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Fins and Feathers: Exploring the Florida Environment From Sea to Sky

Program Number: 14441RJ
Start and End Dates:
2/8/2015 - 2/13/2015;
Duration: 5 nights
Location: St. Petersburg, Florida
Price starting at: $776.00 - Price may vary based on date, departure city
Program Type: Science & Nature Activity Level: t (see description)
Meals: 15; 5 Breakfasts, 5 Lunches, 5 Dinners    
Meal Options: Low Fat; Low Salt; Vegetarian; Gluten Free    

Tampa Bay’s warm breezes, sunny days, sandy beaches and bountiful waters provide the perfect habitat for a profusion of flora and fauna. Meet the creatures that inhabit this diverse ecosystem as you explore the mangroves and pine flatwoods where wading birds seek refuge, watch for dolphins from the deck of an eco-boat and observe manatees both in the wild and at a rehabilitation facility. Visit a beach ranked among the best in the country and feast your eyes on beach birds soaring among the sea oats and pine trees and over the blue water of the Gulf of Mexico. Get up close to some of Florida’s most interesting and beautiful creatures on visits to a bird sanctuary and an aquarium, and talk with scientists and other experts about conservation, marine life and avian ecology.




Highlights

• Visit with experts at leading marine science foundations like the Mote Marine Laboratory and Aquarium and Save our Seabirds Wild Bird Learning Center.
• At the South Florida Museum, explore Parker Manatee Aquarium and meet Snooty, the oldest known living manatee.
• Experience the diverse flora and fauna of Eckerd College’s own campus with an expert on the natural environment of South Florida.



Activity Particulars

Walking on uneven terrain, standing for extended periods, some stairs.




Date Specific Information

2-8-2015

Enjoy the latest in hearing technology — listening devices — on this date.



Coordinated by Eckerd College.




St. Petersburg (Florida)

Known as the “Sunshine City” with an average of 361 sunny days per year, “St. Pete” has 234 miles of shoreline and boasts 125 city parks, as well as one of America’s top-ranked beaches and the largest municipal arena in the southeast.



Accommodations
Waterfront hotel on Tampa Bay with two swimming pools, private beach and tennis.

Road Scholar Instructors
These instructors are participating on at least one date of this program. Please note that changes may occur.
Kevin Van Dien

A New Jersey native, Kevin moved to St. Petersburg to attend Eckerd College. After receiving a bachelor's degree in biology, he began working at The Science Center of Pinellas County as a part-time instructor. Kevin soon became the marine curator, a position that allowed him to design and implement the Science Center's educational program. Today, he is the administrative coordinator for the Education Department at Tampa's Florida Aquarium.
 
Meals and Lodgings
   Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
  St. Petersburg, FL 5 nights
 Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Type: Hotel
  Description: With two pools and private beach, this full service 18-acre waterfront hotel is located directly on Tampa Bay. Convenient to nearby Gulf beaches and area attractions and all there is to do in St. Pete and the Tampa Bay area.
  Contact info: 6800 Sunshine Skyway Lane
St. Petersburg, FL 33711 USA
phone: 727-867-1151
web: www.marinacoveresort.com
  Room amenities: Clock radio; coffee maker; free local phone calls' hair dryer; microwave (on request); refrigerator; 2nd floor rooms have a balcony
  Facility amenities: Arcade and game room; ATM; bar and lounge; fitness center; gift shop; wireless internet access in public areas; laundry facilities; private beach; hot tub; 2 outdoor swimming pools; shuffleboard, tennis and volleyball courts.
  Smoking allowed: No
  Elevators available: Yes
  Additional nights prior: call for prices Call the hotel directly at 727-867-1151 for prices.
  Check in time: 4:00 PM
  Additional nights after: call for prices Call the hotel directly at 727-867-1151 for prices.
  Check out time: 11:00 AM


