EmpowerU! Natural Resources (Ocala, FL)

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Ocala, FL

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Event description


Are you concerned about natural resource issues and feel compelled to do more? Taking part in the EmpowerU Advocacy Training Program will move your appreciation for Florida natural resources to the next level. Learn how to influence natural resource management decisions, engage with decision-makers, and make a difference!

In this hybrid 5-week course (8 hours of self-paced online learning activities and a 1-day in-person workshop), master naturalists, master gardeners, forest landowners, natural resources professionals, or anyone interested in natural resources can grow their skills to meaningfully engage decision-makers about any issues they are concerned about.

Course details

When & Where: (both the online and in-person components are essential)

  • Course length: 4 weeks online + 1 day in-person
  • Online activities are March 3rd - March 29th (2 hours each week; at your own pace)
  • In-person workshop in Ocala, FL on April 4th (8am-5pm)


  • Registration fee will be $25
  • This is your RSVP; you will be contacted by event organizers prior to Feb 22nd with final course registration details and payment information.
  • Registration will close Feb 22nd, or when capacity is reached.
  • Lunch and refreshments included during in-person workshop.

Who should consider this course?

  • Anyone interested in taking their appreciation for natural resources to the next level, including master naturalists, master gardeners, forest landowners, natural resources professionals, or any informed citizens.


  • To make a difference by engaging decision-makers about natural resources management.


  • Completion of the online activities (approximately 2 hours/week) and participation at in-person workshop (8 hours) is required to receive course completion certificate.
  • Computer access, internet access, and access to a printer will be needed to complete the online activites.

Course outline and expectations

During the online activities participants will:

  • Learn about engagement;
  • Learn how to find reliable information;
  • Identify who can solve specific natural resource problems;
  • Understand influence, power and persuasion;
  • Review best practices for listening and questioning;
  • Learn about framing an issue; and
  • Create a plan to engage the right people to move their natural resource issue forward.

These skills are introduced and then incorporated into your personalized engagement plan via assignments within the online learning activities. By the end of the online course you will have a 4-5 page roadmap to address your natural resources engagement issue. You will need to complete your plan a few days before the in-person training, so the instructors can review it.

During the in-person workshop you will:

  • Meet others passionate about natural resource management;
  • Practice reflective listening;
  • Develop questions and frame issues;
  • Practice one-on-one meeting skills or presenting at a public meeting; and
  • Review your engagement plan with others to make it better.

Technology Requirements:

  • You will need reliable internet access and a computer with an updated web browser. In addition, you will need a broadband internet connection (DSL or faster), and the ability to playback media content (for courses that include audio and video).
  • Supported operating systems and web browsers: Canvas runs on Windows, Mac, Linux, iOS, Android, or any other device with a modern web browser. Canvas supports the last two versions of every browser release. We highly recommend updating to the newest version of whatever browser you are using as well as the most up-to-date Flash plug-in. Learn more about which browsers Canvas supports here: Which browsers does Canvas support?
  • Word processing software such as Microsoft Word OR Google account for use with Google Docs.
  • Adobe Acrobat or another supported PDF reader.
  • You will need access to a printer to print your student workbook (optional) and your completed Engagement Plan (required).

For more information:

Contact: Shelly.Johnson@ufl.edu

State Specialized Extension Agent, Natural Resources

Florida Master Naturalist Program Coordinator

University of Florida / IFAS Extension

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Ocala, FL

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