Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Apalachicola Research Reserve offers Fall Panhandle Habitat Courses



APALACHICOLA - The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve will offer three day long classes from the popular Panhandle Habitat Series. The Estuaries class will be offered on Thursday, October 9, 2014, from 8:45am-4:30pm. This course explores the ecology, geology, and economic importance of the Apalachicola Bay Estuary.  Attendees will learn about habitats found in the bay, the fascinating plants and animals that inhabit the estuary, plus regulatory and conservation issues.  Be prepared to spend part of the day in the classroom and the afternoon on the ANERR boat the Tideline trawling, sampling bottom sediments, and exploring life in the oyster beds. 

The Barrier Islands Class, scheduled for Tuesday October 28, 2014, 8:45am-4:30pm, will explore various island habitats, common plants and animals found on barrier islands, waves and currents, hurricanes, human impacts, island and dune formation, erosion and regulatory issues. Dr. Christopher Williams with the Florida Geological Survey is scheduled to lead the geology segment of the course and Plant Taxonomist Dr. Loren Anderson, Professor Emeritus at FSU, will lead the ecological field study in the afternoon at the St. George Island State Park where we will seine in the Gulf, explore beach and the intertidal benthic habitats, and examine interesting species found on the island.

The Rivers & Floodplains class, held Thursday, November 13, 2014, from 8:45am-4:30pm,explores the ecology, geology, and natural history of the rivers and floodplains of the Florida Panhandle focused mainly on the Apalachicola River and Floodplain. Other types of river systems will also be discussed. Attendees will learn about the rich diversity of animals and plants found in the river and surrounding floodplain of the Apalachicola system and their connection to the bay. Be prepared to spend part of the day in the classroom and part in the field on our boat the Tideline exploring the river and walking in the floodplain. 

These professional level classes are intended for coastal decision makers such as elected officials, permitting staff, eco-tour operators, consultants, ecologists, park rangers, planners, developers, volunteer organizations and concerned citizens.  All classes will be held from 8:45 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. (Eastern Time) beginning at the Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center, 108 Island Drive in Eastpoint, Florida, 32328. Registration is required. You MUST register no later than five days before the class. Register ASAP as space is very limited.  Cost: $15.00 per person per class payable to Friends of the Reserve, mail to: 108 Island Drive, Eastpoint, FL 32328. 

To register or for more information contact Anita Grove at (850) 670-7708 or Margo Posten at (850) 670-7719 or via email Margaret.posten@dep.state.fl.us or Anita.Grove@dep.state.fl.us.