The University of Texas Marine Science Institute will be hosting its annual open house on Saturday, August 13, from 8 a.m. to 4:30 p.m. A highlight of this year’s open house will be tours of the recently-opened Estuarine Research Center, the new building and headquarters for the Mission-Aransas National Estuarine Research Reserve (NERR), a 185,708-acre area of habitat study established in 2006 by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) and managed by the Institute.
Field excursions to Lydia Ann Channel will be offered aboard the UTMSI research vessel, Katy, and two other boats. The field excursions on the water will focus on bay ecology, and visitors will collect plankton and sort through the catch from a trawl. Tours of the Wetlands Education Center will also be offered, and marsh ecology lessons will be taught by scientists from UTMSI.
Other attractions at the open house include shows and exhibitions, guided tours throughout the institute, and activities for the kids such as touch tanks, face painting and story time.