Travel Details
  Start of Program:
Room check-in between 4:00 and 5:00pm. Meeting room will be determined at check-in. You will be staying at Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove that night.
  End of Program:
1 pm on Friday You will be staying at Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove the night before.
  Required documents:
The Road Scholar Health & Safety Form is required.
  Parking availability:
Parking is free and available close to the accommodations for the duration of your stay.
Transportation
To Start of Program
  Location:  St. Petersburg, FL
  Nearest city or town:  Tampa, FL
  Nearest highway: I-275
  Nearest airport:  Tampa International Airport
  From End of Program
  Location: St. Petersburg, FL
    (Additional transportation information same as above)
Travel Details
 

To/From Magnuson Hotel

 

To Train Station

 
 

Service:

 

Train
Amtrak
phone: 813-221-7600

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

   

5251 110th Avenue North Pinellas Park Square, Suite 101 Clearwater, FL 33760 Taxi: Bat's Taxi: 727-367-3702 Yellow:813-253-0121 United:813-253-2424

 

To/From Magnuson Hotel

 

To Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
Greyhound Lines
phone: 727-898-1496

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

   

To/From Magnuson Hotel 727-8981496 To/From Greyhound Lines-7 Miles (For Greyhound Only) Greyhound Lines 180 9th Street North St. Petersburg, Fl 33705 Taxi: Bat's Taxi: 727-367-3702 United:727-535-0000 Clearwater Yellow:727-799-2222

 

Magnuson Hotel/St. Petersburg

 

From Bus Terminal

 
 

Service:

 

Taxi
See below
Advanced Reservations Required

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

Call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

10 minutes 

 

Distance:

 

5 miles

   

Bat's Taxi: 727-367-3702 United Cab: 727-799-2222 Clearwater Yellow: 727-799-2222

 

To/From Magnuson Hotel

 

From Airport

 
 

Service:

 

Commercial Van/Shuttle
Super Shuttle
phone: 800-282-6817

 

Per Person/One Way:

 

call for current rates
Prices are subject to change.

 

Travel Time:

 

1/2 hour 

 

Distance:

 

approximately 35 miles

   

Reservations are recommended, but not necessary www.supershuttle.com

 
Driving Directions
  Northeast of St. Petersburg I-4 or I-75 south, merging onto I-275 (St. Petersburg). You will travel approximately 20 miles, all the way through Tampa, across Tampa Bay and past the downtown St. Petersburg exits. Take I-275 south to exit 16. Turn left at the stop. Turn right on Sunshine Skyway Lane. The Magnuson Hotel will be on your left.
  Southeast of St. Petersburg I-75 north to I-275. Cross the Sunshine Skyway Bridge ($1.00 toll). Take exit 16, right onto Sunshine Skyway Lane. The Magnuson Hotel will be on your right.
  St. Petersburg/Clearwater International Airport Turn left onto Roosevelt Blvd. (686) as you exit the airport. Follow to Ulmerton Road. Take I-275 south to exit 16. Turn left at the stop. Turn right on Sunshine Skyway Lane. The Magnuson Hotel will be on your left.
  Tampa International Airport I-275 south (St. Petersburg). You will travel approximately 20 miles, all the way through Tampa, across Tampa Bay and past the downtown St. Petersburg exits. Take I-275 south to exit 16. Turn left at the stop. Turn right on Sunshine Skyway Lane. The Magnuson Hotel will be on your left.
Elevation Note: Sea level

Equipment Requirements: Binoculars are not required but will enhance the experience, especially where wildlife is a distance away
The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.


Daily Schedule

Day 1: Arrival/Welcome/Orientation
(Sunday, February 8)
   
 Afternoon: Check in at the Magnuson Hotel front desk and pick up your arrival packet. Our Program Coordinator will begin with an orientation and introduction session. We’ll review the updated itinerary for the week and begin getting to know one another in anticipation of the program ahead.
 Dinner: Dinner at the hotel
 Evening: Time on your own to enjoy the hotel amenities, continue getting to know your fellow participants, or rest after your day of travel
   
Accommodations: Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Meals Included: Dinner

