Coastal Bend Nature Challenge: UT Marine Science Institute

*Joey and William will be guests here on the blog as they document our Nature Challenge journey for 2016.

The Challenge:  Check out an Explorer Kit to become a scientist at the Reserve.

W: We went to the UT Marine Science Institute in Port Aransas.  We checked out an Explorer Kit.october-2016-004_3_1 october-2016-005_4_1 october-2016-008_5_1 october-2016-010_6_1

J:  We followed the map and went to different stops along the way.october-2016-012_7_1 october-2016-013_8_1 october-2016-014_9_1 october-2016-016_10_1

W:  At each stop, we stopped and made observations.october-2016-017_11_1 october-2016-020_12_1 october-2016-021_1_1 october-2016-023_2_1

J: Auntie Jessica read the cards from the kit to us which asked us questions.  We had to be scientists to answer the questions.  For example, we used the microscope to look at leaves and the refractometer to measure the salinity of the water.  october-2016-024_3_1 october-2016-025_4_1 october-2016-027_5_1 october-2016-028_6_1

W:  I learned that an estuary is where freshwater mixes with salt water and the salinity changes rapidly.  I also learned that animals use the sand dunes as protection.  october-2016-030_7_1 october-2016-031_8_1 october-2016-032_9_1 october-2016-034_10_1

J:  I learned that the sand dunes block the wind and provide shelter for the animals who live at the estuary.  I already knew what an estuary was since we visited Ms. Pringle last year.  october-2016-035_11_1 october-2016-038_13_1 october-2016-039_1_1 october-2016-040_2_1

W:  We learned about barrier islands, too.  I really liked going down on the dock.  I saw a few brown pelicans there.october-2016-041_3_1 october-2016-042_4_1 october-2016-043_5_1 october-2016-044_6_1

J:  After the trail we headed into the Explorarium.  I went fishing and I put the fish where I thought they belonged.  There were lots of fun things to do there.  october-2016-046_7_1 october-2016-048_8_1 october-2016-049_9_1

W:  See you next time!

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