Audubon Florida News

Topic: Academy,Citizen Science,Invasive Species,Volunteering

Audubon Florida Presidents Consulted for Planning of Non-Native Species Awareness Program

Feb. 23-28, 2014 was National Invasive Species Awareness Week .

non-native snail eggsSadly, due to cuts in funding, many programs that have been documenting the spread of non-native plants and animals have had to look elsewhere manpower.   Audubon members are in a unique position to help.  They are observant, spend considerable time outdoors both close to home and away, and are generally knowledgeable about plants, wildlife and of course birds.  Who better to notice unwanted visitors,   expanding ranges of established species and new arrivals?  But then what?

There is a website dedicated to training and tracking non-natives that is complete with materials and certifications.  There is an app called “Ivegot1” available for both Android and I-phones that can be used in the field.  Snap a photo and send it to the data center along with some notes and voila! phone app to report invasive species locations

It seems simple enough but according to a recent survey Audubon members as a whole are not doing it.  Why? Awareness.

When over 50% of Florida’s Chapter Presidents completed a short survey developed by Audubon staff results were mixed.  Some did not understand the importance of tracking the movement of non-natives. Others felt they did not have the capacity (manpower and time) to take on additional projects.  But the most common response was they did not know about available online resources and tools that could be used in the field during the many outings they plan throughout the year.

As a result the Chapters Committee has planned to include a workshop at the upcoming Audubon Academy April 11-13  called Apps, apps and more apps.  Participants will be asked to bring their smart phones, download apps and practice using them.  In addition, all members will be encouraged to become REDDY certified online. (We might even launch a contest for the chapters with the most certified members.)

program logoAlthough The National Invasive Species Awareness Week highlights a week, the problems relating to non-native species exist throughout the year.  Audubon’s capacity through regular chapter activities is a natural fit with these important programs.  We look forward to sharing this fun technology with all while providing valuable data as citizen scientists.

2014 Audubon Academy – Join Fellow Auduboners to Network, Learn and Have Fun

posted on January 28, 2014 in Academy,Chapters

acad_floridaAudubon Academy 2014 is being held April 11–13 at the DaySpring Episcopal Conference Center located on 92 wooded acres on the north bank of the Manatee River in Parrish, near Bradenton.  Come join us on the Gulf Coast for camaraderie, inspiration and learning opportunities on how to be more effective advocates for conservation.

This year’s Academy theme is “Walking the Walk—Making Conservation Real”.  There will be numerous outdoor and indoor workshops and information sharing sessions to enhance the abilities of both current and future Audubon chapter leaders.

Regardless of your chapter size or location, the fun activities—music, campfire, chapter displays, poster sessions, workshops, hospitality and more—can invigorate attendees and help them enjoy and be more informed conservation ambassadors.

For more information, including the schedule, descriptions of the workshops and registration information go to or contact your chapter leaders.  Registration is by mail only.  Please note that the early reservation deadline is March 10 and Academy registrations should be done by March 31.

Do not miss this once-a-year opportunity to network at this “for the chapters, by the chapters”-event, dedicated to protecting and conserving Florida’s natural resources.

2013 Audubon Academy – Opportunity to Learn, Network, and Invigorate

posted on February 12, 2013 in Academy,Chapters

porch_lakesideinnThe 2013 Audubon Academy is being held in the centrally located city of Mount Dora (elevation 144 ft) at the newly renovated historic Lakeside Inn (established 1883).  Mount Dora, known for its variety of antique and specialty shops, is near some of the best birding destinations in Florida.

boardwalk_acadThis year’s Academy is being held April 12–14 and the theme is “Connecting with Your Community”.  Academy will offer numerous outdoor and indoor workshops and information sharing sessions to enhance the abilities of both current and future Audubon chapter leaders.  Regardless of your chapter size or location, the fun activities—pizza party, chapter displays, poster sessions, citizen science training, chapter leader skills events, hospitality and more—can help enable chapters to expand and invigorate their outreach and conservation activities.

bird_acadFor more information, including the schedule, descriptions of the workshops and registration information go to or contact your chapter leaders.  Registration can be done online by clicking here or by mail. Note that room reservations at the group rate must be made by March 1 and Academy registrations should be done by March 31.

Do not miss this once a year opportunity to network at this “for the chapters, by the chapters”-event, dedicated to protecting and conserving Florida’s natural resources.

A Message to Audubon Florida Chapter Presidents Regarding Audubon Academy

posted on January 11, 2012 in Academy,Chapters

For the past seven years the Audubon Academy has served the vital function of training and motivating local Audubon leaders for the important and challenging job of community based conservation.

While we were excited to bring the Academy to the Everglades, unexpected difficulties with the Clewiston location leaves us to conclude that we are not able to put on an Academy this year that meets the standards we set in the past.  The Audubon Florida Board Chapters Committee will meet to review the purpose and goals of Audubon Academy, and will begin planning for a regenerated Audubon Academy for 2013.

