5 hours of Professional Development (In application process)
2.5 hours Face to Face, 2.5 post assignment
Facilitated by Gary Milano,
Fernando Bretos and Chelle King
Resources Related to Virginia Key Workshop
will expose participants to the unique coastal ecology and cultural
history of Virginia Key North Point (VKNP). VKNP is the 17-acre northern
promontory of Virginia Key that is currently undergoing habitat
restoration through a partnership between the Miami-Dade County
Department of Environmental Resource Management (DERM) and the Patricia
and Phillip Frost Science Museum’s Museum Volunteers for the Environment
(MUVE) program. As this area is undergoing massive environmental
modification, EEI hopes to capture ecological change and social
opinions. Participants will take an informational walking tour of the
North Point. Experts from DERM and MUVE and local historians will give a
short lecture on the history of this unique habitat and identification
of native and invasive vegetation. During the informational tour,
faculty will have an opportunity to actively participate in the habitat
restoration: planting native dune plants, removing invasive vegetation,
and documenting existing conditions. Participants will be expected to
relate this workshop experience to their discipline (life science, arts,
journalism, etc.) and develop ways to explore basic concepts of ecology
and conservation into courses.
As a result of successful completion of the workshop,
participants will be able to:
Explain the historical events that led to Virginia Key
North Point to be in need of habitat restoration.
Describe the ecological significance of Virginia Key
Describe how volunteer activities may be used as
experiential learning opportunities for MDC students.
Identify the native and invasive flora of Virginia Key.
Describe the connection between the different habitats at
Virginia Key North Point.
Engage students in creating a short project that will be
publicized on the MUVE and EEI websites. (short stories, photo essays,
citizen science surveys, short films or journal articles about their
attitudes of VKNP)
Evaluation will include completion of workshop and
participant must develop a discipline specific lesson plan or course
module that incorporates key concepts of sustainability and/or
importance of healthy ecosystems in support of human prosperity and
survival. Lesson plan is due to the director of Earth Ethics
within three weeks of the workshop, and will be posted on the Earth
Ethics webpage. Student work related to the Virginia Key North Point
will be posted on the MUVE and EEI Websites.
Fernando Bretos - Curator of Ecology and Field
Conservation, Patricia and Phillip Frost Museum of Science; Director,
MuVE (Museum Volunteers for the Environment) Miami Science Museum
Mr. Bretos is Director of MuVE, a volunteer based habitat restoration
project that empowers South Florida residents to restore urban coastal
ecosystems such as mangroves, dunes and tropical hardwood forests. As
Curator of Ecology he is also helping design marine science based
exhibits for a 250,000 square foot state-of-the-art museum and aquarium
where the Museum will move to in 2015. A 2011 Kinship Fellow and 2010
Audubon Together Green Fellow, he holds a Master’s degree in Marine
Affairs and Policy from the University of Miami’s Rosenstiel School of
Marine and Atmospheric Science and a bachelor’s degree in biology from
King - MUVE Coordinator. Chelle, an environmental educator,
coordinates MUVE's volunteer restoration and citizen science activities.
The coordinator will oversee the implementation of volunteer activities
and educational outreach. She directs all educational outreach,
volunteer coordination and social networking efforts, including the
development of videos, blogs, social media presence, digital badges and
other web-based materials. Chelle earned an MS in Biology from Truman
University and is a Miami native.
Milano is a restoration ecologist with over 30 years of experience
restoring Miami’s diverse natural habitats. He has overseen some of the
largest, most successful efforts during his tenure with Miami-Dade
County Department of Environmental Resource Management and the State of
Florida. Milano holds a Master’s Degree in Marine Biology and Coastal
Zone Management from Nova Southeastern University.