Name: Savanna Barry
Position: Regional Specialized Extension Agent II
Hometown: Beaverdam, VA
Years with UF/IFAS: 6
Describe your role at UF/IFAS: As an Extension Agent, I work on coastal issues in the Nature Coast. I serve residents, businesses, and local governments by helping them implement science-based practices. My work focuses on:
- Improving personal or business practices to protect coastal resources, such as targeting certain boating and fishing skills or helping people make more sustainable decisions.
- Helping state and local officials improve policy and management actions through providing data, analysis, or technical assistance.
Tell us about your experience with the Florida Master Naturalist Program. I have been a lead instructor with the Florida Master Naturalist Program since 2017. I have served as the primary instructor for six courses and co-taught two more in Levy, Citrus, Hernando, Taylor, and Alachua counties. I’ve also taught Coastal Systems, Coastal Shoreline Restoration, Habitat Evaluation, and Marine Habitat Restoration. I lead the development of the curriculum for the Marine Habitat Restoration course, and I also led two train-the-trainer workshops for other FMNP instructors as part of launching that curriculum.
Why are programs like FMNP important to Florida? There are many people who move to Florida from other parts of the country. FMNP is an extremely important platform to reach those new residents and teach them about the many parts of Florida’s natural systems! The FMNP is also a valuable tool to train volunteers, ecotour leaders, and other people who educate visitors and residents to create a powerful multiplier effect.
Tell us a neat fact you learned through the FMNP. Coming from a coastal science background, it was really interesting to learn about the densitometer and other forest habitat evaluation techniques.
What’s your favorite FMNP course? Why? Well, I am partial to the Marine Habitat Restoration course since I led the creation of the curriculum! It also covers my favorite habitat, seagrasses. A close second, though, is the Coastal Shoreline Restoration course. It helps empower people to make better decisions for coastal properties that will help Florida be more resilient in the long run.