U.S. Fish and Wildlife's Virtually Wild Program

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Region 4 Education Service Center partners with Virtually Wild! Texas to provide students with engaging and interactive virtual field trips about nature and careers in conservation.

 

Find all of the Virtually Wild Texas program resources by visiting Here in Houston.  They would also love your feedback on their programs!

 

Remember to subscribe to the Getting Smart Virtually newsletter to receive a monthly reminder about all upcoming programs. 

 

 

Follow the Virtually Wild Texas team and Region 4 Education Service Center on our social media pages!

 

Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement

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Texas A&M Forest Service

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Citizens' Environmental Coalition

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Region 4 Education Service Center

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Region 4 Education Science

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dcns-nocturnal-nature-sept-2023

 

Nocturnal Nature

 
Owls, flying squirrels, bats, and opossums are pretty cool critters that have at least one thing in common – they are nocturnal. Nocturnal means they are most active at night time. How do they see in the dark? How do they catch food in the dark? How are they adapted to life in the dark of night? The Friends of Texas Wildlife, a wildlife rehabilitation volunteer organization, will shed some “light” on the science behind nocturnality and the roles these creatures play in the ecosystem. You will also learn about how you can help sick or injured wildlife. Virtually meet ambassador education animals that love the night life, and learn how to speak “owl”!
 

Presenter: Cathie Coudert, Education Coordinator

 

Location: Friends of Texas Wildlife  in Magnolia, TX

 

Provider: Friends of Texas Wildlife, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 2nd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of nocturnal organisms and habitats.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 2 - 12A, 12B, 13B

Grade 3 - 11B, 12B , 12C , 13A
Grade 4 - 13B
Grade 5 - 12A, 12B, 12C, 13A, 13B

 

Please register:

Wednesday September 13, 2023

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday September 13, 2023

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-wonders-wetlands-sm-october-2023

 

Wonders of the Wetlands

 
Situated in the Alligator Capital of Texas, Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge is comprised of coastal marsh and prairie that borders Galveston Bay.  Here, alligators, frogs, birds, snakes, and a lot of other wild critters can be found.  In this program, students will learn about the value of wetlands and the important role they play in protecting the homes of humans and wildlife.  Participants will wade out into the wetlands to dip net for invertebrates and get a close look at a diversity of species that call this habitat home.  Wild featured guests will be highlighted and will vary based on what Park Rangers catch that morning.
 

Presenter: Chris Campbell, Park Ranger and Stephanie Martinez, Outdoor Recreation Planner

 

Location: Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge

 

Provider: Anahuac National Wildlife Refuge, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 3rd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how coastal wetlands are beneficial to both people and wildlife.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 3 - 1A, 1E, 12B, 12C, 13A 
Grade 4 - 1A, 1E, 4B, 13A 
Grade 5 - 1A, 1E, 4B, 12A, 12C, 13A

 

Please register:

Wednesday October 11, 2023

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday October 11, 2023

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-avian-adventure-nov23

 

An Avian Adventure with Houston Audubon

 
Our Avian Adventure programs will bring the world of birds to all ages and highlight birds, bird conservation, and why birds are important. Meet some of the great live bird ambassadors that help Houston Audubon spread the message. Educators can enjoy various resources including educational activities and reference materials here.
 

Presenter: Mary Anne Morris, Education Director

 

Location: Edith L Moore Nature Sanctuary, Houston, TX

 

Provider: Houston Audubon, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Texas A&M Forest Service, Region 4 Education Service Center, 

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 3rd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of birds and bayous.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 3 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 11B, 13A 
Grade 4 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 13B
Grade 5 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 12A, 12B, 12C, 13A, 13B

 

Please register:

Wednesday November 8, 2023

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday November 8, 2023

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-turtles-and-tortoises-dec23

 

Turtles & Tortoises Around the World

 
Although these animals aren't the fastest in the animal kingdom, they're still pretty cool! Turtles and tortoises can be found almost everywhere around the world, some more well-known than others. Tune in with herpetologist John to learn all about some awesome turtles and tortoises, their special adaptations, what threats their populations face, and what you can do to help them.
 

