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Become a Marine Scientist in South Texas With Your Grandchild

Get your feet wet with marine biology as you and your grandchild get hands on with marine biologists in the lab and in the ocean to learn about fish, dolphins, sea turtles and more!
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Program No. 21936RSBLOG
6 days
Starts at

Become a Marine Scientist in South Texas With Your Grandchild

Get your feet wet with marine biology as you and your grandchild get hands on with marine biologists in the lab and in the ocean to learn about fish, dolphins, sea turtles and more!
6 days
Starts at
Program No. 21936 RSBLOG
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At a Glance

You’ve heard the old adage “it takes a village to raise a child,” but did you know it takes a research team to raise a fish? Go behind the scenes with researchers to learn about their work in conservation efforts and see how they raise fish from eggs. Dive into marine biology with your grandchild to gain a better understanding of protecting our oceans and marine life. Explore the sandy beaches of Padre Island National Seashore to collect specimens for examination in the lab. Plus, see a dolphin show at the aquarium, dissect marine organisms, go kayaking near bird rookeries and more!

Best of all, you'll ...

  • On a study bay cruise, trawl for fish, crabs and shrimp and watch for friendly bottle-nosed dolphins swimming alongside the boat.
  • Meet a park ranger at Padre Island National Seashore to hear how researchers protect and conserve endangered Kemp’s Ridley Sea Turtles.
  • Learn how to use a seine net to collect marine critters from the Gulf of Mexico, and try flying a drone as you find out how scientists use them in their research.

