Weedon Island Preserve Begins an Exciting Holiday Season
On Thursday, Nov. 1, the second of the fall 2012 Marine Research Salty Topics speaker series, is your opportunity to learn about the U.S. Integrated Ocean Observing System, the United States’ component of the global Ocean Observing System.
This free program is presented by Dr. Mark Luther, director of the Ocean Monitoring and Prediction Lab at the University of South Florida and associate professor of USF College of Marine Science. This program will be held at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center from 6:45 to 8 p.m.
The IOOS consists of real-time observations of oceanic variables both open-ocean and coastal locations. Successes of the IOOS include increased safety and efficiency of maritime transportation, improved search and rescue, improved response to spills of hazardous materials and increased efficiency of electric power generation in coastal regions.
The Tampa Bay Physical Oceanographic Real-Time System was the first operational observing system in the U.S., perhaps in the world. Because the bay’s tides and currents are influenced strongly by non-tidal forces such as winds and river flow, TB-PORTS will provide important information to both recreational boaters and professional pilots navigating in Tampa Bay. TB-PORTS has been in continuous operation since 1992 and was the first to post real-time ocean data to the Internet in 1993.
Also at Weedon, guided hikes abound each Saturday during November. Participants learn about the ecosystems and the early residents of the preserve while hiking the coastal uplands and the boardwalks through mangrove forests. These 9 to 11 a.m. hikes are best for ages 6 and older.
Runners and walkers will enjoy the Gopher Weedon 7K trail run on Saturday, Nov. 3 as they journey along well-maintained dirt and boardwalk trails through native Florida habitats, including gorgeous views of Tampa Bay. Following the run, visitors are invited to go to the Cultural and Natural History Center for educational and cultural festivities in celebration of the center’s 10-year anniversary.
The race starts at 8 a.m.; check-in is from 7 to 7:45 a.m. Advance registration recommended at www.fowi.org/gopherweedontrailrun.html. The registration cost is $30 by Oct. 31, $35 race-day (if not sold out).
On Friday, Nov. 9, guides will lead the group on a Great Weedon Bird Quest on a two-hour hike starting at 8 a.m. Participants will learn the identifying marks and behaviors of our feathered year-round residents and seasonal visitors while assisting in compiling an annual checklist of the preserve’s birds. This hike is designed to take advantage of all levels of birding experience so binoculars will be helpful.
On Saturday, Nov. 17, from 8 to 10 a.m. those interested in photography are invited to attend a perfect opportunity to hone their skills. A classroom session will highlight wildlife behaviors and focus tips, and participants will go outdoors where guides will help them capture in photographs the natural beauty they find.
The popular Wee Time at Weedon Island returns for children ages 3 to 5. On Thursday, Nov. 8 from 10:30 to 11:15 a.m. The children connect to the wonders of the natural world through a story and craft. They will hear Quiet Night by Marilyn Singer, a book that turns out to be anything but quiet with a nocturnal symphony of sounds.
On Thursday, Nov. 15, Robert Sinibaldi, Ph.D. and former president of the Tampa Fossil Club, presents the archaeology lecture, Modification of Vertebrate Fossils. The lecture is full of interesting facts and information from Dr. Sinibaldi’s latest book about the cultural modification of fossils by early people. These prehistoric finds deal with the overlap between archaeology and paleontology. The lecture will be presented from 7 to 8 p.m.
Connecting People and Place is an art-inspired, permanent hands-on educational exhibit of the area’s history, ecology and people at the Weedon Island Preserve Cultural and Natural History Center. The center is open 9 a.m. to 4 p.m., Thursday through Saturday; closed Sunday through Wednesday and holidays.
To learn more about Weedon Island Preserve and its upcoming programs and events, call (727) 453-6500. To register for programs and events visit www.weedonislandpreserve.org. Videos featuring Weedon Island Preserve can be viewed at www.youtube.com/pcctv1.
Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act. If you are a person with a disability who needs any accommodation in order to participate in a class or event, you are entitled, at no cost to you, to the provision of certain assistance. At least seven days prior to the class, please contact the Office of Human Rights, 400 S. Fort Harrison Ave., Suite 500, Clearwater, FL 33756, (727) 464-4062 (Voice/TDD).
For more information on Pinellas County services and programs, visit www.pinellascounty.org, now with LiveChat, or create a shortcut to www.pinellascounty.org/mobile on any smartphone. Pinellas County government is on Facebook, Twitter and YouTube. Pinellas County complies with the Americans with Disabilities Act