Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program: 2010-2011

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The Texas High School Coastal Monitoring Program (THSCMP) actively involves individuals residing along the Texas coast in the study of their natural surroundings. This collaborative effort engages high school students, teachers, and scientists to deepen their understanding of dune and beach dynamics in the region. Scientists from The University of Texas at Austin (UT) provide essential tools and training for scientific inquiry. Participants learn various techniques, including measuring topography, mapping the vegetation line and shoreline, and observing weather and wave conditions. Through active involvement in research projects, students gain an enriched science education. Additionally, this program raises public awareness about coastal processes and the Texas Coastal Management Program. The data collected by students also offers valuable insights into the changing shoreline for coastal communities.

This report outlines the program's activities and experiences during the 2010-2011 academic year. Ball High School on Galveston Island completed its thirteenth year in the program, while Port Aransas and Port Isabel High Schools completed their twelfth year. Collaborating with the Lower Colorado River Authority, the program expanded to three schools in the Bay City, Texas, region. Tidehaven Middle School and Van Vleck High School completed their seventh year, and Palacios High School completed its fifth year. Cunningham Middle School in the Corpus Christi Independent School District participated in its first field trip in late spring of 2009, marking its third year in the program during the 2010-2011 academic year. All participating schools plan to continue with the program in the upcoming academic year, with preparations underway to expand to an eighth school.

This report also includes discussions on the data collected by students. A manual containing detailed field procedures, forms, classroom exercises, and teaching materials was initially developed during the project's inception at Ball High School in 1997-1998 and was subsequently updated with the addition of the Bay City region schools in 2005.


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