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HomeEducationAcademia Hernando Presents “Coastal, Inland and Freshwater Florida”

Academia Hernando Presents “Coastal, Inland and Freshwater Florida”

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Take a virtual tour through the wilds of exotic Florida, enjoying the richest, untouched nature-made radiance this journey offers—all while learning valuable facts about the exquisite ecosystem that characterizes our home state.

Academia Hernando’s 2024 spring lecture series continues with the “Coastal, Inland and Freshwater Florida” presentation at 10 a.m. on Friday, Feb. 16, at St. Andrew’s Episcopal Church, 2301 Deltona Blvd. Academia Hernando is happy to welcome the professional writer, speaker and world traveler Don Philpott, who will be your presenter for this lecture. In 2023, he was awarded the President’s Lifetime Achievement Award for volunteer service, having logged more than 30,000 hours with Florida state parks.

Academia Hernando is a not-for-profit lifelong learning organization providing quality instruction and learning experiences for adult students throughout Hernando County and beyond. Their goal is to inform, educate and inspire adult learners through a series of weekly lectures on a wide variety of topics.

“A Nature Walk from Pensacola to the Florida Keys” is how an event notice describes this one-of-a-kind program.

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Don Philpott has over 40 years of experience as an award-winning writer, journalist, marketing consultant, public relations practitioner and passionate campaigner for conservation and the environment.

For 20 years, he worked for the Press Association-Reuters, the international wire service, traveling the world as a senior correspondent, covering significant events and news stories. He also participated in many expeditions as the sole media representative and has backpacked, climbed, canoed, ridden, and skied throughout Europe, North America, Africa, Asia, the Arctic, Australia and New Zealand.

In 1988, in London, he founded Mediawise Communications, a specialist writing and PR firm, and developed an international client list. In 1994, he became President of Mediawise U.S., based in Orlando, and remained in that position until the company closed in December 2009. Clients included Walt Disney World, NASA, Northrop Grumman, Edelman Public Relations, the Icelandic Tourist Board, the International Red Cross, Sara Lee, and Wrangler.

In 1980, he co-founded and edited Footloose, the first environmental outdoors magazine in the UK. From 2004 to 2010, he was editor of the Homeland Defense Journal and the International Homeland Defense Journal.

From 1997 to 2000, he was a board member of the non-profit Mustard Seed and helped raise more than $10 million for a state-of-the-art warehouse and headquarters complex for the organization.

Don Philpott is now a full-time writer and volunteer. He has more than 250 books published on a wide range of subjects. When not writing, Don volunteers at Wekiwa Springs State Park, where he helps run the nature center and interpretive programs within the park and as part of the outreach program. Because of his expedition experience, he teaches ‘Edible Florida’ and ‘Basic Survival’ courses throughout Florida.

He is President of the Wekiva Wilderness Trust, the park’s Citizen Support Organization, a director of the Florida State Parks Foundation, and vice president of the National Association of State Parks Foundations. He is a Florida Master Naturalist (FMN) and an instructor with the University of Florida’s FMN program teaching classes in Seminole County, FL. He is also a Florida Master Gardener and a Certified Interpretive Guide.

“Florida has some of the richest and most diverse habitats in North America, from beautiful beaches to inland springs and from world-class treasures such as the Everglades to Florida’s award-winning 175 state parks,” he said. “We will be looking at these different habitats and many of the plants, animals, birds, and insects that they support. There will also be a surprise element, so people must attend to find out what it is!”

Bev Nuzzi, a board member of Academia Hernando, looks forward to welcoming this popular presenter to the Academia stage.

“We’re delighted to welcome Don back to Academia Hernando,” she said. “We enjoy him so much, and his topic is so important. Sometimes, people don’t take the time to stop, take a good look around them, or appreciate their natural surroundings and what they can teach them. Don opens our eyes to our environment.”

“Coastal, Inland and Freshwater Florida” is the sixth presentation of the Spring 2024 series of Academia Hernando, which features a brilliant spectrum of topics delivered by the experts who know them best.

The season will continue on Feb. 23 with Sheryl Long’s A Visual History of Mapmaking, March 1 with Bruce Gobioff’s The Science of Star Trek, and a March 8 bus excursion or event.

Academia Hernando presentations begin promptly at 10 a.m. and last two hours with a 15-minute intermission. To register for the entire lecture series in addition to a March 8 mystery bus trip or event, print the registration form found at https://www.academiahernando.org/spring-series and mail with your check for $80 payable to Academia Hernando Inc. to Bev Nuzzi
15027 Middle Fairway Drive
Brooksville, FL 34609

Checks can also be brought to an Academia Hernando presentation; walk-in admissions are also available at $15 per presentation. Visit https://www.academiahernando.org/ for more information, or call (352) 345-8345 or (352) 515-0300.

Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey
Megan Hussey is a features journalist and author who is the winner of Florida Press Association honors and a certificate of appreciation from LINCS (Family Support Domestic and Sexual Violence Prevention Task Force) and Sunrise Domestic Violence and Sexual Assault Center for her newspaper coverage of these issues. She graduated cum laude from Ball State University in Muncie, Ind., with a journalism major and English/sociology minor, and previously wrote for publications that include the Pasco editions of The Tampa Tribune and Tampa Bay Times. A native of Indiana, she lives in Florida.
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