PROGRAMS



FRIDAY, OCTOBER 14, 2016

PF1-2 Butterflies
10:00 am – 10:45 am     Modular 11
Speaker: Marc Minno Ph.D.

Dr. Minno received a Bachelor’s degree in entomology from Purdue University, a Master’s in entomology from the University of California at Davis, and a Ph.D. in zoology from the University of Florida. For 21 years Marc worked as a wetland scientist for the St. Johns River Water Management District in Palatka, Florida. He now is an ecologist with Maria Minno’s home-based environmental and education consulting firm, Eco-Cognizant, Inc. Dr. Minno has written or co-authored many scientific and popular articles on butterflies and moths.



PF1-3 Dragonflies
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 11
Speaker: Paul Trunk

Paul has been watching dragonflies since 1986 and has given many presentations on the Dragonflies of West Central Florida to groups throughout the years. He has completed dragonfly surveys throughout Pinellas County and conducts regular walks at Brooker Creek Preserve on odonates.


Program:

Dragonflies are commonly seen but may be the least understood of any of our flying creatures. Paul will be presenting a program on the biology and natural history of dragonflies found in west central Florida. He will also show some of the more common species seen in our area.


PF2-3 Birds of Prey
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 12
Speaker: Dianna Flynt

Dianna Flynt has been a professional avian rehabilitator in Florida since 1974. She began her career at Suncoast Seabird Sanctuary in Indian Shores, Florida. Dianna joined Audubon Center for Birds of Prey in Maitland, Florida in 1989. She is the Rehabilitation Supervisor and permittee at the Center, which receives some 800+ raptor patients annually and maintains 50 resident raptors for education. She is a Board Member of the Florida Wildlife Rehabilitators Association (FWRA) and Florida Wildlife Alert Reward Program for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission.

Program:

Audubon Center for Birds of Prey has been rehabilitating raptors since 1979. This presentation isn’t about how to rehab raptors; it’s about what a raptor needs to survive in the wild and the special adaptations required for each species.


PF1-4 Bird Watching Basics: An Introduction to a Lifetime of Feathery Adventure
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Jim Cox

Jim Cox heads up the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy near Tallahassee. The lab studies the relationships between the use of controlled fire and the habitat needs of the many declining bird species associated with southern pine forests and grasslands.

Program:

Bird watching is a rapidly growing outdoor activity pursued by old and young alike. This presentation provides an overview of some of the tools needed to get you started in this great activity and also the key processes skilled birders use to identify different species.


PF2-4 Conservation of the Swallow-tailed Kite: A hemisphere of dramatic ecology and pressing concerns
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 12
Speaker: Ken Meyer, Ph.D.

In the course of conducting 38 years of field research and producing management and conservation plans, Meyer and his team have captured, radio-tagged, and studied the behavior and ecology of over 830 individuals of 17 species in eastern Canada, Maine, North Carolina, Florida, Georgia, Mexico, Belize, Brazil, Bahamas, British Virgin Islands, and Jamaica.

Program:

The intricate and captivating ecology of the small, genetically distinct U. S. population of Swallow-tailed Kites includes a compact nesting cycle in the Southeast, where essential habitats are rapidly disappearing; a winter range now dominated by industrial agriculture; and over 10,000 miles of naturally-dangerous migrations further threatened by our impacts on global environments. Learn what ARCI has discovered since 1988 with its ground-breaking, year-round research on the conservation biology of this stunning species.


PF3-4 The Warblers of Central Florida
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Ken Tracey

After retiring from business Ken has pursued his lifelong hobby of bird watching. He is past president of the West Pasco Audubon Society and has been involved with many citizen science projects. His hobby has evolved into the collection of data and the publication of manuscripts pertaining to central Florida warbler migrations in the fall and spring.

Program:

The variety of warbler species of central Florida changes with the seasons. Finding them involves studying the effects of weather, knowing their migration timing, learning their preferred habitats, and locating food sources. This presentation will reveal some of these “warbler secrets”.


PF4-4 Florida Scrub-Jay – Nowhere Else in the World
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: Marianne Korosy, Ph.D.

Marianne Korosy began working for Audubon Florida in 2009. Her work is focused on shorebird and seabird conservation. In addition, she coordinates the statewide Jay Watch program. Marianne has a Master's degree in Geology from FSU and a PhD in Conservation Biology from the University of Central Florida. Her doctoral research focused on the winter ecology of Grasshopper, Henslow's, and of the Bachman's Sparrows at Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park.

Program:

Florida Scrub-Jays are Florida’s only truly native bird. They breed nowhere else in the world. But today, their population is just 10% of what it was 200 years ago. Marianne Korosy of Audubon Florida is among the people working to save the jays. She coordinates the Jay Watch program, which monitors Florida Scrub-Jays and restores their habitat in places like the Lake Wales Ridge Important Bird Area. “It’s about making a difference on one property at a time,” she says.


PF5-4 Top Tips for Tempting Pollinators
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: Nanette O’Hara

Nanette O’Hara has served as the Public Outreach Coordinator for the Tampa Bay Estuary Program since 1998. She is responsible for communicating how residents can contribute to the restoration of Tampa Bay in their own everyday actions and lifestyles. Among the innovative education campaigns she has developed are the “Be Floridian” campaign supporting local fertilizer use restrictions, and the “Pooches for the Planet” pet waste education program. Nanette is a Master Gardener volunteer for Hillsborough County Extension, avid nature photographer, saltwater fly angler and a native plant enthusiast who loves to promote “Gardening Like a Floridian.”

