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What is the Scientist in Residence program? 

The Scientist in Residence Program (SiR) at the University of Texas Marine Science Institute (UTMSI) is a partnership between UTMSI scientists and the Port Aransas Independent School District (PAISD).  The goals of this program are to:

  • increase enthusiasm for science learning among K-12 students
  • enhance scientific communication and teaching skills in participating graduate fellows
  • increase environmental outreach/education in the community 


How does it work?

Each year, 1-2 UTMSI graduate students are selected to serve as Scientist in Residence. The fellow's job is to work with teachers (4th/5th and/or 8th grade) and fellow scientists to develop activities that enhance student learning and love for science. Although collaboration is a key part of the process, fellows work in the same classrooms year-round, allowing them to develop a relationship with every student and create a truly unique learning opportunity. 



Examples of what we do...

  • elementary school science fair
  • mock-conference poster sessions 
  • regular environmental surveys & sampling
  • data analysis and presentation
  • scientific method practice & development
  • peer evaluation of scientific work
  • maintaining a scientific notebook
  • Field excursions to local habitats (e.g. marshes, mangrove forests, rivers, beaches, water treatment centers, forestry areas)
  • evaluating sources of marine pollution
  • question & answer sessions with scientists/environmentalists
  • water quality monitoring
  • parent & student science nights
  • field instrument techniques (e.g. YSI SONDE, refractometer, Van Dorn water sampler, wind meter, nutrient test kits, secchi disk, etc.)
  • original, hands-on activities in alignment with Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) criteria