Archbold Biological Station, Biennial Report 1999-2000



Daycamper Zach Lavoy is fascinated with spiders; photo by Nancy Deyrup.

       Accomplishments 1999-00
  • Held 8 summer day-camp session: 133 children attended.

  • Presented 43 Station group tours and off-Station talks to 850 adults.

  • Trained 116 Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society students to become peer teachers in environmental education.

  • Guided 103 elementary classes through Florida Ecology: Getting to Know the Real Florida field trip.

  • Guided 18 middle school Honor Society students in the production of 4 issues of Scrub Scribe: Archbold Field Trip Follow Up by Students for Students newsletter.

  • Published and distributed over 1700 copies of Discovering Florida Scrub: A Guide to Exploring Science in a Native Ecosystem.

  • Presented 4 Discovering Florida Scrub curriculum workshops for teachers.

  • Presented 313 upper level students of biology with local ecology information.

  • Trained 15 high school students for State and Regional Envirothon team.

  • Attended and helped with 6 Science Fairs and Career Days.

  • Helped instruct 60 Volunteer Ridge Nature Guides in 3 all-day interagency training workshops with Ridge Audubon, The Nature Conservancy, and Bok Tower Gardens.


Environmental Education

Education Coordinator: Nancy D. Deyrup
Education Assistants: Richard J. Lavoy, Helen W. Obenchain, Charlotte B. Wilson
Interns: Ashley E. King, Wake Forest University; Erin E. St. Clair, Iowa State University
Volunteers: All from Highlands County, Florida, except as noted otherwise; Dylan Alegria and Loren Alegria (Portola Valley, California), Virginia Davis, John Deyrup and Sara Deyrup (New Jersey), Amanda Dickinson, Sarath Edirishinghe, Yasangie Edirisinghe, Jared Elliott, Katie Elliott, Margaret Gleave, Jamie Hall, Drew Harden, Donna Harrison, Karen Hill, Brett Hogan, Russell Holt, Blake Howard, Jennifer Johnson, Brittany Jones, Ruth Kowalski, Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society (27 students in Spring 1999, 32 in Fall 1999/Spring 2000, and 26 in Fall 2000), Jared Lavoy, Ashley Lee, Ingrith Martinez (Gainesville, Florida), Maria Morales-Hernandez, Nicholas Moret, Sarah Outlaw, Martina Petrů, Cory Pickert, Nicole Popov, Amarantha Quintana, Erendira Quintana, Tor Rothman, Kevin Sheehan, Brian Sheehan, Brandon Stidham  [Volunteer Program]

[ Biennial Contents | Biennial 97-98 ]

Elementary School Students. Florida Ecology: Getting to Know the Real Florida, the 5-day environmental education program for elementary school classes developed by Archbold in 1989, continued throughout 1999-00. During the Biennial approximately 2,400 elementary students in 103 classes from Highlands, Hendry, and DeSoto counties visited Archbold to attend the field trip portion of the program (see Appendix J). Before their visit, each class views four Archbold-produced filmstrips and participates in activities from the program guide. This preparation seems to greatly improve the focus of the children when they are at Archbold; one can usually tell which teachers neglected to view the filmstrips by the responses of their classes. The field trip component includes four units: (1) a Scrub Hunt along the Nature Trail that requires the students to hunt for items and relationships in nature and to use observation skills recently learned in an introductory talk, (2) a Weather Observation Station that encourages the students to read and record weather data and to understand why this information is important to scientists, (3) an Animal Tracking Station where the students are introduced to the identification of animal tracks, through a discussion of nocturnal animals, and participation in a survey of animal tracks found on a sandy firelane, and (4) the Scientist’s Lab, a hands-on, inquiry area full of interactive displays and biological items for students to handle and question.

Middle School Students. The Lake Placid Middle School Honor Society students contributed over 900 hours of volunteer help with the elementary education program as a community service that is a requirement for Honor Society membership. These grade-8 honor students assist with all aspects of the elementary school field trips. Several of the students work together as a literary team to organize, write, and produce a 4-page newsletter, The Scrub Scribe, Archbold Field Trip Follow up for Students by Students, for the elementary school students who have visited Archbold. The Scrub Scribe is filled with articles on scrub animals and plants, an interview with an Archbold scientist, elementary students’ letters and drawings, and a scrub-fun section with a crossword puzzle or word search and other learning games.