Program:

If you plant it, they will come! But what to plant, and when, and exactly WHAT will come? This interactive presentation will highlight simple tips for attracting bees, butterflies, moths and beneficial wasps to your own piece of Florida paradise. The talk will highlight a recommended “Pollinator Palette” of specific wildflowers, trees, and shrubs for West Central Florida landscapes. Florida alone has 316 native bee species – come learn how even tiny urban habitats can help support these critically important engines of food production!


PF1-5 Birding by Ear
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Paddy Cunningham

Paddy Cunningham has been a Naturalist in South Florida for 35 years. Her passion is birds and she teaches a variety of bird classes to help birders gain advanced skills at numerous festivals, Bonnet House and Flamingo Gardens. Her motto is “YOU LEARN THE I.D.”. Paddy’s company Birding Adventures takes small groups of birders throughout Florida, U.S. and the tropics-Jamaica, Bahamas and more. She calls her trips “INTENSE BIRDING at a RELAXED PACE. She is the Coordinator of the Everglades Birding Festival in its 9th year. Paddy is a popular speaker and guide at Florida birding festivals-Big O, Fairchild Gardens, Wings & Wildflowers and the Everglades Birding Festival. Despite being a Busy Mom and a full time Gifted Science Teacher in 2008 during a BIG YEAR she was 1st in Florida, 20th in the Lower 48 states and 27th overall for the A.B.A. area. Her passion is teaching you to become a better birder, while finding the birds you seek.

Program:

The good news every bird has its own unique calls and that is the bad news too. Advanced birders use songs and calls to identify and locate the birds they seek. Learn some basic techniques such as repetition, word association, family groups, sound type, connecting sound and sight. The informative power point will also include handouts.


PF2-5 Owls in Myth and Culture
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 12
Speaker: David Johnson, M.S.

Originally from Minnesota, David has worked in the natural resources field for 39 years. He began working internationally in 2001. He and his wife now live in Virginia.

Program:

Every society on earth has beliefs about owls. The staff of the Global Owl Project conducted interviews with people in 30 countries to ask them exactly what they know (in terms of myths and stories about owls) and then asked them if they actually believed them. This scientific approach is pulling back the curtain on owl myths and offering some unique insights into societal beliefs, the evolution of those beliefs, and the implications for conservation. The answers ranged from all over the map, literally and figuratively – from the concept that owls are dangerous spirits (not birds) who can take your soul to the ideal that owls represent the Creator Being who started the earth. Dr. Johnson’s presentation delves deeply into beliefs about owls – and how societies change their beliefs over time (or not).


PF3-5 Eagle and Eagle Watch Project
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Reinier Munguia

Reinier Munguia is a Cuban-born naturalist. He offers educational programs about nature and conservation and guides expeditionsto exciting destinations including the Galapagos Islands and the rainforests of Costa Rica, Panama and Puerto Rico. He currently serves as the Audubon EagleWatch Program Coordinator a citizen science program that monitors Bald Eagles nests productivity in Florida.

Program:

The Bald Eagle is perhaps the best example of an endangered species recovered from the brink of extinction through protection and conservation. Learn about the natural history of Florida's Bald Eagles and their current status. The Audubon Eagle Watch Program is a citizen science program dedicated to collect data on nesting eagles in Florida. The data is shared with wildlife agencies and the private sector in a effort to reduce nest disturbances and provide avian safe alternatives.


PF4-5 Roseate Spoonbills
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: Mark Rachal

Mark Rachal has worked for Audubon's Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries since 2006 and is currently the Sanctuary Manager. His duties include bird surveys, habitat management, and bird sanctuary conservation. Mark has led shoreline restoration and erosion control projects at the Alafia Bank Bird Sanctuary, Green Key Bird Sanctuary, and Whiskey Stump Key Bird Sanctuary. Mark has a Bachelor of Science degree from Davidson College and conducted graduate work at Eastern Michigan University. Mark participated in the Roseate Spoonbill banding project in Tampa Bay and has surveyed and managed many of the waterbird colonies along the Gulf Coast of Florida. He is a member of the US Fish and Wildlife Service's Reddish Egret Working Group and the American Oystercatcher Working Group.



PF5-5 Restoring Habitat in Your Urban Backyard
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: George Kish

George R. Kish is a part-time instructor at St. Petersburg College, Seminole campus, and an affiliate of the USA-National Phenology Network. He is a co-author of the second edition of The Right Native Plants for Dry Places and Native Florida Plants for Drought- and Salt-Tolerant Landscaping. George is a frequent lecturer on such topics as native plant gardening, Florida ecology, and phenology. He collaborates with federal and state agencies, botanical gardens, universities, middle schools, high schools, and nature centers to engage the public in citizen scientist activities. George has been active in the Florida Native Plant Society for many years, serving in local and state-wide leadership roles.

