FIU Blog Miami Highlight: Everglades National Park
A few weeks ago, Global First Year students visited the Florida Everglades, a true South Florida highlight!
Everglades National Park is a 1.5-million-acre wetlands preserve on the southern tip of Florida, less than an hour drive west of Miami. Often compared to a grassy, slow-moving river, the Everglades is made up of coastal mangroves, sawgrass marshes and pine flatwoods that are home to hundreds of animal species. Among the Everglades’ abundant wildlife are the endangered leatherback turtle, Florida panther and West Indian manatee.
Global First Year students took a special trip to the Everglades for an extra credit opportunity and blog assignment in their EVR 3013 Course (Ecology of South Florida) that focuses on the Everglades Ecosystem. This provided an opportunity for students to see many of the plants, animals and characteristics of the ecosystems that they have been learning about in class.
Students toured the Everglades with Shark Valley Tram Tours. It was a two-hour driving tour on a single-lane paved path in the Everglades. During the tour, students saw five alligators (including one that was reported of around 10-12 feet long!), a number of egrets and other large fowl, turtles and two of the many ecosystems found in the Everglades. In the middle of the tour, students were allowed to leave the tram and visit an observation tower that gave a 360-degree view of the Everglades from three stories up. The entire tour was narrated by a National Park Ranger from Everglades National Park.
Students enjoyed the trip very much and loved documenting this adventure on social media and taking pictures of the wildlife to send back home!