Skip to primary navigation Skip to content Skip to footer

Florida Master Naturalist

Ripple Effect Ecotours Naturalist Program at Marineland

Ripple Effect Ecotours, in partnership with University of Florida’s Whitney Laboratory for Marine Bioscience, offers the Coastal Module and the Uplands Module of the Florida Master Naturalist Program. The FMNP is an environmental education extension program offered through the University of Florida-Institute of Food and Agricultural Sciences (UF-IFAS) in conjunction with Ripple Effect Ecotours.

Once you complete a module, you will be registered with UF-IFAS as a Florida Master Naturalist for that module, and you will be prepared to share your knowledge about Florida’s natural world along with its ecological and environmental history.

The FMNP is not a degree-seeking program. It’s appropriate for both the novice and the highly skilled environmental professional. The classes are perfect for volunteers and staff members of nature centers, preserves and other environmental education facilities, ecotourism operators and guides, teachers seeking environmental education contact hours and anyone with an enthusiasm for learning about Florida’s environment.


The Florida Master Naturalist Program

Classes are held at the Whitney Laboratory in the town of Marineland, near St. Augustine, FL. The classroom is the 40,000 acres of the Guana-Tolomato-Matanzas National Estuarine Research Reserve. Each module consists of 40-hours of training which includes classroom instruction, field trips and practical interpretive experience in the ecology, habitats, vegetation, wildlife and conservation issues specific to Florida ecosystems. In addition, the program addresses the role of society in conservation, develops naturalist interpretation skills and discusses environmental ethics.

Ripple Effect Ecotours, is proud to work with FMNP and UF/IFAS to offer the Upland Systems Module to St. Johns and Flagler Counties. Registration is now open.

Through classroom, field trip, and practical experience, this Module provides instruction on the general ecology, habitats, vegetation types, wildlife, and conservation issues of Upland Systems in Florida – Hardwood Forests, Pinelands, Scrub, Dry Prairie, Rangelands and Urban Green Spaces. The program also addresses society’s role in uplands, develops naturalist interpretation skills, and discusses environmental ethics.

For full class schedule, additional information, or to register for this Module, please visit:



What people say about Ripple Effect Ecotours' Florida Master Naturalist Modules

"The 2 FMNP modules which I took with Danny Lippi were among the most inspiring, educational, and fun courses which I have taken. The speakers were terrific and the field trips amazing. Danny has an awesome fund of knowledge and a natural ability for teaching. It was truly a pleasure working with him. "Wonderful" is an understatement."

– Laurie McCreery

"More than a class...learning under Danny's tuteledge is an experience. You filled our lives with a passion for the ecosystems of Florida and beyond. You introduced us to lifelong learning and sharing in our environment. Your respect for each participant was a model of encouraging us to learn from others as well. Thank you, Danny."

– Audrey Tennant

"Of the many courses and teachers I have had in my life, Danny Lippi, the instructor for the recently-held Coastal Systems Module of the FL Master Naturalist Program is at the top of my list. Great teachers are rare. They combine "the gift" to teach with hard work and study. Lippi follows that path."

– Jim Conner

"Absolutely fantastic course! Danny was an excellent instructor. His knowledge, passion and humor made the course engaging and fun. Not sure I've ever learned so much so quickly. The lectures, resources, videos, and PowerPoints are exemplary. I am from New Hampshire and entered the course with very little knowledge of Florida's ecosystem. I now know more than most of my Floridian friends."

– Lou Powell