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This Week in FFL

“Nature will bear the closest inspection.  She invites us to lay our eye level with her smallest leaf, and take an insect view of its plan.” – Henry David Thoreau

Are you interested in getting an “insect view” of the flora and fauna around you, and learning how humans interrelate with the larger ecosystem?  If so, a Florida Master Naturalist class may be for you.  This course is for anyone interested in learning more about Florida’s natural environment—participants have ranged from college students and professors to birding and hiking enthusiasts, to interested retirees who want to play active roles in the community. 

A local landowner discusses fire ecology in pines with ecotour participants.

The last few weeks, we have been planning for an upcoming Florida Master Naturalist class focusing on Uplands.  The “Wetlands” and “Coastal” modules of this program have been very popular courses, but this will be our very first offering of “Uplands” in Escambia and Santa Rosa Counties.  At first glance, uplands may seem less exciting than the charismatic sea life seen in our coastal class or the freshwater streams of our wetlands course. However, there are many fascinating aspects of the local hardwood and pine forests, including rare animal species and unusual plant adaptations that make the Panhandle of Florida one of the most biodiverse regions of the country.

We will start our course on Tuesday, September 11 and meet for consecutive Tuesdays through October 30.  With cooler temperatures and less rain, fall is one of the very best times to explore the area’s forests.  Master Naturalist courses are designed to get participants out into the great outdoors, and 4 field trips to the Roy Hyatt Center, E.O Wilson Biophilia Center, Eglin AFB, and Blackwater State Forest will be included.  Stay tuned for a link to registration information, or contact me directly at ctsteven@ufl.edu or 850-475-5230.

Permanent link to this article: http://escambia.ifas.ufl.edu/ffl/2012/08/08/this-week-in-ffl-2/