For those who were planning on attending or who have some upcoming leaders who would benefit by getting together, we are trying to think through some more targeted training efforts.

Our deepest thanks to all Florida chapters and Audubon staff who have supported the Audubon Academy in the past.  We look forward to resuming the Academy with a renewed and reinvigorated spirit in 2013.

Joyce King, Eric Draper, Jacqui Sulek and John Elting


President of Halifax River Audubon Society Reports from the Audubon Academy

posted on March 24, 2011 in Academy,Chapters

After 24 years as a chapter Conservation Chair of Halifax River Audubon Society, it’s easy to become jaded and somewhat skeptical of the efficacy of meetings and workshops. We’ve all spent time in meetings at work or with this or other organizations. Often we sit through Power Point presentations, snack on the requisite cookies, coffee and tea at break time, and then go back to our respective locations and continue doing the same things we’ve been doing.

Joyce and Eric by Carly WainwrightLawrence J. Peter wrote eloquently about the boredom and uselessness of meetings in his book, “The Peter Principle.” This past weekend’s Audubon Academy couldn’t have been more different from that model. I went home Sunday afternoon energized and with a renewed enthusiasm for the work and for the future of chapter development. I thought the networking element was particularly effective and I’m certainly glad I came.

Joyce King, Academy Coordinator and Jacqui Sulek, Chapters Coordinator organized an event that was fun, engaging and offered a real value to those of us in attendance. The Audubon of Florida staff contributed greatly to the success and should be proud of the effort and the outcome of this past weekend’s events.

One of the focal points was the use of social networking to reach out across the divide of age, apathy and disinterest in trying to engage others and hopefully develop in them an interest in our issues and our chapters. I was impressed enough that I went out yesterday and bought a copy of “Facebook For Dummies.”

The Moon Over Gainesville on March 19 2011 by Carly WainwrightIf your chapter wasn’t represented at this past weekend’s event, you missed an opportunity to connect with some very good folks. The fact that it coincided with the vernal equinox and the rise of that gorgeous full moon over Payne’s Prairie was an extra benefit.

David Hartgrove
President & Conservation Chair
Halifax River Audubon

Legislative Session 2010: Stay Informed with the Advocate


Legislative Session 2010 is upon us. One of the best ways to stay informed during these next few, fast-paced months is with the Advocate and the Florida Conservation Network. Subscribing to the Advocate is free and it gives you the timely information to help make a difference on behalf of Florida’s economy and environment. Know what is going on and how you can personally make a difference.

Check out the latest Advocate released last week. Subscribe to the Advocate and receive it automatically. What you will find in last week’s Advocate:

  •  Florida Springs Day Takes Over Capitol
  •  Florida Forever and Everglades Funding
  •  Water Quality Legislation
  •  Jobs For Florida–What’s Really at Stake?
  •  House Continues to Consider Nearshore Drilling
  •  Unfinished Business with Renewable Energy
  •  Bills That Address the Python Issue

The Winter Version of the Naturalist


Check out the latest version of the Naturalist, the Winter 2009-10 edition. In it, you will find articles on the upcoming 2010 Legislative session, a summarization of Audubon’s Assembly, Audubon’s 2010 regional conservation priorities, an article on the highlighted importance of Corkscrew Swamp Sanctuary, recent updates, and more. Sign up for the Naturalist today by becoming a member of Audubon. Also, view the Naturalist archive.

Audubon Academy goes to the Florida Scrub.

posted on January 9, 2009 in Academy,Calendar,Chapters


The ancient islands along the spine of Florida form an ecosystem unique in the world.  Audubon Academy 2009 will be held March 27-29, 2009, near Haines City at the FFA Leadership Training Center located in this fascinating and little-known part of Florida. Whether your chapter is large and urban or small and rural, conservation projects are the powerhouse in an effective chapter.  From urban back yards to large ecosystems, habitats for birds and other wildlife can be protected through effective conservation actions by Audubon chapters. The Academy kicks off on Friday with lakeside activities, an excellent dinner and program.  Saturday’s events begin with ecology field trips, then a day of interactive workshops, networking and sharing opportunities, good meals, and an exciting evening program.  Workshops follow Sunday morning ecology field trips, and we wrap up at noon.  More information, including the schedule, descriptions of the workshops and the registration form can be found over there on the right under the heading “Pages”.  (Photo by Nancy Deyrup)

A couple of things to keep on your radar.

posted on November 20, 2008 in Academy,Calendar,Chapters

We have two events coming up we’d like to tell you about. The first, is this year’s Audubon Academy, March 27-29 in Haines City, Florida. The Audubon Academy features  leadership training, great field trips and some superb keynote speakers. For more information, contact  Jacqui Sulek,

The second event is Collier County Audubon’s “Funds for Feathers & Friends” Gala on Thursday, February 19, 2009 at the Collier Athletic Club, 710 Goodlette Road N. Naples, FL 34102. The evening will include cocktails, dinner, and a silent auction. And the special guest speaker this year is Nathaniel Reed.

We’ll keep you posted on both events.