Dr. Harold Albers
Teacher Ecology Camp
The vision of benefactor Dr. Harold Albers, Teacher Ecology Camp is a science camp for educators which combines presentations from the local scientific community with practical in-the-field experience. Teacher Ecology Camp is presented in collaboration with Sensing Nature biologists & environmental educators, Jeanne Murphy and Brian Lane.
Dr. Harold Albers with SPAS President Judi Hopkins as he receives the the 2015 Audubon Education Award
2019 Dr. Harold Albers Teacher Ecology Camp Schedule
2017 Dr. Harold Albers Teacher Ecology Camp
Workshop A: “Coastal Estuaries” June 6 - 7, Tu & W
- Hands-on Experiences in the Tampa Bay Estuary
- Florida Estuary Food Webs & Hydrologic Cycle
- Field trip: Canoeing Tampa Bay; Seining & Plankton ID
Workshop B: “Ecosystems of Florida” June 8 - 9, Th & F
- Upland, Coastal and Freshwater Biodiversity
- Conservation Strategies and Human Impacts
- Field trip: Wildlife on the Scenic Hillsborough River
Workshop C: “Climate Change /Sea Level Rise”June 13 - 14, Tu & W
- Effects on Populations, Biodiversity & Ecosystem Processes
- Sea Level Rise in Our Own ‘Backyard’ - Today & Tomorrow
- Field trip: Shifting Sands and Rising Seas at Fort DeSoto Park
Workshop D: “Avian Adaptations” - June 15 - 16, Th & F
- Bring Bird ID & Conservation into the Classroom
- Live Bird of Prey Program, Citizen Science & Tech
- Field trip: Swamp Tromping and Forested Adventures
*12 Component Points for each 2-day Workshop. All participants must complete required component point paperwork prior to attending and in accordance with their school or organization’s protocols.
2016 Dr. Harold Albers Teacher Ecology Camp
Dr. Harold Albers and SPAS President Judi Hopkins (behind) saying hello to camp partner and advisor Pinellas County Schools Elementary Science Supervisor Julie Poth.
Successful is the best way to describe the 7th Annual Teacher Ecology Camp. The plan was simple: combine over 50 eager teachers wanting to increase their knowledge of Florida’s natural world, add energetic speakers and local scientist instructors, provide hands-on field trips to wonderful local environments, include numerous resource and reference materials. The result was clear. As teachers increased their knowledge of our natural resources, they were able to share their new knowledge with a classroom of students - and to do so each and every year. Teachers know that the allure of nature prompts more than scientific discussion; the natural world can be the key motivating factor in enticing students to develop not only their their math and language skills but also in inspiring their artistic expression. Fortunately, this year, TEC attendees included math, science, language arts, and art teachers from seven local counties ranging from Sumter to Sarasota.
When habitats are gone or diminished, entire ecosystems with their dependent wildlife, including the birds, will suffer. That is why this year’s Camp consisted of four, 2-day workshops with topics on Florida ecology, estuary ecology, invasive plant and animal species, and cumulated with a fantastic climate change workshop.
Seining for fish and inverts at Weedon Island Preserve during the Estuary Workshop
Dr. Gabe Vargo and great-horned owl giving the Bird of Prey presentation at Boyd Hill Nature Preserve.
Teachers taking invasive exotic plant ID hands-on quiz…hmmm, isn’t this growing at our school?
Each workshop incorporated indoor and outdoor learning activities. About 60% of the teachers attended multiple workshops and many were welcomed as returning attendees from previous Camps. After attending the first week of Camp, one teacher completely changed her family’s vacation dates so that she could attend the following week’s workshops. Talk about motivated teachers! These teachers were willing to put in the effort and continue on their educational journeys and we are proud that the St. Petersburg Audubon Society and their partners are leading the way providing them this opportunity.
Audubon Florida Chapters Coordinator, Jacqui Sulek, inspiring teachers during her attendance of the Climate Change Workshop
We would like to thank the SPAS Education Committee, Board members, and the Camp partners for their work and dedication – Pinellas County Schools, the Weedon Island & Brooker Creek Preserves, Dr. Gabe Vargo – SPAS & Boyd Hill Nature Preserve Birds of Prey, the Tampa Bay Estuary Program, the Southwest Florida Water Management District, Libby Carnahan – UF/IFAS Extension, Boyd Hill Nature Preserve, Cynthia Grizzle - Cooperative Invasive Species Management Areas Regional Coordinator, Tessie Offner – FWC Non-native Wildlife Biologist, Dr. Tonya Clayton, Haley Burger – Eckerd College sustainability student, and Jeanne Murphy & Brian Lane – Sensing Nature, LLC.
Dave Kandz and teachers viewing Indian Shores nesting Black Skimmer colony
Next year’s camp planning is already underway. Please help us continue this successful Teacher Ecology Camp tradition. Tell your teacher friends to save the dates June 14 – 24, 2016 for another great Florida experience!
SPAS TEC participants at Ft. DeSoto