Program:

Urbanization in Florida continues at an alarming rate. Suburbia and urban areas wreak havoc on natural ecosystems. We can take small steps to make a huge, collective impact on residential ecosystems by starting with your patch of backyard. This talk will give you the basics for transforming your yard into as oasis for wildlife. The trick is to figure out what your yard was before it became a yard. Uncover the original ecosystem and begin the journey to restore your patch of earth. Learn about rebuilding the original plant biodiversity framework for your own field of dreams – build the habitat and they will come!


PF1-6 Birds on the Beach
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Adam Kent

An anhinga spurred Adam’s passion for birds when he was five years old. Since then, a love of sharing his enthusiasm about the natural world has led Adam to work on a variety of environmental projects including as a naturalist guide, developing the educational program Bird Detective, assessing sites for the Great Florida Birding Trail, and working as the state’s first Scrub-Jay Conservation Coordinator. Adam is President of the Florida Ornithological Society and serves as a County Coordinator for Florida’s second Breeding Bird Atlas.

Program:

You see them all the time - running in the surf, perched on pilings and soaring over the water. If you think they are nondescript grayish variations on the same theme, you are only partially correct. Have fun learning identification and natural history of the common but often difficult-to-identify birds found on Florida's beaches. What's the difference between a tern and a gull, or a sandpiper and a plover? Where does the willet fit in? Explore their variations and sort through some of the subtleties of their shapes and behaviors in this look at our fascinating birds of the beach.


PF2-6 Florida's Bald Eagles - Management and Monitoring
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 12
Michelle van Deventer

As the Bald Eagle Management Plan Coordinator for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation, Michelle van Deventer is responsible for statewide conservation actions to support the FWC’s goal of maintaining a stable or increasing population of bald eagles throughout the state in perpetuity. She has held this position since 2010, and previously worked on FWC’s Imperiled Species Management Plan process. Ms. van Deventer holds a Master of Science degree in Biological Oceanography from the University of South Florida, having studied the impacts of harmful algal blooms on sea and shore birds. A native of New England, her undergraduate degree is from the University of Vermont and she has lived in Sarasota, Florida with her husband and daughter since 1998.

Program:

"Florida's Bald Eagles - Management and Monitoring" - a history of Florida's bald eagle population. Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation's current management and monitoring efforts, and the next steps in the continued conservation of this species.


PF3-6 Bluebirds and Boxes
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Mary Miller

Mary Miller is a Missouri native, University of Missouri and University of South Florida graduate and has lived in Panama, Delaware, and Puerto Rico before settling in Tampa 38 years ago. Mary began her professional career as an elementary teacher and ended as the Recycling Coordinator for the Pasco County School District. She lives with her husband, John, and eagerly jumped at the chance to monitor the Flatwoods Park Bluebird Trail when she retired eleven years ago. She is a member of the Suncoast Native Plant Society, Tampa Audubon Society, a Friends of the Library bookstore volunteer, and is an avid birdwatcher, traveler, and gardener.

Program:

The North American bluebirds are cavity nesters and their numbers seriously declined when the English house sparrow was introduced in 1851 and took over their nesting cavities. This presentation tells of the remarkable recovery of the bluebird through conservation efforts of individuals and the North American Bluebird Society, which instituted the concept of bluebird trails. The Tampa Audubon Society maintains 51 bluebird boxes at Flatwoods Park along the seven-mile walking/biking/skating trail. Even though the trail has been there for 40 years, it has just been monitored for the last 11 years and this presentation will give you the very encouraging results.


PF4-6 History and Land Management at Duette Preserve
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: Mike Elswick



PF5-6 Native Plants to Feed & Attract Birds
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: Shirley Denton, Ph.D.

Dr. Shirley Denton holds a PhD in Forest Ecology. Her specialties include plant ecology, forest ecology, wildlife habitats, environmental planning, and endangered species evaluations. She is also an accomplished nature photographer and has an extensive collection of images of Florida native plants. She is past president and science chair of the Florida Native Plant Society (FNPS), and currently serves as the FNPS Communications Chair, and is a board member of the Suncoast Native Plant Society. Her willingness to share her vast botanical knowledge and experience has made her invaluable to educating others on the importance of Florida’s native plant communities.

Program:

Why leave the house to see birds when you can attract them to you, and benefit the environment while you do it? Shirley will talk about native trees, shrubs and flowers that will bring birds to your yard without the need for bird feeders. Many native plants provide nourishing seeds and fruits coveted by birds and wildlife, as well as provide places to nest or find cover. Learn about natives that will attract a variety of birds seasonally and year-round. With Shirley’s expert photography skills, this presentation is sure to have lots of images of the plants she recommends.


SATURDAY, OCTOBER 15, 2016

PS1-1 Identifying Non-marine Turtles of the Tampa Bay Region
9:00 am – 9:45 am     Modular 11
Speaker: George Heinrich

George L. Heinrich is a field biologist and environmental educator with a specialty in Florida reptiles. His company, Heinrich Ecological Services, is based in St. Petersburg, Florida and conducts wildlife surveys and research, natural history programming, and nature-based tours.



Program:

Turtles are ecologically important and visible elements in many ecosystems. Have you ever watched turtles basking on a log or nesting along a trail and wondered which species you were observing? There are only 13 non-marine turtle species that occur in the Tampa Bay region and for the most part they can be easily identified. Attendees will learn basic identification techniques that will enhance their ventures into the field.


