Sponsored by the Port of Houston Authority

Discover how ABNC is  maintaining the balance of nature in the Galveston Bay Watershed as you actively explore the nature center.

There are two main components of the Understanding Wetlands class. The first focuses on fresh water systems; and the second focuses on the estuarine habitat of Armand Bayou.  All classes will investigate the flora and fauna of ABNC and students will be required to participate in outdoor explorations, such as seining, water testing, hiking, dip netting, and near-shore activities and comparative studies. Call the nature center to select the activities and class features that fit most closely with your curriculum.

Grade5th - college  ~  Time 9:30am - 1:00pm  ~  Group Limit Minimum 10  ~  Fee $15.00/participant (children and adults)

One chaperone or teacher per 10 participants is free of charge. A 10-to-1 ratio of students to adults is required.

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Students will:

  1. Use indicator species to infer the water quality of wetlands.

  2. Use observations and scientific measurements to judge water quality.

  3. Observe how plant communities work as a buffer to decrease the effects of pollution.

  4. Observe how pollution affects water quality in estuarine and freshwater ecosystems.


  • Abiotic - non-living or physical components such as light, temperature, water, rocks, etc.

  • Bayou - a small, slow-moving body of water that may flow in both directions

  • Brackish water - a mixture of salt and fresh water

  • Diversity - variety of species in a given area

  • Ecosystem - An ecosystem is a complex, dynamic system that functions as a whole. An ecosystem is a natural unit and its size can be as small as a drop of water or as large as the Earth. Ecosystems consist of the interactions between organisms and between organisms and physical components, in which materials are exchanged following closed paths.

  • Salinity - salt content of water

  • Turbidity - measure of the clarity of water; how much turbulence or activity (tides, wind, etc.)

  • Biotic - living things

  • Competition - Two or more organisms simultaneous demand for limited resources, e.g. nutrients, water, light, space, etc.

  • Dichotomous Key - a key for identifying organisms based on choices between two alternating characteristics

  • Erosion - process material is worn away by wind and water

  • Indicator Species - indicates the presence of an environmental condition

  • Tolerance - organism ability to live in poor water conditions - low oxygen levels

  • Water quality - term to describe the chemical, biological, and physical characteristics of water

  • Watershed - a complex system of components that affect water bodies in a drainage basin. Climate, rainfall, geology, geography, and human activities are some of the factors that interact with water within a given drainage system.

  • Weathering - a chemical or mechanical process that breaks down an exposed object

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TEKS (2012-2013 Science)

  • 5.1(A&B), 5.2(B,C&D), 5.4A, 5.9(A&C)

  • 6.1(A&B), 6.2(B&C), 6.4A, 6.12E

  • 7.1(A&B), 7.2(B&C), 7.4A, 7.8C, 7.10(A&B), 7.11A

  • 8.1(A&B), 8.2(B&C), 8.4A, 8.11(B&D)

  • 9th-12thGrades:

    • Biology 1(A&B), 2B, 8A, 12C

    • Environmental Systems 1(A&B), 2B, 4(A&C), 8(A&D)

    • Aquatic Science 1(A&B), 2B, 4(A,B&C), 7A, 8D, 10C

Pre and Post Trip Materials (PDF Format)

Please see the group field trips for more information about scheduling a field trip