Davis, J. E.1; Scharf, B.2; Collins, A.3; Hill, J.4; Hunter, M.5; Johnson, S.6; Leary, J.7; Moffis, B.8; O'Connor, A.9; Orlando, M.10; Stump, K.11; Lindemuth, B.12; Daniels, J.13
1Multi-County Extension Director, UF/IFAS Sumter County Extension, BUSHNELL, FL, 335138716
2Sea Grant/Marine Science Agent II, UF/IFAS Extension Hernando County, Brooksville, FL, 34604
3Florida Sea Grant Multi-County Agent II, UF/IFAS Extension Manatee County, Palmetto, FL, 34221
4Associate Professor, UF/IFAS School of Forest Resources and Conservation, Gainesville, FL, 32611
5Residential Horticulture Agent/Master Gardener Coordinator, UF/IFAS Extension Marion County, Ocala, FL, 34470
6Associate Professor, UF/IFAS Department of Wildlife Ecology and Conservation, Gainesville, FL, 32611
7Associate Professor, UF/IFAS Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, Gainesville, FL, 32611
8Commerical Horticulture/Florida-Friendly Landscaping Agent III, UF/IFAS Extension Lake County, Tavares, FL, 32778
9Panther Research Specialist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Naples, FL, 34114
10Wildlife Biologist, Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission, Eustis, FL, 32726
11Natural Resources Extension Agent, UF/IFAS Extension Osceola County, Kissimmee, FL, 34744
12Senior Forester, Florida Forest Service, Floral City, FL, 34436
13Professor, McGuire Center for Lepidoptera and Biodiversity, Gainesville, FL, 32611


   Invasive species are severely impacting Florida’s native fauna and wildlife. Florida has more invasive species than anywhere in the United States. Latest estimates state that $90,836,680 has been spent between 1999-2000 on exotic animal and plant control. In fact, 1.7 million acres have been affected by invasive plants alone. Educating residents on the identification and proper removal of exotic invasive species will help protect Florida’s unique and fragile ecosystems.

The Wildlife and Invasive Species Educational (WISE) workshop was first created in 2016. The goal of WISE was to provide continuing education for Master Naturalists, Master Gardeners, Cooperative Invasive Species Management Area (CISMA) members, and other advocates promoting native wildlife and the control of invasive species.

154 participants attended WISE. Eventbrite was utilized for registration. WISE was promoted using local media, social media, and flyers. Participants demonstrated a 35% increase in knowledge gain, as measured by pre and posttests.

WISE offered Continuing Education Units (CEU’s) in Agricultural Pest Control, Aquatic Pest Control, and Demonstration and Research.

The 2020 WISE was a three-day event. The first two days consisted of presentations by educators including UF/IFAS Extension Faculty, UF/IFAS Extension Specialists, CISMA, and the Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission (FWC). The third day consisted of a tour of the Florida Bass Conservation Center, guided hikes to several local wildlife management areas and parks by Extension Faculty. 

Topics for the 2020 WISE included landscaping for wildlife, horseshoe crabs, venomous snakes, pollinators, the Florida black bear, living with panthers, goliath grouper, invasive fish, nuisance wildlife, gopher tortoises, and invasive plants.

Educational booths consisted of CISMA, FWC, Master Naturalist, Hernando County Audubon Society, UF/IFAS Sea Grant, Clearwater Marine Rescue Center, UF Honeybee Research and Extension Lab, Center for Aquatic and Invasive Plants, and UF/IFAS Bookstore.

All Accepted Posters