Apalachicola Research Reserve Offers Panhandle Habitat Courses

Oct. 3, 2014

~Register for hands-on educational courses in a variety of coastal topics~

The Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve (ANERR) offers professional-level classes for coastal decision-makers, working professionals and concerned citizens throughout October and November. The Panhandle Habitat series of classes offers three different topics: estuaries, barrier islands, and rivers and floodplains.

These classes are each three days long, held from 8:45 a.m.-4:30 p.m. and cost $15 per person. Classes begin at the ANERR Nature Center in Eastpoint, but each class offers hands-on field experience at different locations nearby. Registration is required no later than five days prior to the class start date.

The estuaries class will be offered on Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014. 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, and regulatory and conservation issues. In the afternoon, class participants will board an ANERR vessel to participate in trawling, sampling bottom sediments and exploring life in the oyster beds.

The barrier islands class, scheduled for Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014, 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 will 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 St. George Island State Park. There, class participants will seine in the gulf, explore beach and intertidal-benthic habitats, and examine species found on the island.

The rivers and floodplains class, held Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014, explores the ecology, geology and natural history of the rivers and floodplains of the Florida Panhandle, focusing mainly on the Apalachicola River and Floodplain. 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. During the afternoon, class participants will board the Tideline to explore the river and walk in the floodplain.   

WHAT:       Panhandle Habitat Courses

WHEN:       Estuaries class: Thursday, Oct. 9, 2014
                   Barrier Islands class: Tuesday, Oct. 28, 2014
                   River and Floodplains class: Thursday, Nov. 13, 2014

 WHERE:    Apalachicola National Estuarine Research Reserve Nature Center
                   108 Island Drive
                   Eastpoint, Florida 32328

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