Coastal Studies Lab invites RGV students aboard a floating classroom Feb. 18
By Gail Fagan, Public Affairs Representative
(956) 665-7995
Posted: 01/31/2012
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The University of Texas-Pan American Coastal Studies Lab (CSL) is offering an exciting hands-on immersion into marine science Saturday, Feb. 18 for Rio Grande Valley children.

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UTPA's Coastal Studies Lab at South Padre Island will host the Karma (pictured), a 57-foot teaching vessel, for a two-hour research and collection cruise Feb. 18 on the Laguna Madre for children 13-18 years old.

The lab will host the Karma, a 57-foot teaching vessel, for a two-hour research and collecting cruise on the Laguna Madre. The tour, which will be conducted from 9-11 a.m., is open to the public but limited to participants age 13 to 18 years old.

Participants will be led by a trained marine education specialist as they collect fish and invertebrates with a 20-foot shrimp trawl. The Karma is equipped with an onboard touch tank and a video-enhanced microscope for up-close viewing of marine organisms.

Plankton nets and other field equipment will be used as participants are introduced to important marine topics such as marine ecology, coastal processes, and watershed management and concepts such as salinity and density. Participants will also be able to view dolphins and pelicans in their natural environment.

The Karma Floating Classroom Program is operated by the Texas Sea Grant Extension Program, a component of the Texas A&M University System. The Karma is a U.S. Coast Guard-inspected vessel, which means it meets the strictest safety requirements. It is operated by a licensed captain and experienced crew trained to respond in an emergency.

The Karma and her crew are visiting South Padre Island from the Corpus Christi area for a limited time and space is limited. There is a $15 fee per person with payment in advance required.

Don’t let your kids miss out on this unique and hands-on discovery learning experience!

For information on registration and payment or for more details, email Bridgette Goza, CSL research assistant and coordinator of Educational Outreach Programs, at or call (956) 761-2644.