Floracliff Nature Sanctuary


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Aquatic Diversity Workshop, 2012 by Beverly James
In 2012, we developed the Floracliff Field Studies Workshop Series to highlight biodiversity in the region and give people unique hands-on field experiences in Central Kentucky. Workshop topics have covered mushrooms, aquatic diversity, ferns, herpetology, insects and spiders, geology, spring flora, and more. Workshop participants gain experience in species identification, biological surveys and collection techniques, and field observations. Indoor activities cover natural history, ecology, life cycles, species behavior, paleontology, and more.

While the workshops are open to anyone, we think they will be of particular interest to naturalists, biology students, science educators, and land managers as well as those with a strong passion for the subject. Workshop fees covers instruction and a book or other resource for everyone who attends. Please inquire about scholarships by sending an email to info@floracliff.org

To register: 

Please fill out the registration form below and mail to the listed address with the payment. Early registration is encouraged. Workshops are limited to 15 participants.

Registration Form PDF document icon


2017 Workshop Schedule:


Macroinvertebrates and Fishes of Kentucky

June 9th and 10th (8:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Friday and Saturday)
Instructors: Dr. Amy Braccia (EKU) and Michael Compton (KSNPC)

Cost: $60


Floracliff Nature Sanctuary & Lower Howard’s Creek State Nature Preserve

This workshop will focus on the diverse groups of aquatic macroinvertebrates and fish in Kentucky. An introduction of Kentucky’s Aquatic Natural History, with a focus on the species within the Palisades and Bluegrass Region of the state will be presented. Field trips will include Floracliff and Lower Howard's Creek State Nature Preserves. Students will spend time in-stream and in the laboratory, collecting, identifying, and discussing the ecology, behavior, habitats, and conservation of aquatic organisms. Course material will be provided but all participants should have the proper clothing and footwear to efficiently and safely navigate within the stream channel. Students should plan to get wet and have fun and experience Kentucky’s rich Aquatic Biodiversity!

Dr. Amy Braccia is the aquatic entomologist from Eastern Kentucky University.  Amy has over 20 years of experience in the collection and identification of insects for research and biomonitoring purposes. Mike Compton is the Aquatic Zoologist for the Kentucky State Nature Preserves Commission. He has over 20 years of experience in the collection, identification and conservation of Kentucky’s fish, crayfish, mussels, and insects.



Amphibians and Reptiles of Kentucky (Sold Out)

September 16-17 (9:00 a.m. - 5:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday, with optional evening herping on Saturday)
Instructors: Dr. Stephen Richter (EKU), Dr. Steven Price (UK), & Andrea Drayer (UK)

Cost: $60


**This workshop has filled up. To be added to the waiting list, please email info@floracliff.org.**

Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory (Saturday, September 16th)
Floracliff Nature Sanctuary (Sunday, September 17th)

This workshop will address biodiversity, ecology, and life history of amphibians and reptiles with particular focus on species found in central Kentucky. We will hike to sample upland and aquatic habitats, so participants should expect to have fun getting dirty and wet. Students will be introduced to field sampling techniques, identification, and proper handling of herptiles. All participants will receive a copy of Petersonʼs Field Guide to Eastern Reptiles and Amphibians. Field trips will include Maywoods Environmental and Educational Laboratory, which is located in the Knobs Ecoregion, and Floracliff State Nature Preserve, which is located in the Inner Bluegrass Ecoregion.  

Lodging is available Friday and Saturday night at Maywoods for interested participants ($8/person/night). Please see http://naturalareas.eku.edu or call 859-622-1476 for more information.

The instructors have a combined 52 years of experience studying reptiles and amphibians. Stephen Richter is an Associate Professor of Biology and Associate Director of the Division of Natural Areas at Eastern Kentucky University. Steven Price is an Assistant Professor of Wildlife Ecology in the Department of Forestry at University of Kentucky. Andrea Drayer is a Research Analyst in the Department of Forestry at the University of Kentucky.



Woody Plants of Kentucky (Sold Out)

October 21-22 (9:00 a.m. - 4:00 p.m. Saturday and Sunday)
Instructor: Dr. Ronald L. Jones

Cost: $65


**This workshop has filled up. To be added to the waiting list, please email info@floracliff.org.**

Floracliff Nature Sanctuary (Saturday, October 21st)
Red River Gorge (Sunday, October 22nd)

This workshop will focus on the vast diversity of trees and other woody plants in Kentucky. Participants will learn woody plant terminology and how to key out species using a field guide. On hikes at Floracliff and the Red River Gorge, we will observe and identify trees and other woody plants. All participants will receive a copy of Woody Plants of Kentucky and Tennessee, a book co-authored by the instructor, Dr. Ronald L. Jones.

Dr. Ronald L. Jones is a Foundation Professor Emeritus at Eastern Kentucky University and the former curator of the EKU Herbarium. For many years, he taught courses on dendrology, aquatic and wetland plants, and plant systematics. He is the author of two books on the Kentucky flora and the founding president of the Kentucky Native Plant Society.



Floracliff Nature Sanctuary • P.O. Box Box 21723 • Lexington, KY 40522 • (859) 296-0986 • info@floracliff.org
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