Naturalists Outdoors is a 3 day, intensive, overnight program, which incorporates hands-on learning with career oriented studies to give students a truly unique, outdoor experience.
Exhibit Hall – Explore our interactive displays and learn about the Long Leaf Pine ecosystem here in Florida.
Longleaf Pine Hike – Take a guided hike through our trails and get an overview of common plants and animals in the Longleaf Pine ecosystem. A brief history of the Longleaf Pine will be discussed, including its many historic uses and current conservation efforts.
Micro Ecosystems – Take a closer look at our land with habitat sampling. We will look in depth at the factors that work together in an ecosystem. Student will use scientific tools to assess abiotic factors.
Florida reptiles – Visit our reptile expert and get "hands-on" with some of Florida’s finest reptiles. This activity covers a range of animals including Gopher Tortoises and native snakes.
Aquatic Turtles - Get up close with some of Florida's aquatic turtle species. This activity covers mainly turtles but don't be surprised if an amphibian or two gets passed around!
Fire-Ecology Hike – Learn about the important role of prescribed fires in the Longleaf Pine ecosystem. Students will observe and explore study plots to see the difference between land that has been properly managed with fire and land that has been fire suppressed. Burn demonstrations may occur under specific conditions.
Mammals - Meet some of the Biophilia ambassador animals. Our mammal experts will discuss adaptations and predator prey relationships using live animals during an exciting 30 minute presentation!
Birds of Prey – Continue your journey through the animal kingdom with birds! This presentation will incorporate live, education raptors in an informative and fun show in our Theater.
W.O.W - See one of our newest technology additions, the World Of Wonder; a room-sized, 3-D, visual experience for all ages.
Nokuse (Nuh-go-see) Plantation, a 54,000 acre nature preserve, was established in 2000 by our founder, M.C Davis. The plantation has a 500 year restoration plan in the works to bring back old growth Longleaf pine forests and their endemic species. So far, we have planted over 8 million Longleaf Pines and relocated about 4,000 Gopher Tortoises, making Nokuse the largest Gopher Tortoise relocation site in the world.
Eco-passage Wildlife Walk - Students will look for animal tracks in a uniquely designed eco-passage that runs under Florida state highway 331. This passage along with 3 others, connects Nokuse Plantation with Eglin Airforce base, allowing safe migration of animals.
Tour and field work - Take a ride to an active Gopher Tortoise relocation pen where students will perform field surveys. If available, our field biologist will take the students on a tortoise tracking expedition using a radio frequency tracker. Students will also visit the Nokuse workshop for a demonstration of a tortoise intake evaluation.
Dip-netting – Students will use a dip-net to catch aquatic insects, fish, snails, frogs and more! This lesson incorporates species identification and reinforces biological assessment as a water quality indicator.