Community Education

The Mission-Aransas Reserve Education program strives to enhance environmental literacy within the local community by offering facilities and programs that encourage exploration and discovery.

There is something waiting for everyone to discover at the Mission-Aransas Reserve. Please join us for one of the many public activities, community events and summer programs hosted at the Reserve. While in Port Aransas take a guided tour of the Wetlands Education Center, take a journey through the Estuary Explorium, view the diversity of local marine life in our Visitor Center, or learn more at our winter Public Lecture Series.

In Rockport, experience Science on a Sphere or explore the estuary through interactive exhibits and outdoor activities at the Bay Education Center. Click here for directions: Map.

                Inside the Estuary Explorium.

Adult Programs

The University of Texas Marine Science Institute hosts Road Scholar programs that are educational/travel adventures for adults over 55 (or accompanied by an adult over 55) who are looking for something different. These short term academic programs are typically 6 days and 5 nights, although some may be shorter or longer. Subject matter ranges from coastal ecology and birding to coastal and south Texas history. All programs are field based and designed for active Road Scholars. 

City Nature Challenge- April 24-27, 2020

Cities around the world will be competing to see who can make the most observations of nature, find the most species, and engage the most people in the 2020 City Nature Challenge. Join residents and visitors to Mustang Island and Port Aransas, Texas from April 24th-27th as they contribute to our region's second annual City Nature Challenge!

Corpus Christi is part of the fun too! Oso Bay Wetland Preserve is the host for the Corpus Christi City Nature Challenge. On the Island or on the Mainland, everyone can join in the challenge to observe and record nature in the Coastal Bend!

Learn how to join the City Nature Challenge, and how to use iNaturalist by participating in one of these fun events,

- Earth Day-Bay Day April 4th 10am-5pm at Heritage Park. Look for the Coastal Bend Children in Nature and Mission-Aransas Reserve/MSI booth

Need help identifying all your observations before you submit them to the City Nature Challennge? Join us for an ID Party where local wildlife experts will help you identify your photo observations and get them submitted to the Challenge  iNaturalist page. All City Nature Challenge observations must be identified and submitted between April 28-May 3, 2020.

- ID Party: May 2nd 10am-12pm at Mission-Aransas Reserve at UT Marine Science Institute. Event will be located in the seminar room of the Estuary Research Center at 750 Channel View Dr. 

Why Participate?
There is nature all around us, even in our cities! Knowing what species are in our city and where they are helps us study and protect them, but the ONLY way to do that is by all of us – scientists, land managers, and the community – working together to find and document the nature in our area. By participating in the City Nature Challenge, not only do you learn more about your local nature, but you can also make your city a better place – for you and other species!

How to Participate?
- Visit
- Download the app from the AppStore or Google Play
- Sign In
- Start sharing your observations made April 24-27, 2020
- Get feedback from actual scientists, experts, and other naturalists

Learn more about the City Nature Challenge, and which other cities around the world are participating.

Young scientists explore local plants and animals through the Reserve's educational programs.

Science on a Sphere offers visitors the opportunity to see satellite and computer generated images on a giant animated globe. 

All ages can get involved learning about the life within an estuary.

Birders visiting the King Ranch on a Road Scholar Trip. Photo credit J. Williams.
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