Day 2: Lecture and Walking Eco Tour of Eckerd College Campus
(Monday, February 9)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel with at least one hot item. Assorted fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
 Morning: ACTIVITY: We begin our day with a lecture about Florida habitats, especially those on the Eckerd College Campus. We then take a walking tour of campus to see first hand the habitats described in the lecture. Learn about the variety of Florida ecosystems and how they are threatened by invasive species. Our expert lecturer and tour guide is Kevin Van Dien, Public Programs Supervisor of The Florida Aquarium in Tampa. There will be a short refreshment break mid-morning. PLACEMENT OF CLASSES AND FIELD TRIPS ON THE SCHEDULE ARE SUBJECT TO CHANGE WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE. IN ADDITION, SOME LECTURE TOPICS MIGHT BE ALTERED WITHOUT PRIOR NOTICE.
 Lunch: Lunch at the CEC Café. A selection of various entrees to choose from in a self service format with trays.
 Afternoon: An expert lecture will enlighten the group about Florida wildlife
 Dinner: Dinner at the CEC Cafe
 Evening: Each evening will feature either a lecture in conjunction with the course, a presentation, a movie or entertainment by a local artist.
   
Accommodations: Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 3: Field Trip to South Florida Museum and Parker Manatee Aquarium/ /Field Trip to Manatee Viewing Center
(Tuesday, February 10)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel with at least one hot item. Assorted fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: We visit the South Florida Museum, the largest natural and cultural history museum on Florida’s Gulf Coast. The museum interprets the region from the Pleistocene to the present. Highlights include fossil evidence of Florida’s earliest mammals and marine species and the Montague Tallant collection of prehistoric and early post-contact archaeological artifacts. Recently opened is the Environmental Wing focusing on Florida’s ecology and bio-diversity in the Pine Uplands and Riverine Galleries. Our special focus of interest at the South Florida Museum is the Parker Manatee Aquarium. The aquarium is part of Florida’s manatee rehabilitation network and is home to Manatee County's most famous resident and official mascot, ‘Snooty’, the manatee, the oldest known living manatee. The Parker Manatee Aquarium, designed to house three adult manatees, holds nearly 60,000 gallons of water. The pool offers both deep and shallow water, allowing the manatees to maintain natural feeding behaviors. An exhibit area within the facility helps to educate the public about manatee anatomy, physiology and habitat, and provides above and below water viewing.
 Lunch: Boxed lunch in a picnic area
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP Manatee Viewing Center Apollo Beach. We have met Snooty and his companions. Now we encounter these gentle creatures in the wild, Tampa Electric Company has taken advantage of the fact that manatees congregate in the warm water coming from its power plant and created an award winning environmental and educational center.
 Dinner: Dinner at the CEC Cafe
 Evening: An evening program at the hotel will enlighten and entertain.
   
Accommodations: Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 4: Field Trip to Mote Marine Aquarium/ Tour of Save our Seabirds
(Wednesday, February 11)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel with at least one hot item. Assorted fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP Founded by Dr. Eugenie Clark in 1955, Mote Marine Laboratory has been a leader in marine research on sharks, red tide and other environmental toxins, marine mammals, sea turtles, coral reefs, fisheries, coastal ecology and aquaculture (sustainable fish farming). Mote has about 1,400 volunteers who contribute more than 200,000 volunteer hours to the organization. Mote Aquarium is proud to be accredited by the Association of Zoos and Aquariums (AZA) and has met rigorous, professional standards for animal management, veterinary care, wildlife conservation and research, education, safety, staffing and more. During our visit you will have time, in a self guided tour, to explore the secrets of the sea through touch pools, viewable-working labs and high-tech interactive exhibits that showcase the world-renowned research of Mote Marine Laboratory. You will see sharks, manatees and sea turtles, along with more than 100 other species of marine life.
 Lunch: Lunch at Deep Sea Diner at the Aquarium
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: Our afternoon is devoted to visiting Save our Seabirds Wild Bird Learning Center, a non-profit wildlife conservation and education organization located on the former site of The Pelican Man Bird Sanctuary on City Island in Sarasota, Florida. Their mission is to rescue, rehabilitate, and release injured birds, and to educate the public about nature and environmental sustainability. Birds that have been rescued but are unable to be returned to the wild are given permanent homes in their Wild Bird Learning Center. Our tour guide will enlighten us about their work.
 Dinner: Dinner at the CEC Cafe
 Evening: An evening program at the hotel will enlighten and entertain.
   