Presenter: John Carey, Education Programmer

 

Location: Jesse Jones Nature Center and County Park in Humble, TX

 

Provider: Jesse Jones Park & Nature Center, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 3rd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how certain reptiles have evolved and adapted to their environment.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 3 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 13A
Grade 4 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 13B
Grade 5 - 3C, 4B, 5F, 12A, 12B, 12C, 13A, 13B

 

Please register:

Wednesday December 13, 2023

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday December 13, 2023

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-drones-jan24-social-media

 

Using Drones to Manage Forests, Fight Fires, and Help an Endangered Bird

 
Drones are an important tool used by foresters to gain insight into forest health issues. They use the technology to gather real-time information that helps guide land management decisions. Data collected by the unmanned aerial systems ultimately means greater protection for surrounding communities and the forest habitat.  Fly over the oldest slash pine plantation in Texas, red-cockaded woodpecker habitat, selective thinning operations, prescribed burning and more in this exciting program that highlights how the Texas A&M Forest Service is using technology to manage forests. In this high-tech program, you will meet a geospatial analyst and see several different drones that she uses to create data maps, make videos, and take aerial photos.
 

Presenter: Shruthi Srinivasan, Geospatial Analyst

 

Location: Texas A&M Forest Service in Dallas, TX

 

Provider: Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 3rd - 5th level and high school Environmental Systems students, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how technology is used to help manage public lands for the benefit of people and wildlife.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 3 - 2A, 3C, 4A,  9A
Grade 4 - 2A, 3C, 4A
Grade 5 - 3C, 4A, 9A, 9C
Social Studies
Grade 4 - 8A, 8C
Environmental Systems (High School)- 2H, 3E

 

Please register:

Wednesday January 17, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday January 17, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-home-sweet-home

 

Home Sweet Home

 
Students will dive deep into the four basic needs of animal survival – food, water, shelter, and space. They will use their imaginations to travel to the prairie and wetland habitats to learn what adaptations animals use in each habitat to survive when a habitat does not provide one of the basic needs.  This program will take place at the Delores Fenwick Nature Center, which is located in Pearland, Texas.
 

Presenter: Katherine Boughal, Park Naturalist

 

Location: Delores Fenwick Nature Center in Pearland, TX

 

Provider: Delores Fenwick Nature Center, Pearland City Parks Department, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a Kindergarten-4th Grade level but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how different species have evolved and adapted to their environment.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Kindergarten - 9B
Grade 1 - 10A
Grade 2 - 9A, 10A
Grade 3 - 10A
Grade 4 - 10A

 

Please register:

Wednesday February 21, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday February 21, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-vw-tx-woodpecker-october-2022

 

Saving a Rare Texas Woodpecker from Extinction

 
Scientists across the southeastern United States are striving to save the endangered red-cockaded woodpecker (Picoides borealis) from extinction. Once common in east Texas, this bird survives in small family groups on only a handful of managed forest lands. Learn about this magnificent, colorful bird and how foresters and wildlife biologists are managing the forest ecosystem to improve the woodpecker’s habitat. Meet the scientists who use technology and tree-climbing skills to monitor nests and learn how you can find a career in conservation.
 

Presenter: Donna Work, Biologist

 

Location: W.G. Jones State Forest in Conroe, TX

 

Provider: Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 2nd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how scientists are conducting research and managing the forest for the benefit of an endangered species.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 2- 2A, 3C, 4A, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A
Grade 3 - 3C, 4A, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A  
Grade 4 - 3C, 4A, 9A, 10A, 10B 
Grade 5 - 3C, 4A, 9A, 9C, 10A 

Social Studies:  
Grade 4 - 8A, 8C 

 

Please register:

CANCELLED
Wednesday March 13, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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CANCELLED

Wednesday March 13, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-remarkable-replica-rainforest

 

Remarkable Replica Rainforest

 
Every rainforest plant and animal has a niche, or role, to fulfill in this complex ecosystem. Tour the Cockrell Butterfly Center at the Houston Museum of Natural Science and learn about what it takes to create an intricate, artificial rainforest indoors and ensure each organism’s needs are met. Then, meet CBC residents (both local and exotic bugs) up close and personal to discover special behavioral and physical adaptations that allow them to thrive in the wild.
 

