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Coming to A Classroom Near You: Gulf Islands National Seashore


Gulf Islands National Seashore will be the backdrop for an Electronic Field Trip coming in March. National Park Foundation graphic.

Coming soon to a classroom near you: Gulf Islands National Seashore.

Thanks to the National Park Foundation, the national seashore will be a backdrop for an "electronic fieldtrip" open to classrooms across the country. The webcast, scheduled for March 1, is designed to teach students "about the science of understanding human and natural change in an ecosystem."

Teachers and their students can see "firsthand how science is used to monitor and manage human and natural change in an ecosystem through an innovative new Electronic Field Trip," the foundation said in a release. "As part of the program, the National Park Foundation has created an interactive online web resource for students and educators to get a jump start on their interactive adventure to Gulf Islands National Seashore, featuring interactive games, lesson plans and more."

Teachers across the country can register for the program for free at this site to see Sea Change: Gulf Island National Seashore. There will be two live, hour-long broadcasts (10 a.m. EDT and 1 p.m. EDT) from the national seashore made available through this website as well as on participating public television stations.

The program is designed for students in grades 4 through 8. The Gulf Islands program is the second in a series of Electronic Field Trips produced by the National Park Foundation to discover the lessons that science being done in national parks can provide to students in classrooms.

Previous EFTs have educated millions of students across the United States and around the world on historical events, climate change, biodiversity and more. For more information about the National Park Foundation’s EFT program and a full catalog of all previous EFTs, visit this site.


Welcome to the future of access to the National Park systems...

Matt Stubbs:
Welcome to the future of access to the National Park systems...

You must be a lot of fun at parties. ;)

Depends on the party...I just do not like the road we are headed as a society. With the severe limiting of access in Cape Hatteras I have become more cynical of the way things are portrayed. One would have you believe they are there for the preservation of one area and then sell off property for development that was given to them to protect from just that, These same entities then look into selling off drilling rights in wetlands, even more pronounced is they will condemn building a bridge for its environmental impact because of runoff and less than 100 miles away propose building a longer bridge to avoid disturbing the environment.

OOPS Back to the party, luckily I tend to hang out with like minded or thick skinned people.

PS the new Captcha is horrible

I'm just thinking that you choose the wrong articles to air your views. Gulf Islands NS is in no danger of selling of or closing off to the public. They still encourage in-person educational field trips, along with educational fee waivers. This "electronic field trip" looks to be simply a supplemental program to reach out to the widest possible audience. The NPS sends out personnel to schools and museums not as a substitute for in-person visits, but as ambassadors to encourage people to visit our parks.

I'm realistic about wildlife protection. One of my local NPS sites is Point Reyes NS. They've got regular beach closures because of elephant seal and harbor seal activity. Drakes Estero is closed off to kayaking for four months during the seal pupping season. I think these closures are reasonable and frankly prudent. That doesn't mean that there aren't other areas of the park that we can access.

I think this is a good educational experience - especially for those classes hundreds to thousands of miles away for which Gulf Islands might be impractical to visit as a group. When I was a student we might see slides or maybe a well-worn 16mm film. In later years we viewed the occasional VHS tape. I would have welcomed something like this years ago.

It is an opportunity for someone in Kansas to see what it's like on the Gulf of Mexico...might spark a young mind to want to visit one day.

The things you speak of, Matt, I've been watching since I was a little kid. I am/was ALWAYS outside somewhere in the best playground in the universe. I felt/feel that I'm actually "A PART" of it all. Part of the food chain, getting hammered at times but accepting my punishment :). At a very early age I began seeing people that lived far from the reality of actually engaging in the resource making judgement calls that in their own minds were completely justified. Young kids exploring an estuary that teamed with life. Bringing home their bounty proudly to their families after maybe even getting stuck in the mudflats all night on a cold December night because of not figuring the tides or their own spirit of adventure completely accurately:). It's a great learning ground for the young. It seemed odd that the people that were building homes around the Bay and on scarce fresh water or grit sources that would push whole populations of birds elsewhere would take exception to the kids adventure classroom. They wanted it their way no matter how hypocritical or REALLY damaging to the resource or the youth of the day's REAL classroom for learning. "Their own way" seems to be the key words and there is no one, no matter how lofty or sacred their dialogue is is not susceptible to the temptation. It's just out there.
There are breakthroughs and I personally live for them, daily, especially in leading people into some of the wildest places and see people transformed. It sounds really corny but PEACE is the proper word to describe and it comes when it's not about them. Made small by the bigness of the surroundings and how little we really matter, LOL! That's my story and I'm sticking with it:).

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