General Notes

Program is for grandchildren ages 11-14.
Visit the Road Scholar Bookshop
You can find many of the books we recommend at the Road Scholar store on bookshop.org, a website that supports local bookstores.
Life on the King Ranch
by Toni Frissell, Frank Goodwyn
"This is the story of me and my ranch friends, of the heritage that was ours, the way we worked, the tales we told, and the fun we had on America's largest, most progressive cattle ranch," says Frank Goodwyn. The creed of the King Ranch cattlemen was simple: "If you want to make a kid into a cowboy, start him out as soon as he can sit on a horse." Being the son of the foreman on the Norias Division of the ranch, Goodwyn started working cattle every summer at an early age. Except for the bookkeeper and the bachelor boss Caesar Kleberg, the Goodwyns were usually the only Anglos present. Goodwyn thus spent most of his time with the Spanish-speaking ranch hands, and, he writes, "among them I learned the beginnings of all I know." With photographs by Toni Frissell, Life on the King Ranch is replete with tales told by Goodwyn's compadres such as cow camp foreman Euvence Garcia and Jose ("Joe One-Wing") Cantu; fun and games in the prickly mazes of mesquite; and the real work of roping, branding, dipping, and just-plain working cattle. Goodwyn also tells of the founding by Captain Richard King of the legendary ranch and of the ways that the King Ranch was modernizing its operations while contending with the age-old elements of the semi desert South Texas plain. First published in 1951, the old-time cowboying and creative techniques, campfire cuisine, and memorable personalities of Life on the King Ranch make it a book of timeless interest.
Roadside Geology of Texas
by Darwin Spearing
The geologic panorama of Texas is as wide as the state is big, sweeping from volcanic mesas and thrusting mountains in the west to the red canyons of the Panhandle, along tropical sand barriers of the Gulf Coast, and across central limestone plateaus to the hard granitic terrain of central Texas. Learn about the rocks as you come to them--what they are, when they formed, what they mean, and how they fit into the big picture of the geology of Texas.
The Tex-Mex Cookbook: A History in Recipes and Photos
by Robb Walsh
Join Texas food writer Robb Walsh on a grand tour complete with larger-than-life characters, colorful yarns, rare archival photographs, and a savory assortment of crispy, crunchy Tex-Mex foods. From the Mexican pioneers of the sixteenth century, who first brought horses and cattle to Texas, to the Spanish mission era when cumin and garlic were introduced, to the 1890s when the Chile Queens of San Antonio sold their peppery stews to gringos like O. Henry and Ambrose Bierce, and through the chili gravy, combination plates, crispy tacos, and frozen margaritas of the twentieth century, all the way to the nuevo fried oyster nachos and vegetarian chorizo of today, here is the history of Tex-Mex in more than 100 recipes and 150 photos. Rolled, folded, and stacked enchiladas, old-fashioned puffy tacos, sizzling fajitas, truck-stop chili, frozen margaritas, Frito Pie, and much, much more, are all here in easy-to-follow recipes for home cooks. The Tex-Mex Cookbook will delight chile heads, food history buffs, Mexican food fans, and anybody who has ever woken up in the middle of the night craving cheese enchiladas. Available on Amazon.com
Backroads of the Texas Hill Country: Your Guide to the Most Scenic Adventures (Kindle Edition)
by Gary Clark
Texas has hill country? Who knew? Well, the Lonely Planet guide to Texas, which calls the Hill Country rightfully one of the states biggest tourist draws . . . an area of gently rolling hills and valleys freckled with cacti and cattle ranches, lined with rivers and dotted with peaceful, picturesque little towns. And any self-respecting Texan might know as much. Forty miles west of Austin and fifty north of San Antonio, the Hill Country is within an easy drive of two of the states biggest cities, putting back-country quiet and beauty within reach of countless urban dwellers seeking respite. This book brings the remarkable Hill Country of Texas home to the back roads traveler. Whether its wildflowers youre drawn to, or dude ranches, natural areas, historic sites, or quaint Texas towns redolent of history, this is your passport to an experience like no other. Backroads of the Texas Hill Country introduces travelers and armchair tourists alike to the emerging wine country of the Lone Star State, the meticulously preserved culture of East European immigrants, the cowboy capital of the world (Bandera), and the childhood home of LBJ at Johnson City. Follow this irresistible guide into the Hill Country, and find yourself deep in the heart of Texas.
Beachcomber's Guide to Gulf Coast Marine Life: Texas, Louisiana, Mississippi, Alabama, and Florida
by Susan B. Rothschild & Nick Fotheringham
This updated guide provides the latest findings about the biology and ecology of the Gulf of Mexico. It reflects the effects of recent storms and hurricanes, and includes an expanded chapter on sea turtles. Hundreds of detailed drawings introduce you to more than 300 marine creatures commonly found along the beaches and bays of this area. Easy-to-read descriptions explain the taxonomic feeding, mating, and migratory habits of these coastal residents. In addition, this guide tells you about many offshore creatures, such as oysters, shrimp, and lobsters, and the numerous animals that inhabit the subsea oil platforms. A recommended addition to your library of knowledge.
The Shorebird Guide
by Michael O'Brien & Richard Crossley
Join the experts in birding by impression, a revolutionary approach to bird identification. Experienced birders use the most easily observed characteristics — size, structure, behavior, and general color patterns — to identify birds even before looking carefully at plumage details. Now birders at all levels can learn how to identify shorebirds quickly and simply. This guide includes more than 870 stunning color photographs, starting with a general impression of the species and progressing to more detailed images of the bird throughout its life cycle. Quiz questions in the captions will engage and challenge all birders and help them benefit from this simplified, commonsense approach to identification.