PS1-2 Alligator: Iconic Creatures of Southern Wetlands
10:00 am – 10:45 am     Modular 11
Speaker: Kent Vliet, Ph.D.

Kent Vliet is a crocodilian biologist in the Department of Biology at the University of Florida. He has studied alligators and crocodiles for more than 35 years and has had the opportunity to work with all of the living crocodilian species. He has studied many aspects of crocodilian biology including behavior, ecology, embryonic metabolism, anatomy, parasites and disease, and hormonal aspects of reproduction and stress. His current research includes characterizing plasma proteins involved in the crocodilian immune system, and describing new cryptic species of crocodiles. Dr. Vliet’s research has been widely featured on television and in print including wildlife documentaries for National Geographic, Discovery, Animal Planet, BBC and others.

Program:

The American alligator is an iconic figure in the natural ecology of Florida. Alligators are found throughout the state, often in surprisingly large numbers. Dr. Kent Vliet will talk about the alligator in Florida, its biology, behavior, and its importance to the ecology of Florida's wetlands. He’ll also discuss new research findings about these ancient creatures, management programs, and ways to co-exist safely with these large reptiles.


PS3-2 40 Years of Counting Florida’s Butterflies
9:00 am – 9:45 am     Modular 13
Speaker: Don Stillwaugh

Don Stillwaugh has been a field biologist for over 30 years. He has participated in numerous projects and specializes in studying the distributions, life histories and habitat requirements of a wide variety of insects as well as reptiles and amphibians. He co-founded the Illinois Butterfly Monitoring Network in the late 1980’s. He currently serves as a Florida editor for the NABA Butterfly Count Program and has participated in over 200 counts in Florida.

Program:

The North American Butterfly Association (NABA) administers a Butterfly Count Program patterned after the Audubon Christmas Bird Counts. Florida leads the country in number of counts held each year. Over the history of the program thousands of volunteers have participated on hundreds of Florida Counts tallying tens of thousands of individual butterflies. The data gleaned from these Counts adds to our knowledge of butterfly distribution, phenology and conservation status.


PS1-3 Exotic Reptiles
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 11
Speaker: Tessie Offner

Tessie is currently seeking her master's degree through the University of Florida's Wildlife Ecology and Conservation department in the Johnson lab. She has spent the past three years studying a population of non-native black and white tegus near Riverview, Florida as a biologist for the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission. She graduated from the University of Tampa in 2012 where she began her work on tegus and other non-natives. She is passionate about public participation in science.

Program:

Human activity has brought many non-native reptiles to Florida. These reptiles may cause harm to native common and imperiled species, but you can help protect our wildlife! Learn how to recognize non-native reptiles, discover how they're able to survive in Florida and why they are so difficult to remove. Join with other citizen scientists and acquire the skills to report non-native reptiles in our state.


PS2-3 Migration Challenges
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 12
Speaker: Nancy Murrah

Nancy Murrah is the COO of Tampa Bay Raptor Rescue. Since January 2016 they have rescued over 450 birds with a focus on Birds of Prey or Raptors. Nancy and her team spend countless hours and drive unbelievable distances to make sure rescued birds get the best care possible to be able to be returned to the wild. She is 2nd Vice President of Tampa Audubon and the Coordinator for Hillsborough County for Audubon's EagleWatch Program, keeping track of our local Bald Eagle population. Additional she participates in Audubon's Citizen Science programs Jay Watch and Colony Watch. When she is not out rescuing birds, you can catch her at one of our local parks, like Lettuce Lake, teaching children, of all ages, how to be good stewards of our wildlife and land.

Program:

Come and experience many of the challenges that our feathered friends face during migration. This is a fun and interactive program for all ages!


PS3-3 Ants
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 13
Speaker: George Shambaugh, Ph.D.

George F. Shambaugh, Ph.D., is professor emeritus of the Department of Entomology, Ohio State University. Before entering academia, Dr. Shambaugh conducted human physiology research for the U.S. Army. At Ohio State, his teaching and research focus was invertebrate physiology and biochemistry. Now in retirement, Dr. Shambaugh offers instruction on plants and animals as a volunteer at the Hillsborough County’s Camp Bayou Outdoor Learning Center and serves on the board of Bayou Outdoor Learning and Discovery, Inc.

Program:

Florida has more species of ants than any other state. Although most kinds of ants are beneficial to the ecosystems in which they live, a few species will sting people or harm property. Florida residents should be able to recognize the native, helpful species and what distinguishes them from species that are invasive, non-native species.


PS4-3 Grounded - Nature Photography
11:00 am – 11:45 am     Modular 16
Speaker: Bob Croslin

Bob Croslin is a Central Florida commercial and editorial photographer. His work has regularly appeared in Sports Illustrated, Time, Golf Digest, SI Golf, Men’s Fitness, FastCo and other magazines. He’s produced advertising campaigns for Burger King, DirecTV, IMG Academy, Tampa International Airport and Animal Planet. His project Grounded: Winged Survivors of Florida’s Gulf Coast was awarded first place in the 2013 Photograph of the Year International's Science and Natural History picture story category as well as being a featured projection at the 2012 LOOK3 festival. His work has also been recognized by Photo District News, American Photography and the International Color Awards.

