Near to Us or Seemingly Far from You: South Padre Island as an Important Global Setting

Tuesday 1:30pm-2:40pm
Share-a-Thon Part of Share-a-Thon


Wendi J. W. Williams, South Texas College
Ahyde Martinez, Texas A & M University
Alexia Frayre, South Texas College


Universal Design / Inclusive activities with samples (to take back to your institution) and educational app use strategies used for this case study of coastal processes in context of southern U.S. region, tie-in with biological considerations (e.g. South Padre Island is important to sea turtle nesting), Process of Science, and Earth Science Literacy Initiative Big Ideas .


Our curriculum team of community college students and myself will share activities developed to bring a better understanding of "sense of place" related to South Padre Island geo-ecosystems. One of the longest barrier islands in the world, the area allows us to develop several activities putting the island into geologic and biologic context (e.g. nesting corridor for 5 species of sea turtles and bird migration) since it can be used to better understand modern Gulf of Mexico and bay (Lagunas Madre and Atascosa). Geared toward K-12 and early college applications, using Process of Science and Earth Science Literacy Initiative connections.

Translated working title: Cerca de Nosotros o Aparentemente Lejos de Usted: South Padre Island Como un Entorno Global Importante


Aspects of what we have developed can be used directly in introductory core lab science courses in varied modes (fully in-person, hybrid and online). Content is applicable to higher education freshman-level general geology, environmental science or introductory oceanography. Some aspects are also geared toward K-12 applications in formal and informal (e.g. library) education.

Why It Works

These shared items provide a "sense of place" along the eastern edge of the Lower Rio Grande Valley connection with the Gulf of Mexico. Student collaboration was purposefully built into the development of the learning materials, particularly to encourage several Latinx showing interest in STEM and our want for more local examples to tie-in with the more "global" coverage in adopted publisher course materials. Worthwhile in terms of student-driven example of building interest, self esteem, and self-efficacy at a community college.


spi-la_samplessiteonepager.pdf (Acrobat (PDF) 405kB Jul16 19)