Lady Lex and the Blue Ghost: A Pictorial History of the USS Lexingtons CV-2 and CV-16
by Steve Ewing
This is a short pictoral history of the lady-lex.
Texas Gulf Coast Stories
by C. Herndon Williams
The middle Texas coast, known locally as the Coast Bend, is an area filled with fascinating stories. From as early as the days of de Vaca and La Salle, the Coastal Bend has been a site of early exploration, bloody conflicts, legendary shipwrecks and even a buried treasure or two. However, much of the true history has remained unknown, misunderstood and even hidden. For years, local historian C. Herndon Williams has shared his fascinating discoveries of the area's early stories through his weekly column, "Coastal Bend Chronicle." Now he has selected some of his favorites in Texas Gulf Coast Stories. Join Williams as he explores the days of early settlement and European contact, Karankawa and Tonkawa legends and the Coastal Bend's tallest of tall tales.
Sport Fish of the Gulf of Mexico
by Vic Dunaway
Close to 200 illustrations of marine fish you may encounter are presented in meticulous detail to help you identify that critter on the end of your line. Expert information about each species gives you a quick reference guide to the Gulf of Mexico, covering such essentials as range, size, fishing methods and edibility.
Kayaking the Texas Coast
by John Whorff Ph.D
Half of the nearly 400-mile Texas coastline is flanked by barrier islands. Behind them, large and small bays shelter estuarine marshes, oyster-reef communities, and sea grass meadows that teem with wildlife, creating a bird watcher's and angler's paradise. For an intimate encounter with these natural treasures, no other water craft can compare to a kayak.
Great Tales From the History of South Texas
by Murphy Givens
The history of the Old West has deep roots in South Texas where the Wild Horse Desert was a lawless land controlled by no authority. The western region of South Texas, from San Antonio to Corpus Christi, stretching west and south to the Rio Grande, was the birthplace of the big cattle ranches, the cattle barons, rustlers, hide thieves, outlaws, and bad men operating on both sides of the border. Murphy Givens brings the stories of the Old West to life in "Great Tales From the History of South Texas" Available at Amazon.com
Crossing the Rio Grande: An Immigrant's Life in the 1880s
by Luis G. Gomez
Although they are among the most important sources of the history of the American Southwest, the lives of ordinary immigrants from Mexico have rarely been recorded. Educated and hardworking, Luis G. Gómez came to Texas from Mexico as a young man in the mid-1880s. He made his way around much of South Texas, finding work on the railroad and in other businesses, observing the people and ways of the region and committing them to memory for later transcription. Few of the 150,000 immigrants in the last half of the nineteenth century left written records of their experiences, but Gómez wrote his memoir and had it privately published in Spanish in 1935. Crossing the Rio Grande presents an English edition of that memoir, translated by the author’s grandson, Guadalupe Valdez Jr., with assistance from Javier Villarreal, a professor of Spanish at Texas A&M University–Corpus Christi. An introduction by Thomas H. Kreneck explains the book’s value to scholarship and describes what has been learned of the publication history of the original Spanish-language volume. “Gómez says explicitly in the prologue to his memoirs that the purpose of recording the events of his life is to entertain; however, his memoirs accomplish much more than this as they fill a void in the history of the American Southwest of the late nineteenth century.”—Journal of the American Studies Association for Texas
Corpus Christi (Images of America)
by Scott Williams
Latin for "Body of Christ," Corpus Christi is a popular vacation destination, military town, and thriving seaport. Legend has it that Spanish explorer Alonso Álvarez de Pineda discovered and named Corpus Christi Bay in 1519. Henry L. Kinney, a trader who arrived in the area around 1838, is credited with starting the trading post that eventually grew into one of Texas's largest cities and became home to one of the nation's busiest ports. This "Sparkling City by the Sea" balances growth and industry with an appreciation for the air, water, and wildlife that attract both sportsmen and environmentalists. Corpus Christi is a bilingual, bicultural community that embraces both its Mexican and American roots.
Remembering Corpus Christi
by Cecilia Gutierrez Venable
Bay breezes from the Gulf of Mexico sweep into this sparkling city by the sea. The sound of the wind, waves, and shore birds transport harmonic music to the ears of those who walk its beaches and parks. Corpus Christi, Texas, one of the most pristine coastal cities, lies at the mouth of the Nueces River, and from its humble beginnings as a simple nineteenth-century trading post, it has developed into a major city. Farming and ranching, the railroad, port, Naval Air Station, and the oil and gas industry have aided this city in realizing its growth potential. With a selection of fine historic images from her best-selling book, Historic Photos of Corpus Christi, Cecilia Gutierrez Venable provides a valuable and revealing historical retrospective on the growth and development of Corpus Christi. Remembering Corpus Christi brings to life the evolution of this growing community through more than one hundred black-and-white photographs, drawn from a wide pool of topics to depict the history of the people, community, events, and businesses that have shaped this area. The rarely seen images gleaned from several archives provide a unique opportunity to peer into the past and discover the richness of this South Texas city.
Wildflowers of Texas
by Geyata Ajilvsqui
Easy to follow color coded pages. This is my favorite guide. Can be found in most book stores for $20 which is less than I have seen online.
Best of the Best from Texas II: Selected Recipes from Texas' Favorite Cookbooks
by Gwen McKee
