractions are included.
Festivities run from 9 a.m-3 p.m. Cost is only $1. Call 239-403-4236. http://www.conservancy.org
Pinellas County "Family EarthFest" April 17, 10 a.m. until 4 p.m.
This annual celebration of Earth Day and Arbor Day combined will be fun-filled with activities about nature and the
environment for families, children, and adults. Some of the activities include: nature tours, a bird house workshop,
butterfly display and caterpillar petting, environmental programs, free native plants, wildlife shows, and live music.
Address: 12175 125th St. N., Largo, Florida Phone: (727) 582-2100
Celebrate Arbor Day, April 24 and 25, Green Thumb Festival in Walter Fuller Park, 7891 26th Avenue North in St.
Petersburg from 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. This Festival includes environmental, horticultural, and gardening exhibits,
presentations, and demonstrations, Flower Show, Children's Plant Fair, trees for $3, free butterfly plants, and free
mulch. For additional information, call 727-893-7335.
Earth Day Tampa Bay- Lowry Park, Tampa, April 24, 10 a.m. to 4 p.m.
Theme: Water For Life. Water issues, marine, wildlife and conservation organizations involved, (FMNP too).
Festivities: canoes and kayaks, children's craft and activity area, guided family nature walks, live entertainment and a
plant fair. One-hour documentary video "Water's Journey: The Hidden Rivers of Florida" at the Florida Aquarium.
Animal Fair, Florida Museum of Natural History, Gainesville, April 24, 10 a.m. 3 p.m.
Come face to face with a variety of creatures, from canines to felines and rodents to reptiles.
Representatives from local organizations will be on-hand to answer questions. Phone: 352-846-2000
Pond management workshop, April 29, Crestview/Okaloosa Extension Office, 2-9:00 p.m.
Workshop for North Florida homeowners with ponds. Water quality, algae control, fish habitat, etc. to be discussed.
Contact: Extension Office 850-689-5850
April 29 & April 30-8:00a.m.-1:00 p.m., May 1 & 2, 10:00-4:00 p.m.
Farm and Forest Festival School Days- Morningside Nature Center, Gainesville. Celebrating North Florida History!
The Living History Farm includes traditional craft demonstrators, re-enactors, entertainers and Southern food.
Fee:. $5.00 adults, $3.00 kids 3-12, free kids 0-2 For more information, call 352/334-2170, www.natureoperations.org.
Florida Scrub Jay Encounter, May 7, 8:00 a.m. 10:30 a.m. $7/adult $6/adult member ~ $3/child $2/child member Join
an experienced scrub jay researcher on an outing in the St. Sebastian River State Buffer Preserve
Excursion includes ride on a tractor-pulled wagon; Contact info: 772.589.5050 Other events: http://www.elcweb.org
Florida Marine Aquarium Society 48th Annual Show, Date: 05/20 to 05/23
Where: IGFA Fishing Hall of Fame & Museum Dania Beach, FL What: Over 100 salt water tanks with tropical fish,
corals and plants. Seminars, experts, and museum admission included $10.00 fee. Call 954-922-4212, www.igfa.org
National Association for Interpretation, Certified Interpretive Guide Workshop, May 20-23, Hillsborough Community
College's English Creek Environmental Center, Plant City, Instructors: Kris Whipple & Bruce Nolan Communication,
Interpretive philosophy, principles, and techniques for program delivery will be covered. Participants attend the 32-
hour training, take an open-book exam, complete a presentation outline and deliver a presentation.
Class size is limited to 25, at least 16 years old. Cost: $345 for non-members, $300 for NAI members. Registration
must be received or confirmed by May 1st. Contact Bruce Nolan at 863-965-7233 or firstname.lastname@example.org
North Central Florida Bat Workshop, Sat 15 May, 1:45pm-9pm. Lubee Bat Center, 10 miles north of Gainesville
Join bat biologists at an inaugural bat group meeting and bat survey techniques training workshop. Learn bat ecology
and identification. Lectures and practical demonstrations using bat detectors, mist nets and harp traps led by Dr s
Walsh and Hood. Wear sturdy shoes and long pants. Bring mosquito repellant, flashlight, picnic dinner. Refreshments
will be provided. Cost: $20, optional $10 to join the bat watchers group with Florida Bats Workbook.
Reservations & Directions: Contact Allyson Walsh, email@example.com, Tel:352-4851250
Featured Web Site: UF/IFAS Wetlands Extension Page summarizes Florida wetland programs, research,
locations, and information http://wetlandextension.ifas.ufl.edu
Wild Eye Watch 1 on:
Audubon's Crested Caracara,
(Caracara plancus audubonii)
Identifiers: dark body 20-22", black cap, bare red face,
neck/base of tail white, black band tail tip
Adaptations: long-legged walker, semi-bare face
Status: federal/state threatened
Range: central/south Florida
Reproduction: 2-3 white/brown eggs, tree nest
Habitat: prairies, savannas, agricultural fields
Diet: carrion, small fish, turtles, snakes, rodents
Fun Facts: Lee County, D.O.E.
- most varied diet of any bird of prey
- can displace vultures at a carcass
Caracaras (Caracara plancus syn= Polyborus cheriway, P. plancus), also known as the "Mexican eagle," belong to the falcon
family (Falconidae). Unlike true falcons, Caracaras build their own nests, have rounded wings, walking feet, and a semi-
bare face an adaptation that represents convergent evolution with other scavenging birds.
Audubon's Crested Caracara is characteristic of the grassland ecosystems, including cattle ranches, in south-central
Florida. The Florida population is threatened and isolated from the primary US population (Louisiana, Texas, Arizona).
