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The Main Goal

These pages are presented in the hope that they will help teachers and students to learn the joys and artistic beauties of creative thinking, especially scientific thinking, and that this joy will facilitate a deep appreciation of the natural world, especially estuaries. By taking to heart some simple but powerful ideas, and seeing how they can be creatively applied to understanding the phenomena observed in nature, visitors to this site might deepen a sense of "pride of ownership" of the world around us, and feel more motivated to care for it properly.

The goals of these Web pages involve the estuary in two ways:

  • Some aquatic life likes salt water, some likes fresh, some alternates between each, so an estuary has a wider range of living organisms than most other environments. This fact makes estuaries important and precious, needing extra care and protection. Stewardship is therefore an important part of estuary education.
  • Basic science concepts are made concrete by everyday examples, and an estuary is a particularly good place to connect science ideas with daily life.

Particular areas of focus include:

  • physical processes occurring in an estuary (tides, fresh/salt mixing, solutions of solids and gasses, etc.)
  • chemical factors in estuary health and water quality, including testing methods used to monitor estuary conditions
  • biological processes and ecosystem interdependencies, and how water quality has an impact on life in the estuary
  • stewardship—damaging the estuary ecosystem through human activity is potentially very dangerous! Preservation is very important!
  • technology, providing tools (e.g. measuring instruments, chemical kits, computers) for collecting, analyzing, and sharing data, and for teaching and learning