On January 11th of this year, our field ecology class took a field trip to the Pelican Island National Wildlife Refuge, Captain Forster Hammock Preserve, and the Barrier Island Learning Center. In addition to learning about ecology and field biology in the classroom, Mr. Lovelace has provided several opportunities for our class to experience what we are learning in Florida’s natural environment. During the trip, we saw various types of flora and fauna that we had been learning about in the classroom and were able to witness changes in the ecosystem as we moved from the river to the ocean. One particularly interesting plant that we saw is known as the toothache tree. When we chewed on a leaf from the tree, our gums went numb!
Going on this field trip helped us to understand what we have been learning in class, such as the unique relationships between organisms and their environments.
For instance, we noticed plants with thicker cuticles where the air was salty to prevent water loss. Mr. Lovelace helped us identify plants we have discussed in our curriculum, such as the invasive Brazilian pepper plant. In addition to learning a lot, we had a great time enjoying the outdoors and appreciating all nature has to offer.