Ocean’s one

Despite the popularity of the recent films Ocean’s Eleven and sequel, Ocean’s Twelve, I have yet to see either blockbuster. I guess I’m just not a Clooney fan. But I am a fan of Ocean’s One. In fact, I just completed the Coastal Ecosystems module in the Florida Master Naturalist Program, meaning that I am now a certified Master Naturalist, having previously completed the Uplands and Wetlands modules. What’s Ocean’s One? Why, it’s the One World, One Ocean concept. Confused? Don’t be. You’ll find out more after the jump.


Master Naturalist. Now what?

Last Saturday, I graduated from the Florida Master Naturalist program. That means I successfully completed 3 modules (Freshwater wetlands, Upland Ecosystems, and Coastal Ecosystems) of 40 contact hours each. Each class component involved classroom work, field work, and a final project. For the Wetlands course I developed a powerpoint presentation (exciting!) on Wetland birds and Coastal Warming. I delivered the talk at Green Cay Nature Center‘s Migration Day celebration last October. That day was the one and only day in my life that I actually had laryngitis. Despite my underwhelming vocal apparatus, Don Campbell, the manager of the nature center, […]

Coastal Ecosystems, day four

What did I learn in school today?

The difference between hair and fur is simple: hair has one shaft per follicle; fur has multiple shafts per follicle.

Spatterdock has edible roots.

Mammals have more specialized tooth forms than other toothed animals (sharks and other fish, reptiles, amphibians).

Coastal ecosystems, day three

What I learned in school today:

Sugar sand is very fine-grained sand that occurs at various sites around south Florida. There’s actually a city park near where I live called Sugar Sand Park. Sugar sand is a very fine grained sand. Here in south Florida most sand on the beach has a very high shell content; as you move farther and farther up the dune system, the sand gets finer and finer, though. This is because the dunes are formed by the constant onshore breeze blowing fine sand particles inland. The finest sand travels the farthest, and settles on the […]

Coastal ecosystems, day two

What I learned in school today. Today’s field trips: Ocean Ridge Hammock Park in Boynton Beach and Lantana Nature Preserve in Lantana.


No, not the kind that you string between two trees. Although actually, that’s pretty close to perhaps the most compelling derivation of the word I’ve heard yet. According to Thomas E. Lodge (The Everglades Handbook: Understanding the Ecosystem), in Florida, a hammock is a “localized, mature hardwood forest.” That’s correct as far as it goes, but his derivation of the name is a bit too fanciful for our fearless leader. He prefers a simpler origin for the […]

Coastal ecosystems, day one

Day one of the Coastal ecosystems module (click here if you don’t know what that means) was a good one, although I was very tired at the start of it. For some reason 6-month-olds just don’t care that you have to get up early in the morning. They’re on their own schedule, and everyone else can simply lump it, as far as they’re concerned.

What I learned in school today

Today Steve Bass, the best instructor in the world, told us a few things about the coastal environment that I hadn’t known before.

For instance, there are three types of […]