James W. Westgate1,
(1) Lamar University, Beaumont, TX
(2) Texas Natural Resource Conservation Commission, Austin, TX
(3) Mon. Kelley H.S, Beaumont, TX
Abstract: Teaching environemntal science in Texas: a program for K-12 teachers
This field-based graduate level summer program which introduces K-12 teachers to environmental issues, problems and solutions in Texas through first-hand experiences, is mentored by the TNRCC and is now in its seventh year. In 1999, 11 courses were taught through 10 Texas universities.
Environmental topics deal with industrial and domestically generated solid wastes and other material affecting water and air quality. Field experiences include visits to petrochemical and other industrial sites with the focus on industry efforts to lessen their impact on the local environment. Government agency activities include field experiences with the Oil Spill Prevention and Response Division of the Texas General land Office and the U.S. Coast Guard, and local water processing facilities.
The program is unique in having financial support from local industry, state governmental agencies, and state and private universities. This support provides scholarships and science teaching materials for course participants. Curriculum materials and field activities prepare inservice educators to teach their own students through self-directed, discovery method, learning. Each class of teachers will teach approximately 1000 new students every year.
The Lamar University course, Teaching Environmental Science in the Neches River Watershed, provides a detailed example of local course content.
AAPG Search and Discovery Article #90914©2000 AAPG Annual Convention, New Orleans, Louisiana