Visit the Florida Keys – virtually

Being a student in the Florida Keys means being surrounded by nature – the Everglades National Park, the Florida Keys National Marine Sanctuary and the Florida Bay. Though social distancing has changed the way these places can be visited, in Fall 2020, FIU CASE is bringing this biologically diverse paradise to explorers of all ages.

Thanks to a donation from Royal Caribbean, FIU CASE Education Outreach will keep students in the Florida Keys connected to their local environment through virtual field trips. Each school in Monroe County will be offered one free experience for 5th – 9th graders. Through the Florida Keys and Me virtual field trip, students can explore nature in real time, ask questions of experts and virtually collect data. Choose from three distinct adventures:

  • Hardwood Hammocks – Join us for a virtual walk through of a hardwood hammock. Identify native plant species, remove invasive species and create a species list for the hammock.
  • Mangroves & Marine – Venture through a mangrove habitat and learn how marine debris is studied by FIU students. Categorize debris to be added to the NOAA Marine Debris Tracker application
  • Debris and Seagrass – Learn how to conduct a seagrass survey by participating in a live study – virtually. Fill out individual data sheets using identification guides to pinpoint species.

Learning to live in balance with these fragile places so they continue to provide needed resources is a big part of living in the Florida Keys – and many places around the world. An understanding of how to live with nature is crucial for the sustainable progression of communities, no matter where they are, both economically and environmentally.

The best part? With Zoom anyone can visit the Florida Keys and make connections to your own backyard – wherever home may be. For more information on the Florida Keys and Me virtual field trip program, in addition to other virtual programs like mini-camps – visit www.case.fiu.edu/education-outreach.