These birds need open country, and the conversion of habitat to citrus, pine plantations, and urban development has
caused their numbers to drop. Although they breed earlier than true falcons, Caracaras are slow reproducers and
Interpretive Tracks fr 3 4 $
We can express nature in many ways, and one of them is through art. Nature
photography is all about being a part of nature and capturing the facets of
nature's wonders. Photographers usually take workshops to learn camera and
photography techniques and then they must experience nature to see the
possibilities of composition. Composition is a personal discovery and form of I
expression for each photographer and by far the hardest part of photography to
teach. Expressed throughout his career (1902-1984), Ansel Adams' work reflects I I
the interaction with nature on a human scale. Many others have followed in his
footsteps, including Florida resident landscape photographer Clyde Butcher. '
Nature photographers strive to capture nature's most intimate details, those
aspects of form and texture, as realized through light and shadow, which parallel
actual nature experiences and provide appreciation of what is close enough to
touch and smell. Photographs are the result of aesthetic, social, political, I
personal, and cultural influences on the artist. These affect and help direct the
construction and content of the image. By carefully analyzing nature
photographs, students of nature can develop and improve observational skills,
increase their vocabulary of expression, and sharpen their interpretive skills.
FMNP graduates and Instructors -- we wish to showcase your artistic work on
the Uplands Video Jacket. The video jacket needs to be a portrait (vertical)
image of an Upland Forest, Hammock, Scrub, Sandhill, Pine Flatwoods or Dry
Prairie (animals can be part of the scene). The back of the video jacket requires
3-4 images of Florida Upland wildlife. To submit your hardcopy slides and
photos, send them to FMNP Photo Contest, UF/IFAS, 2686 SR 29 N,
Immokalee, FL. Digital images must be taken by at least a 5 megapixel camera,
be 300 dpi, and saved as Tiff or Jpg files. Digital images can be saved on a CD Jointed Spikerush (Eleocharis equisetoides)
and mailed or sent as attachment files to info@MasterNaturalist.org. All photo Emergent Aquatic plant. Unbranched with terminal
entries will become the property of the FMNP and will be used in educational spikes. Plant sections used for beads by Seminole
and promotional materials. Indians.
Entry deadline is June 11, 2004. Winners will be credited and announced in the
July 2004 FMNP Newsletter. Remember to use your interpretation skills and Drawing by Ann Murray, Centerfor Aquatic & Invasive
imagination, but please do not send us your entire photo collection! (Thanks!) Plants, University of Florida, Gainesville
Current Course Offerings
Freshwater Wetlands Classes:
May 1-26, 2004 (Glades County)
May 17-June 4, 2004 (Lake County)
June 11-26, 2004 (Pasco County)
October 1-November 5, 2004 (Volusia County)
October 5-23, 2004 (Pasco County)
October 7-30, 2004 (St. Johns County)
Coastal Systems Classes:
April 16-May 21, 2004 (Volusia County)
May 8-23, 2004 (Brevard County)
June 3-25, 2004 (Duval County)
June 4-July 30, 2004 (Palm Beach County)
Upland Habitats Classes:
TBA Jan 2005
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 Newsletter Staff
Editor: Dr. Martin Main
Managing Editor: Ginger Allen
Contributing Editor: Julie Carson
Web Coordinator: Buddy Walker
Florida Grasshopper Sparrow Roundup 2/14/04
By Alice Rowe
Melody, Carol, Bruce, Don, and I drove from Vero Beach in the
pursuit of an itty bitty bird that was named for its grasshopper sound.
We arrived during the early morning fog only able to see the
silhouettes of sable palms and the edges of the large expanse of the
Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Paul Miller, park biologist,
described the history of the park and the Florida Grasshopper
Sparrow. With 22,000 acres of dry prairie, it's the largest dry prairie in
the U.S.! Burning occurs on a 2-year rotation to enhance grass growth
and keep trees out. The sparrows need dry prairies lacking tall
structures where predators could perch. The sparrow nests on the
ground, making an arch of wire grass. In 2002, the sparrow's
population was estimated at less than 1,000 (
them one of our most endangered species. We gathered in a long-term
study area just off the side of the road to undertake the roundup. Our
goal was to capture birds and observe Paul collecting statistical data.
The fine mesh 'mist' nets are 100 feet long and over 6 feet high. To
orchestrate a roundup, 2 people held the end of a 100-foot rope about
100 yards out from the net. Everyone else lined up behind the rope.
We had about 10 graduates, 3 instructors, the program leader and
coordinator, and 5 guests participating. The rope holders dragged the
rope through the vegetation, and the rest of the group walked behind
the rope clapping loudly. A bird spooked up but disappeared into a
gopher tortoise burrow. We didn't capture any Florida Grasshopper
Sparrows, but we did round up a Sedge wren, Bachman's sparrow and
a Rainbow scarab beetle (very colorful). Two members of our group
who stumbled in gopher tortoise burrows found out why they call
those shrubs saw palmettos. The wind hindered our progress, so we
examined carnivorous plants, a Blue stripe garter snake, a Florida box
turtle, and a pile of grass clippings that turned out to be an armadillo
burrow. We're glad Paul (former Yankee) found Florida and shared his
love of the Kissimmee prairie with us. We all had a very good day and
loved every minute. The total enthusiasm of everyone involved was
awesome. Thanks to all of you in the group who made it so!
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
Leader: Dr. Martin Main, Associate Professor
Coordinator: Ginger Allen, Senior Biological Scientist
Southwest Florida Research & Education Center
2686 State Road 29 North
Immokalee, FL 34142-9515
Phone: 239-658-3400; Fax: 239-658-3469