Volusia County is a natural wonderland and is home to a vast array of biodiversity and aesthetically pleasing habitats. Inland, Volusia County has conservation lands which are part of a statewide effort to provide a wildlife corridor and natural habitat where bear, deer and other wildlife live and thrive in the wild. Many of these lands consist of upland habitats. These upland systems offer a habitat for many of our endemic species. Preservation and educational efforts are important to help educate both current and new residents of the state. One way the University of Florida/IFAS Extension Volusia County office helps educate the public is by offering the Florida Master Naturalist Program.
The Florida Master Naturalist Program: Upland Systems
The mission of the Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP) is to promote awareness, understanding, and respect of Florida’s natural world among Florida’s citizens and visitors. This adult educational program was developed by the University of Florida and benefits individuals interested in learning more about Florida’s environment or wishing to increase their knowledge for use in education programs. Graduates of the program often serve as local volunteers, employees, ecotourism guides, and in other educational roles. The FMNP consists of three core modules: Freshwater Wetlands, Coastal Systems, and Upland Habitats.
Upland systems in Florida include hardwood forests, Xeric pine forests, various scrub. dry prairies, rangeland, and the rock-lands of the extreme southern tip of the state. Each one of these systems contribute to the unique and diverse ecosystems that Florida has to offer. The FMNP Uplands course provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetations types, wildlife, and conservation issues that affect each one of these systems. Participants will learn through classroom education, field trips, and practical experiences. The program also addresses society’s role in upland systems, helps participants establish and develop naturalist interpretation skills, and have discussions in regards to environmental ethics.
If you are interested in joining our next FMNP course please visit this link or contact the Agriculture and Natural Resources Agent, Kalan Taylor at (386) 822-5778 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
To view pictures from our courses please visit the Volusia County Facebook page @VCExtension.