Program:

In 2013, St. Petersburg, Florida photographer Bob Croslin’s habit of delivering the injured birds he would discover while cycling or exploring the local landscape to a local nonprofit bird sanctuary took on a gratifying new dimension. He conceived a public service campaign driven by evocative photos of the birds that became full-time residents of the sanctuary. The resulting series, Grounded: Winged Survivors of Florida’s Gulf Coast, helped raise awareness and raise funds for Gulf Coast Bird Rescue and Tri-State Bird Rescue in Delaware, and won first prize in Pictures of the Year International’s Science & Natural History Picture Story category.
Mr. Croslin will speak about the process that led from casual interest to philanthropic collaboration. Approaching the nonprofit, considering potential obstacles or objections, working with promotional professionals and specialists, and remaining true to both the objective and the organization’s voice are all critical elements; the specifics may vary, but Bob’s story provides an excellent opportunity for gaining insight into achieving a personally and professionally successful passion project.


PS1-4 Herons and Egrets of Florida
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Ann Paul

Ann Paul has worked for Audubon’s Florida Coastal Islands Sanctuaries (FCIS) since 1991 and is the Tampa Bay Regional Coordinator. She received a Bachelor of Science degree in biology from Cornell University in New York and Master of Science degree in biology from Trinity University in Texas. She worked for the Texas Nature Conservancy as Assistant Land Steward and Hillsborough County Parks, Recreation and Conservation managing conservation lands. Ms. Paul is an expert in waterbird populations and management of coastal habitats for wildlife, and an active participant in the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service’s Reddish Egret, American Oystercatcher, and Wood Stork Working Groups. She currently serves on the board of the Tampa Bay Conservancy and is past president of the Tampa Audubon Society.

Program:

Among our most easily recognized and most beloved waterbirds, the 12 species of the herons and egrets that live in Florida share some behaviors and life history requirements. However, each species presents unique characteristics and foraging styles which give us insights into their amazing diversity. Ann Paul will share details about this interesting group, including current population status, nesting habits, and the physical and behavioral differences of these beautiful animals.


PS2-4 ELAPP – Florida’s Largest Local Government Environmental Land Program
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 12
Speaker: Ross Dickerson

Ross Dickerson manages the Hillsborough County Environmental Lands Section, which is charged with overseeing lands preserved through the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP). He got his start with ELAPP in 2001 as an environmental technician and never looked back. He holds a Bachelor’s degree in Environmental Studies from Eckerd College and is finishing a Master’s Degree in Park and Resource Management from Slippery Rock University. In addition to ecosystems management, Ross is deeply interested in human-environment interaction, and is passionate about both environmental history and environmental education.

Program:

This presentation will provide an overview of the Jan K. Platt Environmental Lands Acquisition and Protection Program (ELAPP) including the purpose, history, funding sources, and accomplishments. It will also discuss ecosystem services and the benefits (direct or indirect) they have on our lives.


PS3-4 Snags, Woodpiles & Wildlife
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Donna Bollenbach

Donna Bollenbach is passionate about the environment. She translates that passion as a nature photographer, writer, and through her involvement with local and state environmental organizations. As an avid hiker and camper, she has visited nearly all of the Hillsborough County ELLAP sites, and many of the county and state parks. She is currently President of the Suncoast Native Plant Society, Vice-chair of the Florida Native Plant Society Council of Chapters and treasurer of Friends of Kissimmee Prairie Preserve State Park. Donna also completed the Florida Master Naturalist Wetland module. She has taught workshops on nature photography and is the author of many articles on native plants, nature travel, and environmental topics.

Program:

Do you like woodpeckers, owls, kestrels, nuthatches and bluebirds? If your answer is yes, don’t cut down that SNAG! SNAGS, often referred to as “The Wildlife Tree”, are dead tree trunks that are still standing. They provide shelter, perches, food and nesting sites for over 40 species of birds in Florida, as well as dozens of mammals, reptiles and amphibians. Along with snags, fallen logs and brush piles are beneficial to wildlife. Not only do they provide places to hide from predators, but the decaying wood is rich in food sources, such as fungi, ants, and grubs. Wildlife also uses dead wood as landmarks for navigation, basking platforms, perching and nesting. Learn which birds, and other animals, benefit from dead wood, and how to safely provide snags and woodpiles in your landscape to attract, shelter and feed them.


PS4-4 Cavity Nesting Birds Photography
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: Marina Scarr

Marina Scarr is an award-winning, published nature photographer and certified Florida Master Naturalist based in Sarasota. Her focus is on avian subjects which she strives to capture depicting behaviors in their natural habitats. She is an avian moderator on the nature photography forum www.birdphotographers.net and finds great joy volunteering “for the birds” through Eagle Watch and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation. You may find a sampling of her work at www.marinascarrphotography.com and https://www.facebook.com/marinascarr.

Program:

Join nature photographer and naturalist Marina Scarr as she shares images of Florida's cavity nesting owls and woodpeckers. She will recount stories from the field, discuss the behaviors, struggles and perils these species face, explain the conservation efforts undertaken for our endangered Red-cockaded Woodpeckers and focus on ethical considerations while in the field photographing them.