Other School Programs. The Education Office works with school groups of all ages and affiliations. In addition to the Florida Ecology: Getting to Know the Real Florida program, Education staff conducts programs for children’s organizations, private schools, and home-schoolers. During 1999-00, eight grade-2 classes from Lake Placid visited Archbold on a weather observation field trip to view a working weather station and to learn about weather data collection. Local high school students come to Archbold to study for the Heartland- and Florida Envirothon competition. Regional/state Envirothon competitions stress knowledge and problem solving in five areas of the environment: wildlife, aquatics, forestry, soils, and a yearly new topic such as watersheds, land management, or recycling. Highlands County students continue to do very well in the competitions. As well, Archbold scientists and staff volunteer their time as judges for County- and Regional Science Fairs and as educators for Career Days.

Scrub Curriculum for Elementary Schools. In 1999, the Education office published Discovering Florida Scrub: A Guide to Exploring Science in a Native Ecosystem (see cover image, this page) a curriculum for grades 3-5 that provides teachers and informal educators with the knowledge, skills, and confidence needed to provide elementary students with inquiry-based, hands-on environmental education opportunities in the critically threatened Florida Scrub habitat. The curriculum, written by Nancy Deyrup and Charlotte Wilson and illustrated by Virginia Carter, was funded from a grant by the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission’s Advisory Council on Environmental Education. A workshop for teachers and informal educators was held at Archbold on 14-15 October 1999 to introduce the new curriculum (see photo, below). The workshop included field experiences, informal talks by Archbold researchers, structured activities from the curriculum, and round-table discussions. In 2000, more teacher workshops were held and over 1500 curricula were distributed around the state to teachers and schools in the 26 counties where Florida scrub is located. The Discovering Florida Scrub curriculum is also published on the Internet at <www.archbold-station.org> or at <www.discoveringflscrub.org>, making the curriculum available to any educator with Internet access.

During June and July, four, one-week Ecology Summer Day Camp sessions were held each year for children ages 7-12 years who love the outdoors and enjoy nature activities (see photo, page 35). Daily, the campers are introduced to careful observation, ecological concepts, and scientific research by the education staff and Archbold research biologists. Environmental education activities include many nature games (e.g. un-nature trail, sensory scrub hunt, puppet show), crafts (e.g. BurrowBowl-a bowling game, dreamcatchers, woodpecker doorknockers, bird nest boxes, and paper mache snakes), visits by Archbold scientists (e.g. Challenge the Bug Expert-Mark Deyrup, Bird Adaptations by Reed Bowman, Florida Scrub-jays: Nests and Fledglings by Kim Brand, Radio Telemetry by Craig Faulhaber) and adventures (ranch safari, night hike, Lake Annie swim).  [

Volunteer Program. During 1999-00, 182 volunteers participated in Archbold’s volunteer program, donating a total of 6,000 hours of services. Many of the volunteers help with the elementary education program and summer camp sessions. Adult volunteers also help in a variety of areas, including research at Archbold, Riverwoods Lab, and MacArthur Agro-ecology Research Center.

Community Outreach. Group tours, off site talks to community organizations, development of pamphlets, and exhibits at environmental fairs are all part of Archbold’s educational outreach to the general public. The visitors’ kiosk, nature trail, Islands in Time video, and the native plant butterfly garden provide on-site visitors with information and experience in the Florida scrub habitat. The 22-page Visitor Guidebook: A Self-guiding Tour of Grounds and Facilities was published in 1999. It is distributed from the kiosk and the main office and provides information on the history of Archbold, answers commonly asked questions about the grounds and facilities, and includes the nature trail guide, Scrub Discovery.

Participants at the "Discovering Florida Scrub" curriculum-workshop, 14-15 October 1999, include Archbold presentors; Charlotte Wilson (with Seth Bowman), seated at lower left; Rick Lavoy, left center with a beard; and Nancy Deyrup, standing second from right; photo by Mark Deyrup.

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© Archbold Biological Station, 7 February 2002, with minor revisions from the paper edition.
Webmaster: Fred E. Lohrer, email: felohrer@archbold-station.org

Archbold Biological Station, P.O. Box 2057, Lake Placid, Florida 33862 USA
Phone: 863-465-2571, FAX: 863-699-1927, Email: archbold@archbold-station.org