Flora and Fauna of the Florida Keys Course

FIU’s Marine Education & Research Initiative's (MERI) Continuing Education & Professional Development's mission is to make the University more accessible to the public and to meet community needs in the Keys. We offer non-credit courses for individuals who want to learn something new or enhance their professional and/or occupational skills. No record of previous education is necessary.

"Flora and Fauna of the Florida Keys"


Class Description:

ImageThis ten-week class features guided field trips through natural communities of the Florida Keys archipelago and (largely for comparison) one nearby mainland site to introduce participants to native species diversity and local ecology. Isolation, climate, land form, geology and other natural factors furnished the Keys with unique plant and animal communities. This class will provide an introduction to these, as well as to the consequences of anthropogenic alterations, such as habitat fragmentation, rock-mining, and introductions of new species, are affecting both the native species and the human communities of the Keys.

Each class will convene on Saturday mornings at 8:30 AM and last until approximately 12:30 PM. Field trips will begin at one of eight different points (including one location in Everglades National Park (roughly a one hour drive north of Key Largo) near Florida City, Florida. If not needed for field trips rescheduled due to inclement weather, two class sessions will be used for indoor seminars and for instruction on plant identification.

Each field day will consist of walks at two to five sites, through natural habitats on relatively level but sometimes uneven terrain. After arriving at each site by car, walks may last 15 to 120 minutes and cover as much as four miles. In the event of severely inclement weather, alternative indoor sessions will be scheduled. It will be the participant’s responsibility to provide a means of notification, and to check for any such changes using text messaging or e-mail notifications that may be sent as late as 6:30 AM.

Participants should be prepared for and able to cope with light rain, cold, wind, intense sun and heat, biting or stinging insects, thorns, or plants capable of producing contact dermatitis. Prolonged inclement weather will be cause for cancellation or rescheduling of a field day by the instructor, but brief periods (typically up to 30 minutes) of rain will generally be endured by waiting in cars or finding some other shelter (if possible). Participation by minors (11 years to 17) is allowed only if each minor is accompanied by an adult and as long as there is no disruptive behavior (by minors or adults).


If you are interested in the course, click here to register.

For more information, contact:
Aileen Soto
E-mail: asoto@fiu.edu
Tel: 305-764-7242