From Lubbock to Laredo, Paris to El Paso, the Red River to the Rio Grande, ninety-nine of the leading cookbooks from the Lone Star State have contributed their most popular recipes to create this remarkable collection. This second helping of Texas-style cuisine has as much variety and diversity as the countryside. It's spicy, it's lively, it's tasty, it's hearty, it's creative, it's Mexican, it's Southwestern...it's what we like to call Tex-Mex Plus! It's a taste as big as the state itself. Delectable dishes such as Grilled Texas Tequila Tuna, Cowboy Cornbread, Braggin'-Rights Brisket, White Lightning Chili, and Sam Houston's Golden Spice Cake are just a sampling of the 500 or so recipes included within these pages. Best of the Best from Texas II is the follow-up to Best of the Best from Texas, which remains one of the most popular titles in Quail Ridge Press' acclaimed Best of the Best State Cookbook Series.
Aransas: A Naturalist's Guide
by Wayne H. McAlister
This naturalist's guide offers a comprehensive overview of the natural and cultural history of Aransas, taking an ecological approach to show how the plants, animals, land, and sea form a living web that sustains an amazing diversity of creatures. Individual chapters discuss the land itself, the whooping cranes and other endangered species, game animals, introduced species, mammals, birds, herptiles, fish, invertebrates, and woody and herbaceous plants. With this information, visitors to the refuge and everyone interested in the natural history of the Texas Gulf Coast will enrich their knowledge of this environmentally crucial region.
Exploring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail: Highlights of a Birding Mecca [Paperback]
by Mel White
Exploring the Great Texas Coastal Birding Trail examines highlights of this popular route: locations ranging from national wildlife refuges with tens of thousands of acres to small city parks to stretches of isolated road passing through birdy habitat. In this guide, expert birder/writer Mel White profiles more than 80 of the best sites along the trail, chosen for diversity of habitat, species, and seasonality; productivity; and accessibility. Site listings give general (and often specific) directions, contact information (including websites when available), advice about when and how to bird the location, and a listing of some of the notable species that might be found. Also featured are nearby museums, nature centers, festivals, and accommodations of particular interest to the visiting birder.
The Book of Texas Bays
by Jim Blackburn
In a dazzling tribute to the Texas coast, conservationist and lawyer Jim Blackburn has teamed with photographer Jim Olive to give us the most intimate and important portrait yet of Texas bays and of those who work for their wise use and preservation. While giving life and sustenance to plants, animals, and people, the bays and estuaries of Texas have other stories to tellabout freshwater inflows, deep port construction, disappearing oyster beds, beach resorts, industrial pollution, and more. At a certain point, each story brings opposing forces into the courtroom for vigorous debates on the future of some of our most valuable and irreplaceable resources. The Book of Texas Bays is a personal account of legal battles won and lost, but it is also a fine work of natural history by someone who has a deep spiritual connection to the Texas coast and all it has to offer. Jim Olives stunning photographs present us with a dramatic perspective of our relationship with the Gulf and remind us of both the grandness and the fragility of our coastal treasures.
Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures
by Elaine Galit
Combining fascinating stories of Texas history with travel adventures around the state, Exploring Texas History: Weekend Adventures suggests where to go and what to see by tracking historical characters and events. The travel destinations echo the settlement of Texas, the battle for independence, the Alamo, cowboys, vacqueros, Buffalo Soldiers, shipwrecks, and cattle drives. Each chapter includes history, travel routes, best sights, best times to visit, lodging, dining, and sources for additional information. Families, visitors, travelers with a love of history, and teachers and students studying the required curriculum of the fourth grade in Texas schools will find this guide practical and user friendly
Corpus Christi - A History
by Murphy Givens & Jim Moloney
Corpus Christi - A History documents the stories of the people who strove to make South Texas their home. Adventurers, outlaws, settlers, cowboys, ranchers and entrepreneurs from the United States, Europe and Mexico all came to the Coastal Bend of Texas, struggling against nature and their fellow man to make their homes and livelihoods. Corpus Christi nearly disappeared during two wars, but grew and prospered in another. In this account, the tales of its growth are combined with the stories of its residents to reveal the intriguing history of the city and of South Texas. Included are the contributions of Henry L. Kinney, Zachary Taylor, Richard King, Mifflin Kenedy, Uriah Lott, Ben Garza and Roy Miller. All left their indelible mark on South Texas. Illustrated with more than 60 historic photographs and maps of the area. Full bibliography and index.
Texas Shells: A Field Guide
by Jean Andrews
Drawn from Jean Andrews' definitive Shells and Shores of Texas, this field guide is meant to be carried and consulted on the beach. Texas Shells contains 279 mollusks of the Texas Golf coast, each fully described and illustrated. The guide is organized so that both the novice collector and the professional malacologist can quickly identify their finds. Illustrations of the shells and accompanying descriptions are arranged systematically, beginning with the most primitive and progressing to the higher orders. Even the casual beachcomber, who may not know a clamshell from a mangrove seed (both appear on Texas beaches), will find Dr. Andrews' visual identification system easy to follow. Andrews, who has become a recognized expert on mollusks of the Gulf coast through her own independent research, was a member of the Padre Island National Seashore Biological Survey of the U.S. Department of the Interior and is a member of several scientific organizations which deal with Mullusca. An artist and writer, she lives in Austin, Texas
The Sibley Guide to Birds
by David Allen Sibley

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