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. AISD 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 program is administered by Tom Schneider, Outdoor Recreation Specialist, Texas Mid-coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex.
Upcoming DEEP programs are posted on the calendar.
Volunteers are needed to assist with the administration and execution of the DEEP program. Volunteer duties include providing class instruction, acting as tour guides, or assisting with program administration. To volunteer, please contact:
----------------Tom Schneider, DEEP and HWEEP Coordinator
----------------979-964-4401 x27 (o)
Participation in the DEEP program, as instructor, tour guide, or program administrator, is approved for Volunteer Time by the Cradle of Texas Chapter. Volunteers may claim VT credit for up to six hours. Volunteers may claim Travel Time, not to exceed actual round-trip travel time or the number of VT hours claimed.
VMS Code: TR: USFWS
Before you can participate in the DEEP (or any other activity at any USFWS property), you must complete a "Volunteer Service Agreement." Each agreement is valid for one year, and must be renewed annually. To download a copy of the agreement click here. You may email the completed form to Tom Schneider or take it with on the first day when you volunteer. Or mail it to:
US Fish and Wildlife Service
Texas Mid-coast National Wildlife Refuge Complex
2547 County Road 316
Brazoria, TX 77422-7703
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 or Thursday) 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.
Here is a Google map of the refuge. Click on markers for details.
View Brazoria National Wildlife Refuge Discovery Center in a larger map