2024 Master Naturalist Conservation Science Bioblitzes

Florida Master Naturalist students participating in the 2024 Conservation Science course taught by Extension Agents Ken Gioeli and Andrea Lazzari are bioblitzing. This list is a living document and will be updated throughout January and February 2024. Students will use iNaturalist to observe the plants and animals at environmental preserves around Florida. This iNaturalist app is a powerful geomatics application that empowers users to make observations that can contribute to biodiversity science, from the rarest butterfly to the most common backyard weed.

Master Naturalist Bioblitzes 

George LeStrange Preserve (St. Lucie County)

Goethe State Forest (Levy County)

Hillsborough River State Park (Hillsborough County)

Jonathan Dickinson State Park (Martin County)

Jupiter Inlet Lighthouse Outstanding Natural Area (Palm Beach County)

Lakeside Ranch STA (Martin County)

Lettuce Lake Park (Hillsborough County)

Melville Road Stormwater Treatment Area (St. Lucie County)

Miramar Pinelands Park (Broward County)

Nathaniel P. Reed Hobe Sound National Wildlife Refuge (Martin/Palm Beach County)

Oxbow Eco-center (St. Lucie County)

Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park (Alachua County)

Savannas Recreation Area (St. Lucie County)

Sea Branch Preserve State Park (Martin County)

Toni Robinson Waterfront Trail (Indian River County)

Wabasso Scrub Conservation Area (Indian River County)

More to come


Quick photo tips for Master Naturalist observers

  • Take close-ups if possible.
  • Safety first. No sneaking up on gators or other dangerous critters.
  • Make sure photos are IN FOCUS.
  • Check the photo after you have taken it.
  • Retake the photo if it does not appear to be sharp and in focus.
  • If your camera is having a lot of trouble focusing, try moving your camera back slightly to get the best focus.
  • Best lighting for your photos – Try to have the sun at your back.
  • Tip: in bright direct light, try shading small plants with your body or a backpack.
  • Put a coin next to flowers, insects to show size.

Making observations

  • Decide on what biodiversity you have interest in.
  • Observations of the same types of plants and animals are ok
  • Take photos that are in focus and show details (color, size, # petals, etc)
  • Geospatial data uploaded to iNaturalist automatically
  • Map of site with observations can be generated on iNaturalist
  • If you don’t know name of plant or animal, just type “plant” or “animal”

About this Florida Master Naturalist Conservation Science Course

The 2024 Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) Conservation Science course provides 24 hours of educational coursework in a hybrid format including presentations, in-person, and on-your-own field activities. This course is designed to educate people in the concepts, language, and science related to conservation needs, planning, and action. People that complete this course will better understand the complexities of conservation, which will make them both better educators and participants in local conservation efforts. This course will cover concepts such as 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.

Conservation Science is divided into three sections: Biological Diversity, Ecosystems Integrity, and Conservation Strategies. The lead Florida Master Naturalist Instructor is Ken Gioeli, Extension Agent IV/Natural Resources & Environment. Associate instructor is Andrea Lazzari with the UF/IFAS Extension Indian River County.

Upon completion of the course, participants receive Conservation Science certification, complete with certificate, patch, and pin from the University of Florida.  Extension programs are open to all persons without regard to race, color, sex, age, disability, sexual orientation, religion, or national origin.


Examples of other Florida Master Naturalist Bioblitzes

Spruce Bluff Preserve BioBlitz · iNaturalist

Spruce Bluff Bioblitz
The UF/IFAS Extension St. Lucie County’s Florida Master Naturalist Program features a new iNaturalist Bioblitz at Spruce Bluff Preserve.


2023 Bicycle Iguana-thon · iNaturalist

Iguanathon Bioblitz. Screen capture and photo credits: K. Gioeli, UF/IFAS




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Posted: January 23, 2024

Category: Agriculture, Coasts & Marine, Conservation, Forests, Invasive Species, NATURAL RESOURCES, Wildlife

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