PS5-4 Bird Watching Basics: An Introduction to a Lifetime of Feathery Adventure
2:00 pm – 2:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: Jim Cox

Jim Cox heads up the Stoddard Bird Lab at Tall Timbers Research Station & Land Conservancy near Tallahassee. The lab studies the relationships between the use of controlled fire and the habitat needs of the many declining bird species associated with southern pine forests and grasslands

Program:

Bird watching is a rapidly growing outdoor activity pursued by old and young alike. This presentation provides an overview of some of the tools needed to get you started in this great activity and also the key processes skilled birders use to identify different species.


WS Making and Installing Artificial Burrows for Burrowing Owls
3:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Outside
Speaker: David Johnson and David Gordon

Program:

Artificial burrows (ABs) are a tool to provide for the conservation of Burrowing Owls. In this workshop, we will describe the specifics of making, installing, and caring for your ABs and the wonderful owls who reside in them. In addition to having actual burrow components on-site, participants will receive a technical guide covering aspects of AB construction, site selection, installation, maintenance, and what-ifs.


PS1-5 It started with a thread – the History of Bird Banding & How it Aids the Conservation of Migratory Birds
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Jim McGinity

Mr. McGinity is a biologist and environmental educator with a life-long passion for birds. He started bird watching at the age of seven and has shared his love of birds with people of all ages while working at nature/environmental centers in four different states (Indiana, Michigan, Wisconsin and Florida). He began a migratory bird banding station in Milwaukee and has participated in a number of research and citizen science projects involving birds. In 2011, he began a migratory bird banding station in west central Florida (Dunedin) where he bands for 6 weeks every spring and fall. He is very interested in communicating the importance of native plants and healthy ecosystems to resident and migratory birds. A native of Indiana, Mr. McGinity has lived in Dunedin for 12 years where he enjoys exploring Florida's natural areas including paddling rivers/streams and bird watching on our beautiful beaches and in Hammock Park.

After an over 20-year career as an environmental educator in the non-formal world at nature/environmental centers in four states, he now is working in formal education at an environmental charter school (K – 8). He is very interested in collaborating with researchers and banders around the state of Florida to contribute to our knowledge of neotropical migrants and how we can conserve them for the future.

Program:

The practice of banding birds goes back hundreds of years but got its start in North America with John James Audubon in 1803. Come learn the fascinating history of bird banding and how ornithologists use it to learn more about migratory birds and how they can be conserved. Mr. McGinity will share what has been learned in west-central Florida about migratory song birds through his bird banding project in Dunedin.


PS2-5 Bears!
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 12
Speaker: Lisa Östberg

Lisa Östberg is a Wildlife Coexistence Consultant and Everglades advocate. She holds contracts with both Defenders of Wildlife (as their Florida Coexistence Coordinator) and the Florida Fish & Wildlife Conservation Commission (as a Bear Response Agent), and is a past President of Friends of the Florida Panther National Wildlife Refuge.

Her work includes providing education and outreach regarding both black bears and Florida panthers, as well as helping people obtain and construct safety pens to protect their outdoor pets and livestock from local predators (bears, panthers, coyotes, bobcats, foxes, etc.). Her favorite hobbies are photography and hiking, and she enjoys doing both while taking folks out into the woods and swamps with a dual goal of having them gain an increased awareness of the importance of nature to all of us, while also inspiring them to fall in love with the beauty that envelops them. Most of her work in south Florida relates directly to Florida black bears and Florida panthers, although earlier this year she was responsible for a check station of the 2016 Python Challenge. Not one to be satisfied with watching lots of others going out to help remove these invasive predators, she obtained a permit of her own to join the hunt, and did so on two occasions.

Program:

Florida has entered into another cycle of rapid population growth and urban sprawl, commonly put forward to the people of Florida as “development” and “economic opportunity”. More homes. More people. More highways. More businesses. More infrastructure.

The population of black bears within the state has been growing, as well. Unfortunately, our bears are paying a heavy price as a result of increased ‘development’. Between the loss of habitat and increased number of roadways, black bears often find themselves needing to cross busy roads or highways to find food, and the number of road-killed bears has climbed significantly. Those who manage to avoid being killed on the roadways may become nuisance bears after they successfully cross the roads and find themselves in neighborhoods where trash dumpsters or waste cans are both easily accessible and loaded with easy calories.

This talk will provide information about Florida black bears, the areas of the state where they’re most likely to be found, and how we all can do our part to keep ourselves and our bears safe from harm.


PS3-5 Landscaping with Natives
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Troy Springer

Troy Springer, owner of Springer Environmental Services Inc., will talk about what he has learned over his years of experience designing, building, and maintaining eco-friendly landscapes. He will provide advice on how you should approach building and maintaining your property to be aesthetically pleasing, yet functioning properly ecologically. In the talk, you will see many pictures he has taken while building his dream garden for the past 15 years as well as some of the projects he has worked on during his career in the landscape industry.

Troy opened Springer Environmental Services Inc. in 2005 with a whole new brand of landscape style. Today, 98% of all plant materials used in his design and installations are native. In addition to installing landscapes, Troy has developed maintenance strategies specifically for eco-friendly landscapes. He joined The Native Plant Society (FNPS) in 2004, and has been an active member ever since. He served as President for Suncoast for two years, and several years as a board member. Troy was also the Chairperson for the 2012 FNPS Conference held in Plant City, and in 2014 received a Green Palmetto award for service. He recently joined the Board of Directors for FANN (Florida Association of Native Nurseries), and hopes to put in many more years of service to native plant conservation.


