Field Trips- Both Pre and Post Conference Fieldtrips-

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Instructions for Fieldtrip Registration:

For those not yet registered for the conference-- You may register online for the conference and the fieldtrips at the same time.  Register Here

For those previously registered for the conference-- Email Laura Boekenoogen,, to register for the fieldtrips.  Your field trip will be added to your conference registration and a link for payment will be sent via email.

Registration of Children-- Children are welcome on the fieldtrips. However, please consider their physical ability, as some of the trips could be challenging for younger children. We recommend ages of 8 and up. There are University of Florida regulations for activities involving children, including forms to be completed. To register your children, email Laura Boekenoogen,

 **All fieldtrips must be paid in full by May 1, 2015.  After that time, your seat will be released for another participant to purchase.** 

 All questions and concerns pertaining to the fieldtrips should be emailed to Laura at


General Information for All Fieldtrips:

The fieldtrips planned for the SPNHC 2015 annual meeting will highlight Florida's rich natural environments and cultural history. We offer a variety of trips that stretch from Florida's Atlantic to Gulf Coast, and a few spots in between. Four different types of fieldtrips are offered on Monday, May 18. One fieldtrip to Saint Augustine is offered on Saturday, May 23.

Even in May, the weather can be very hot here. The Florida sun is also very intense. Please bring lots of sunscreen (SPF 30 and above is recommended) and bug repellent. Hats, protective clothing (e.g., lightweight pants, light-weight long-sleeved shirts), sturdy shoes, and light-weight rain gear are also highly recommended. The level of physical activity is listed for each fieldtrip. Fieldtrips will go rain or shine.

Lunch, a selection of beverages, and plenty of water will be provided. You may wish to bring a water bottle and snack with you.

All trips will leave from the lobby of the Hilton Conference Center hotel at the appointed time. Please meet in the lobby no later than 15 minutes prior to departure time.


Monday -  May 18, 2015 - Pre conference Fieldtrips

  Morning - SPNHC 2015 - Pre-Conference Trips - 7:45 am-5:00 pm

  • Trip #1-Birding In the Ocala National Forest and Juniper Springs State Park- CANCELLED
  • Trip #2-Botany Habitats of North-Central Florida's Gulf Coast at Cedar Key- REVISED

  • Trip #3-Natural and Cultural Environments of Cedar Key by Kayak

  • Trip #4-Fossil History of North-Central Florida

Notes to Monday Fieldtrips: Water, box lunches, and snacks provided.  Sturdy shoes, lightweight pants and a long sleeve shirt, as well as a hat are advised for each fieldltrip. Bug spray and sun screen are recommended.


  • Trip #1-Birding In the Ocala National Forest and Juniper Springs State Park                                 Sorry Birding Trip has been CANCELLED


  • Trip #2-Botany Habitats of North-Central Florida's Gulf Coast at Cedar Key-REVISED. Due to unforeseen circumstances, the original venues for this trip have been changed.  The following sites will now be visited- Morningside Nature Center and Alfred Ring Park.  Botanist's will be delighted to know that Dr. Walter Judd, one of the world's experts in the Ericaceae and co-author of one of the most widely used text books in botany-- Plant Systematics: A Phylogenetic Approach -- will be leading this field trip. Participants will be able to view a wide variety of Florida habitats on this full day fieldtrip. Since 1970, Morningside Nature Center has been Gainesville’s flagship nature park, protecting the largest stand of fire-dependent longleaf pine savanna remaining within close proximity to Gainesville.  Trails wind through sandhill, flatwoods, cypress domes, and areas where native vegetation is being restored. Morningside boasts a spectacular wildflower display and opportunity to see a diverse array of wildlife.  This is a good spot for wildflowers (more than 500 plant species occur in the park), butterflies (Gray Hairstreak, Little Metalmark, Henry's Elfin and Pipevine and Zebra Swallowtails) and other wildlife too including many bird species, Eastern Box Turtle, Gopher Tortoise and White-tailed Deer.  At Alfred Ring Park, trails wind through 21 acres of upland mixed forest and slope forest, tracing the course of Hogtown Creek.  A scenic overlook provides visitors a view of the confluence of Glen Springs Run and Hogtown Creek where the clear water from Glen Springs sharply contrasts with the tannic water of Hogtown Creek.  If time permits, a visit to Paynes Prairie Preserve State Park’s scenic overlook will be included. Some links that may be of interest include Kanapaha Botanical Gardens and Paynes Prairie Preserve and University of Florida Herbarium

TIME:7:45 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  PRICE:$65.00 U.S.  BUS PICK UP LOCATION:Hilton Conference Center Lobby


  • Trip #3- Natural and Cultural Environments of Cedar Key by Kayak-  Explore the natural and cultural diversity of Florida's gulf coast off of Cedar Key by kayak.  Naturalist and historian, Brack Barker, owner of Wild Florida Adventures, will introduce you to the long history of people in Florida and the rich maritime habitats of Florida's gulf coast region.  The trip will leave from Shell Mound (an archaic period Eastern Woodland Indian mound) and lead you through some of the estuaries and coastal islands of the Lower Suwannee National Wildlife Refuge.  You may see a wide variety of birds, dolphins, terrapins, and tailing fish.  After the kayak tour, the trip will continue with a visit to the Cedar Key Museum State Park where you will learn more about the colorful history of Cedar Key.  This trip is designed for beginners and experienced paddlers.  Level of physical activity-- moderate to mildly strenuous (depending on water conditions). See Wild Florida Tours, Visit Cedar Key, and Cedar Key Museum State Park

TIME:7:45 A.M. to 5:00 P.M. PRICE:$95.00 U.S.  BUS PICK UP LOCATION:Hilton Conference Center Lobby


  • Trip #4-Fossil History of North-Central Florida-  Join Florida Museum of Natural History paleontologists Roger Portell and Richard Hulbert on an exploration of North-Central Florida's rich fossil history.  This trip will begin with a visit to Ichetucknee Springs, an example of a large artesian spring group and learn how geology and climate combine to produce Florida's famous springs and sinkholes.  Much of Florida's fossil history centers around its springs and sinkholes.  From there, you will travel to the world famous Thomas Farm site, the richest Early Miocene vertebrate fossil locality in North America.  Since its discovery in 1931, fossils of more than 100 species have been found at the site. The species range from tiny frogs, toads, lizards, snakes, doves, cuckoos, songbirds, bats and rodents, to medium-sized species including turtles, tortoises, turkeys, hawks, coyote-like canids, foxes and badgers, and larger species such as bear-dogs, camels, horses and rhinos.  Level of physical activity-- mild to moderately strenuous. See Ichetucknee Springs State Park and Thomas Farm

    TIME:7:45 A.M. to 5:00 P.M.  PRICE:$65.00 U.S.  BUS PICK UP LOCATION:Hilton Conference Center Lobby


Saturday -  May 23, 2015 - Post conference Fieldtrip- CANCELLED 

  • Trip #5- Florida's Colonial History: St. Augustine, the Oldest Colonial City in North America-              Sorry St. Augustine Trip has been CANCELLED