The Station’s Education Program involves providing facility access, support material, and use planning to university courses, trainings, and extension activities. Instructional support is limited, but introductory lectures may be arranged. University of Florida courses utilize the Station year around as well as other academic institutions. The courses are a mixture of undergraduate and graduate lab and field classes.
Training for students and professionals also occurs at Ordway-Swisher and are also usually natural resource focused such as fire training or environmental stewardship workshops. Basic NWCG wildland fire training is taught semi-annually in August. In the winter months, participants from the National Interagency Prescribed Fire Training Center (PFTC) visit the Station and partake in live fire exercise trainings to gain experience in conducting prescribed fires.
Besides the over 9,200 acres available for education and extension activities, the Station has a 32-person classroom at the Duke Campbell bldg (Butler bldg) that can be rented for teaching, trainings, and meetings. Audiovisual equipment and high speed Wi-Fi Internet access (Gatorlink authenticated) are available. The classroom furniture layout can be rearranged to meet course needs. The building also includes restrooms and a galley kitchen. Courses wishing to stay overnight can utilize the Stations primitive campsites, however restroom and showers are limited.
What is needed in order to use the Station for teaching and training activities?
First time instructors visiting OSBS should contact the Station office at 352.846.0576 to discuss the proposed course use and logistical needs. The next step is to download and submit an education application. Instructions for submitting the application are noted at the top of the form. Instructors only need to complete the application process once for each course unless the course's use of OSBS is expected to change significantly. Returning courses should contact the Station at the beginning of the semester regarding scheduling their course use. Non-UF educational institutions are welcome to utilize the Station and should follow the same procedure as noted above.
Are there Station personnel available that can assist in instructing courses?
The Station's staff is limited in their availability, however depending on what instructional support you are interested in, assistance may be available. Introductory talks regarding OSBS, its history, and conservation practices are always available to visiting courses or trainings. Please request this in your use application.