Florida Master Naturalists

Florida Master Naturalists

A Naturalist is a person who studies the ecosystems of plants and animals in their natural settings. There are many factors that affect the natural habitat of an organism. The availability of food and water, climate, temperature, soil conditions and disturbances due to natural causes such as fires or floods affect an ecosystem.  Natural and man made disturbances in an ecosystem are factors that naturalists study. Scientists such as biologists, wildlife managers and others can be considered naturalists. There are educational programs that help give citizens and lay  people a better understanding of their surroundings and the plant and wildlife that exist around them. One such program in  Florida is the  Florida Master Naturalist Program (FMNP). According to their website it helps students and interested people “to promote awareness, understanding and respect of Florida’s natural world. ” The FMNP instructors  do this by holding programs and classes throughout the year in wetlands systems, uplands and coastal areas. One of Florida’s famous naturalists was Rachel Carson who was concerned about the destruction of Florida’s natural environment. She wrote a book named Silent Spring in 1962 in which she talks about the harmful chemicals that were being sprayed on Florida’s landscape to control pests that were damaging agricultural crops but were also decimating the birds living in Florida.




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