Accommodations: Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 5: Lecture and Field Trip to Eckerd College Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory/Boat Trip around Boca Ciega Bay/ Evening Program
(Thursday, February 12)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel with at least one hot item. Assorted fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
 Morning: FIELD TRIP: This morning we take the short bus ride to the Eckerd College Campus, to the Galbraith Marine Science Laboratory. A tour of the complex gives you a glimpse of the many types of research occuring at Eckerd, where marine science is a popular major. A professor lectures about a particular topic of interest.
 Lunch: Lunch at the CEC Cafe
 Afternoon: FIELD TRIP: After lunch, proceed to the college waterfront where we board a pontoon boat for a ride around the waters of the college exploring the natural beauty of Boca Ciega Bay.
 Dinner: A catered buffet dinner in our private room at the college
 Evening: An Evening Program of musical entertainment
   
Accommodations: Magnuson Hotel - Marina Cove
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch, Dinner

Day 6: Field Trip to Fort De Soto Park/ Lecture on Seabirds
(Friday, February 13)
   
 Breakfast: Buffet breakfast at the hotel with at least one hot item. Assorted fruit, juice, coffee and tea.
 Morning: Our final field trip takes us to Fort DeSoto Park, the largest park within the Pinellas County Park System, consisting of 1,136 acres made up of five interconnected islands (keys). These keys are home to beach plants, mangroves, wetlands, palm hammocks, hardwoods and scores of native plants. Each of these species plays a vital role in the preservation and protection of the natural environment. We experience the park's natural beauty and see why Trip Advisor named it America's Number One Beach in 2009, We visit the Fort DeSoto Park Bird Sanctuary now protected for threatened shorebird and seabird nesting and foraging habitat. An expert shares insights into this beautiful oasis. The bus is available to for trips to the hotel to accommodate early departures.
 Lunch: Lunch at the hotel. Program concludes with lunch today. Thank you for choosing Eckerd College and the Magnuson Hotel for your Road Scholar experience. Hope you enjoyed the week and will come back to see us again soon. Have a safe journey to your next destination.
   
Meals Included: Breakfast, Lunch
Important information about your itinerary: Every effort has been made to ensure the accuracy and completeness of the information featured on this website. Itineraries are based on our best information at this time. Circumstances beyond our control may require us to adjust itineraries or other details. We regret any inconvenience this may cause and appreciate your understanding. Information will be sent to you from your Program Provider approximately three weeks prior to the program start date. The prices listed for commercial services and facilities that are not included in the program cost, such as airport shuttles or extra nights lodging, are subject to change without notice. Since Road Scholar cannot guarantee the accuracy of these prices, we strongly suggest contacting the companies directly for the most up-to-date information.

Suggested Reading List


National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida


Author: Peter Alden


Description: Filled with concise descriptions and stunning photographs, the National Audubon Society Field Guide to Florida belongs in the home of every Florida resident and in the suitcase or backpack of every visitor. An easy-to-use field guide for identifying 1,000 of the state's wildflowers, trees, mushrooms, mosses, fishes, amphibians, reptiles, birds, butterflies, mammals, and much more; A complete overview of Florida's natural history, covering geology, wildlife habitats, ecology, fossils, rocks and minerals, clouds and weather patterns and night sky.



Birds of Florida's Gulf Coast (Foldingguides)


Author: Ernest Simmons


Description: FoldingGuides offer instant access to just what you need to know. Indestructible lamination - water and beachproof. 62 bird species, both common and exotic, commonly seen in Florida Gulf Coast, from the Alabama border all the way down to the Everglades City. Includes shorebirds, wading birds, beach species, gulls and terns, ducks, and birds of prey. Species selection and captions by local experts. Illustrations by Ernest C. Simmons. 9.00 inches tall x 4.00 inches long x 0.10 inches wide



Marjorie Kinnan Rawlings: A Descriptive Bibliography


Author: Tarr, Rodger L.




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