ECOLOGY AND NATURAL RESOURCES EDUCATION
The Ecology and Natural Resources Education Program fosters connections with and conservation of our ecosystems, through education about the area’s diverse natural resources.
Areas of focus
Click on a program below to learn more about it (show all items).
Multiple public programs for youth and adults regarding conservation and wildlife
- Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP)
- Suncoast Master Naturalist chapter
- Project WILD trainings, partner with Fla. Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission
- “Learning in Florida's Environment” (LIFE), partnering with Florida State Parks and Friends of Florida State Parks.
Our free "Learning in Florida’s Environment" (LIFE) program brings students to public conservation lands for science-based environmental education, reinforcing existing Florida curricula and science standards. Available to students in grades 4-5 (with future plans to expand to grades 6-8), schools pay only the cost to provide transportation and lunch for their students.
Through LIFE, students take part in three field excursions each school year, acting as wildlife biologists, ornithologists, entomologists, marine scientists, horticulturalists, and other roles that bring science and scientific careers closer to them. Labs also may address local environmental issues and how students can affect change.
Current field locations for our LIFE program include:
- Myakka River State Park (freshwater – in the fall);
- Oscar Scherer State Park (uplands – in the winter); and
- Lemon Bay Preserve (coastal – in the spring).
UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County and Sarasota County School District staff have collaborated to modify a program launched in 2004 and originally intended for grades 6-8 to make it accessible and meaningful also for grades 4-5. Teachers in the program receive an e-book guide developed for each module, complete with background information and post-trip literacy extensions for the classroom.
The non-profit Friends of Florida State Parks organization supervises the LIFE program, originally developed in 2004 by the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection. UF/IFAS Extension Sarasota County delivers the program in Sarasota County.…view this item…
Presentations, information, or assistance
- Promoting backyard wildlife habitats and creating wildlife corridors
- Human-wildlife interactions and minimizing nuisance wildlife issues
- Native and invasive plants in natural areas