This summer, teachers turned students will participate in tours of several Southeast Texas rivers, parks and industries in the Teaching Environmental Science Geology 5301 course taught by Jim Westgate, professor of earth and space sciences at Lamar University. The tours take place July 14-25.

On Monday, July 21, the group will tour Shangra La Botanical Gardens and Nature Center in Orange. The group will take a guided riverboat ride, nature hike and visit the bird rookery.

TES is a field-based graduate level summer institute that introduces Southeast Texas teachers to environmental issues, problems and solutions through hands-on activities. The institute is co-mentored by Lamar University and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality. Environmental topics to be discussed will deal with industrial, agricultural and domestic wastes and emissions that affect the Neches, Trinity and Sabine River watersheds and airsheds.

The TES Institute is unique in having financial support from industry, government and non-profit agencies. Some of the institute’s joint sponsors are Entergy, ExxonMobil, MeadWestvaco, Sempra Energy, Chevron Phillips and the Texas Commission on Environmental Quality.

The Lamar University TES Institute has received international, national and statewide exposure through presentations at numerous venues. These have included conferences of the Australian Association for Environmental Education, National Science Teachers Association, North American Association for Environmental Education, Science Teachers Association of Texas, Texas Academy of Science and the Texas Environmental Educators Partnership.