Presenter: Melissa Hudnall, HMNS Youth Education Community Event Programs

 

Location: The Houston Museum of Natural Science in Houston, TX

 

Provider: The Houston Museum of Natural Science, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Texas A&M Forest Service, Region 4 Education Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 2-5 grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of rainforests and the insects that have evolved and adapted to their environment.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 2 - 12A, 12B, 12C, 13A, 13B, 13D 
Grade 3 - 12B, 12C, 13A, 13B
Grade 4 - 12A, 12B, 13A
Grade 5 - 12A, 12C, 13A, 13B

 

Please register:

Wednesday March 27, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday March 27, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-reptile-adaptations

 

Reptile Adaptations

 

What is an adaptation and how do adaptations enable an organism to survive and flourish in its environment?  Can adaptive behaviors protect an animal?  How can a snake swallow prey larger than its head?  These and more questions will be answered as we closely examine and interact with live alligators, snakes, and turtles. You will learn how these species have adapted to be successful in their environment.

 

This program will take place on Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, home to these critters and many others! The 44,000-acre refuge is comprised of freshwater sloughs that wind through salt marshes, woody thickets and prairie. It’s a great place to see, enjoy and learn about nature.

 

Presenter: David Heinecke, Refuge Volunteer

 

Location: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge in Angleton, TX

 

Provider: Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge, Friends of Brazoria National Wildlife Refuges, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 2nd- 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and an understanding of how reptiles have evolved and adapted to their environment.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 2- 2A, 3C, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A
Grade 3 - 2A, 3C,  9A, 9B, 9C, 10A  
Grade 4 - 2A, 3C, 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B
Grade 5 - 3C, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A, 10B
Social Studies:
Grade 4 - 8A, 8B, 8C

 

Please register:

Wednesday April 10, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday April 10, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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dcns-vw-who-lives-here-may-2024

 

Who Lives Here?

 
Galveston Island is home to thousands of people but its sandy beaches and warm Gulf waters are home to untold numbers of living creatures – many of which you never see! The ever-changing environment of shifting sands and tides requires very special adaptations for wildlife to survive and thrive. In this program, students will join Galveston Island State Park staff on a tour to find what critters are living on the shores and in the surf. Participants will use a seine to catch fish and other marine creatures, see them up close, and learn about the important role they play in this unique ecosystem.
 

Presenter: Regina Lillibridge, Park Ranger

 

Location: Galveston Island State Park in Galveston, TX

 

Provider: Galveston Island State Park, Texas A&M Forest Service, U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service - Houston Community Partnerships and Engagement Program, Region 4 Education Service Center

 

Cost: Free

 

Audience: This program is planned at a 2nd - 5th grade level, but students of all ages will gain useful vocabulary and understanding of marine habitat and its wildlife.

 

TEKS:

Science:

Grade 2- 2A, 3C, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A
Grade 3 - 2A, 3C,  9A, 9B, 9C, 10A  
Grade 4 - 2A, 3C, 9A, 9B, 10A, 10B
Grade 5 - 3C, 9A, 9B, 9C, 10A, 10B
Social Studies
Grade 4- 8A, 8C

 

Please register:

Wednesday May 8, 2024

9:00 AM - 9:45 AM

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Wednesday May 8, 2024

10:00 AM - 10:45 AM

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Main Office
Region 4 Education Service Center
7145 West Tidwell Road Houston, Texas 77092-2096
713.462.7708 | PHONE
Region 4 is making improvements to the McKinney Conference Center and will invite guests to experience the difference in September of 2024.
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