PS4-5 What’s for Lunch? Photography
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: Jim Gray

Jim Gray: a well-known local natural photographer, winner of the Grand Prize in Tampa Audubon’s 2012 Photo contest and ranked as a prize winner in the Boyd Hill Nature Preserve's 30th Annual Photography Contest, a Getty Images contributor who has provided images to Audubon and the Southwest Florida Water Management District.

Jim Gray is the third of ten siblings, the first born in St. Petersburg, Florida. His parents drove here from Virginia with two kids in diapers; all their belongings (including some live chickens!) were strapped onto the back of a pickup truck. They settled into a duplex that had once served as a church. His 97 year old father still calls the house home: he shares it from time to time with any number of his 33 grandchildren and 28 great grandchildren.

Growing up in the only structure on the block, and surrounded by wild Florida, nature was in Jim's blood from a very early age; a Kodak Instamatic was his only instrument of photography. Childhood experiences included weekend excursions with family to Lake Maggiore and fishing trips to Mullet Key: Fort DeSoto in those days was accessible only by boat.

It wasn't until he was stationed at Midway Island Naval Station in the early 70's that Jim became a little more serious about photography. Sand and Eastern Islands, part of the Northwest Hawaiian Island chain, are situated on a coral atoll: Midway has since been designated a National Wildlife Refuge.

“I've always considered myself more behavioral scientist than artist: a man of few words, I am a bit of a storyteller. With wildlife, it's all about reproduction: perpetuation of the species demands attraction, space, and food. Capturing wildlife engaged in these pursuits requires patience, observation, and just a little technical skill. If I can allow the observer of my work to feel almost ”voyeurish” sneaking a peek at an animal's natural behavior, I feel like I am doing my job.

But lately I feel the artist in me borrowing my camera occasionally: the scientist is sitting back, observing......”

Program:

"I am fascinated by animal behavior and I get my best photographs when birds are not responding to what I am doing but are behaving as if I was not there. A point I'd like to make is that some photographers at public places forget that birds still need rest and quiet time. Just because birds are used to people doesn't negate their need to sleep. In fact, recently, I was at Fort De Soto near the Great Horned Owl nest and a lady photographer clapped her hands loudly. I asked her why she had done that, and she responded that she wanted to wake the owls up and make them feed their young so she could take pictures of that behavior. She said that clapping her hands was not nearly as loud as the construction work at the park had been the day before. I replied that perhaps the owls really needed their rest today, as they might have been disturbed by noise yesterday. So, in all, my point is, we should treat and respect animals like family. We are all creatures of mother earth and we should not interrupt birds' meals and sleep. They are more likely to successfully perpetuate the roles they play in the environment if left in peace, and that provides us with the quality of life that we enjoy here in this part of Florida."


PS5-5 Birds of Cuba
3:00 pm – 3:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: Gary Markowski

Gary Markowski, Founder and Executive Director of the Caribbean Conservation Trust, will provide a multi-media based discussion about his 20+ year history providing birding programs in Cuba. The discussion will focus on citizen science efforts to promote bird conservation in Cuba as well as Cuba's richly diverse avifauna and biodiversity. Cuba is home to 28 endemic birds, and another 25 regional endemics, and is the largest and most bio-diverse land mass in the Caribbean. Recent changes in U.S. / Cuban relations offer great promise but elicit concern with regard to Cuba's natural world. Caribbean Conservation Trust offers birding and natural history based excursions in Cuba ranging from 8 to 15 days.

CCT Founder Executive Director, Gary Markowski, first traveled to Cuba in the mid-1990s to meet with staff at Cuba’s National Museum of Natural History to investigate ways to become involved with conservation initiatives in Cuba. A fledgling group of authorized U.S. citizens arrived the next winter. Since then, the bird survey program has involved hundreds of ‘citizen scientists’, as well as dozens of U.S. and Cuban ornithologists, field biologists, and educators who have contributed to this effort. Gary’s 30 years of experience in the fields of environmental and experiential education, outdoor leadership and adventure travel provide the foundation for CCT’s success in Cuba. CCT’s long history in Cuba is founded upon experience and trust. Over the years, we have cultivated deep friendships and professional relationships with some of Cuba’s finest conservation-oriented individuals and institutions.


PS1-6 Bird Behavior: A key to better i.d.
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 11
Speaker: Paddy Cunningham

Paddy Cunningham has been a Naturalist in South Florida for 35 years. Her passion is birds and she teaches a variety of bird classes to help birders gain advanced skills at numerous festivals, Bonnet House and Flamingo Gardens. Her motto is “YOU LEARN THE I.D.”. Paddy’s company Birding Adventures takes small groups of birders throughout Florida, U.S. and the tropics-Jamaica, Bahamas and more. She calls her trips “INTENSE BIRDING at a RELAXED PACE. She is the Coordinator of the Everglades Birding Festival in its 9th year. Paddy is a popular speaker and guide at Florida birding festivals- Big O, Fairchild Gardens, Wings & Wildflowers and the Everglades Birding Festival. Despite being a Busy Mom and a full time Gifted Science Teacher in 2008 during a BIG YEAR she was 1st in Florida, 20th in the Lower 48 states and 27th overall for the A.B.A. area. Her passion is teaching you to become a better birder, while finding the birds you seek.

