Florida Sea Grant Extension in Collier County

Welcome to the Collier County Sea Grant Extension Blog

This blog is an opportunity for me to share with you my extension outreach efforts and useful information to make you a more informed coastal citizen. If you have any questions about what you see, feel free to contact me at fluech@ufl.edu.

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Thursday, November 10, 2011

Congrats to our Newest Florida Master Naturalist Graduates

Today my colleague Joy Hazell and I held our final class of our Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP)-Conservation Science Module, and I'm proud to say we now have 14 new graduates to the program! I want to congratulate the class for their accomplishment. They were a great group and I enjoyed getting to know them.
This course is designed to educate people in the concepts, language, and science related to conservation needs, planning, and action. Concepts addressed during the course included species diversity, measuring biodiversity, the processes that generate and maintain biodiversity, types of ecosystem services, ecological processes, habitat fragmentation, effects of human activities on ecosystems, the history of conservation in North America, and strategies for conservation planning.

We were fortunate to have Dr. Marty Main, the FMNP creator and coordinator to be our guest lecturer today. He gave a great presentation on Conservation Strategies for Sustainable Ecosystems.. He also came along with us on our field trip to Pepper Ranch Preserve, which is an absolutely beautiful property managed by Collier County's Conservation Collier Program. Christal Segura, who is an Environmental Specialist with the program gave us a great tour of the property. It was a beautiful day, and an excellent way to finish the class.
Again, congratulations to our new graduates!!! Enjoy the pictures.

A 2-minute presentation on the biodiversity of lichens found on a single branch
An awesome explanation of how habitat fragmentation can negatively affect genetic diversity

FMNP students participate in a role play activity where they serve as an advisory committee who must come to consensus about the acquisition of conservation lands in a fictitious county.

Guest lecturer Dr. Marty Main, and his characteristic machete.
Christal Segura, Environmental Specialist with Conservation Collier provides the class with an overview of the Pepper Ranch Preserve.

One of many wetlands found at Pepper Ranch Preserve

Pastureland at Pepper Ranch

Christal talking to the group about cattle production at Pepper Ranch

Christal shows the group an area where invasive Brazilian Pepper plants were removed from a hardwood hammock habitat.

An oil rig at Pepper Ranch

One of many deer seen today!
The homestead that once belonged to the Pepper family.

Nothing like ice cream to celebrate completing the Florida Master Naturalist Program!

Enjoying ice cream a Tierra Caliente Paleteria in Immokalee, FL