Since 1994, the U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service has hosted field trips throughout the school year for students at local elementary and intermediate schools. Formally known as Discovery Environmental Education Program (DEEP), the program presently serves:
- Approximately 2600 fourth- and seventh-grade students from the Brazosport Independent School District (BISD). BISD operates K-12 schools for the cities of Clute, Freeport, Jones Creek, Lake Jackson, Oyster Creek, Quintana, Richwood, and Surfside Beach, Texas.
- Approximately 150 fourth-grade students from the Angleton Independent School District. AIS operates K-12 schools in the city of Angleton, Texas.
By providing students with hands-on experience at the refuge, these field trips augment the schools' science curriculum in the area of natural ecological systems. These investigations are led by volunteers, many of whom are members of the Cradle of Texas Chapter of Texas Master Naturalists. The entire project is administered by Bryan Adams, the Environmental Education Ranger at BNWR.
The DEEP program is based at the Discovery Center, located on the refuge. The Center contains a classroom, offices, and an exhibit area.
FOBWR Member Ed Barrios prepares the "Microworld" teaching station.
A TYPICAL DAY
A typical DEEP day (usually a Tuesday) begins with the arrival of two busloads of students from one school, accompanied by their science teachers and a few parents.
The students are divided into eight groups, each accompanied by at least one teacher. During the day, each of the eight groups visits one of eight teaching stations. A volunteer at each teaching station focuses on one particular topic. Typical topics include:
The Microworld teaching station is located in the Discovery Center; other stations are located at various venues around the refuge.