Program:

Learn how observing bird behavior can be essential to identifying a bird. Gain knowledge about flight and feeding behaviors that are unique to birds. This informative power point will cover a variety of behaviors that increase your ability to identify birds quickly in the field.


PS2-6 Florida Panther
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 12
Speaker: Jessica Sutt & Jen Korn

Jessica Sutt is a graduate of Warren Wilson College with degrees in Conservation Biology and Environmental Education. She holds an MS in Fisheries and Aquatic Sciences and Environmental Communications from the University of Florida where her research focused on stakeholder engagement and conflict management within the goliath grouper fishery. Since 2014 Jessica has worked as a Wildlife Refuge Specialist for Florida Panther and Ten Thousand Islands National Wildlife Refuges in Naples, FL.

Dr. Korn is originally from the great state of Texas, which is where she completed her bachelors, masters and doctorate degrees. She was awarded her PhD in wildlife science from Texas A&M University-Kingsville where she created the first genetic pedigree for endangered ocelots and studied the spatial patterns of sympatric ocelots and bobcats. She moved to Florida in October 2013 to work for Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission as a panther and landowner assistance biologist.


Program:

The population of Florida panther (Puma concolor coryi) has rebounded from ~30 individuals in the 1990s, to a current estimate of 100 to 180. Even with this growth, the breeding population is still restricted to lands south of the Caloosahatchee River in southwest Florida. About 60% of suitable panther habitat south of the Caloosahatchee River is public lands, yet suitable panther habitat north of the River is about 60% private. Private lands in the south are essential for breeding and connectivity to available habitat to the north, therefore working with private landowners at the landscape-scale is crucial to restore native habitat and provide corridors for dispersing panthers.


PS3-6 Landscaping for Wildlife
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 13
Speaker: Lynn Barber

Lynn Barber, UF/IFAS Extension Agent, Hillsborough County, is responsible for educating residents on the nine principles of the Florida Friendly Landscaping™ program. Lynn teaches the Hillsborough County community about conserving water, reducing waste and pollution and preventing erosion. Lynn has presented locally, state-wide, nationally and internationally on topics related to environmental horticulture. As a Master Gardener, she has donated several thousand hours to teaching others about creating a more sustainable Florida.

Program:

Learn how Florida-Friendly Landscaping™ principles will help you attract wildlife to your landscape.


PS4-6 Ethics in Nature Photography
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 16
Speaker: James Caldwell

Jim has been interested in photography since he was about 9 or 10 years old, many decades ago (too many to mention!). After graduating college from the University of South Florida in Language/Literature Broadcasting Sequence, he opened a camera store and studio in western Florida and also freelanced for many years as a cinematographer. Between 1977 and 1987, he worked on films and commercials for many major corporations and private groups including John Deere, Upjohn, The Florida Phosphate Council, and many others.

Jim is a member of the National Association of Photoshop Professionals (NAPP – now Kelby Training) and the North American Nature Photographers Association (NANPA), the Carolina Nature Photographers Association (CNPA) and the Photographic Society of America (PSA). He is also a fully certified Florida Master Naturalist by the University of Florida and is currently president of the Friends of Pinellas Master Naturalists group.

Jim’s photos have not only won numerous awards, but his images have been reproduced in many publications including text books, calendars, newspapers, travel brochures and magazines. His work has appeared in Outdoor Photographer, Audubon Magazine and many others.

Jim currently works with Outdoor Photo Workshops (www.outdoorphotoworkshops.com) and arranges international workshops for them and conducts one on one photography workshops within Florida.

He also cohosts The Fotobug Podcast along with Fred Rodgers, which is available at www.thefotobug.com and is also available through iTunes! Check The Fotobug photography video site at www.thefotobug.net for great photography related videos!

Program:

Mr. Caldwell will focus on ethics in nature photography - art versus documentation. He will discuss issues involved it "getting the shot" at any costs including disturbing wildlife and even altering their behavior. He will also lead a discussion of art (involving image manipulation) versus straight documentation, such as when is it OK to add or remove elements in an image and when is it not OK. He will supplement the discussion with his own images as well as images of other well-known photographers.


PS5-6 Video: Christmas Bird Count
4:00 pm – 4:45 pm     Modular 15
Speaker: Charlie Fisher

Charlie has been an active birder for almost 15 years, ever since he took on a new client in his CPA practice who introduced him to the joys of bird identification in advance of a family summer beach trip to Sanibel. One trip to the Ding Darling NWR with bins and a field guide was all it took. Charlie got home, registered for the 2003 Florida Nature and Birding Festival, signed up for eBird, threw out his golf clubs and has been off in the field ever since.

Program:

How did a Christmas-time tradition of shooting birds change to one of counting them? Willem Lange travels to Keene & Errol, NH, Mt. Desert, ME, Ecuador and Cuba to meet people dedicated to the National Audubon Society's Christmas Bird Count.