The North Carolina Coastal Reserve and National Estuarine Research Reserve offers a variety of educational programs for K-12 school groups, the general public, special interest groups, teachers, and coastal decision makers. Components of our education program include public and school field trips, summer camps, outreach presentations, teacher training programs, exhibits, and the production of curricular, informational and technical materials. All Reserve education, training, and outreach activities are designed to enhance public awareness of the importance of estuarine systems and provide opportunities for public education and interpretation.
The K-12 student education program provides students with hands-on, inquiry-based learning opportunities where the content is focused on estuarine habitats, organisms or coastal issues. Teachers can bring their classes to the Reserve for a two-hour interpretive nature hike. We also provide hands-on learning activities for school groups such as seining for fish, conducting shore profiles, or testing the water quality. The Reserve’s school field trips and field studies are primarily held at the Rachel Carson Reserve in Beaufort, N.C. A small number of educational programs are offered at the other Reserve locations.
For those schools that cannot travel, we offer a variety of classroom-based programs that are led by Reserve education staff on estuarine-related topics
We also provide K-12 teachers with estuarine-based, curricular material for both classroom and field-based activities. All Reserve K-12 programs and materials are aligned with the North Carolina Standard Course of Study and the National Science Standards. National Ocean Literacy Essential Principles are also incorporated into all programs.