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NATA in its 19th year of operation in 2018

 

2018 marks the 19th year of operation for the Natural Areas Training Academy (NATA). Last year in 2017, NATA hosted 6 different workshops that were attended by 145 participants, representing 49 organizations! In addition, NATA reached an important milestone—over 150 (151 to be exact) people have completed the five-workshop series and earned their Certificate in Natural Areas Management! To learn more about how to obtain this certificate, visit our website here.

Prescribed burn training at UF’s Ordway Swisher property. UF/IFAS Photo: Tyler Jones.

Land managers in Florida face unique challenges due to the region’s unique climate, hydrology, and the prevalence of fire-maintained ecosystems. NATA was created in response to the need to develop a standardized training program for land managers in the state of Florida. Multi-day workshops based on various sustainable management topics provide participants with the knowledge and skills needed to solve complex environmental issues.

We are excited to host many of the same workshops again this year, as well as some that weren’t offered in 2017. The best way to stay informed as to when specific workshops are offered is to join the NATA listserv here. We will be finalizing dates and sending out registration advertisements in the very near future. Below are two workshops that will be held this spring!

Managing for Diversity across Florida’s Unique Landscapes

Workshop participants in a cypress swamp. Photo: NATA.

This workshop will tentatively be held at Morningside Nature Center and Longleaf Flatwoods Preserve in Gainesville. This workshop builds an understanding of management and restoration approaches for conserving and promoting biodiversity. Participants gain field experience collecting data to evaluate upland restoration success and assess wetland health, as well as learn invasive species prioritization.

Managing Visitors and Volunteers in Natural Areas

Workshop participants learn the value of informational kiosks. Photo: NATA

This 2-day workshop will  be held at Gold Head Branch State Park near Keystone Heights. Workshop participants increase their understanding of how to plan recreation opportunities in natural areas, as well as increase their understanding of the benefits and challenges associated with using volunteers to manage natural resources. An online (8 hour; self-paced) component is required prior to attending the in-person training. Participants stay in the park’s cabins and gather around an evening campfire for lively conversation and networking.

Interested? Contact us if you have any questions at: nata@ifas.ufl.edu.