Virtual Field Lessons

Our education program is multifaceted and takes place in the classroom, on the land, and in partnership with many organizations that are helping to lead the way in natural resource conservation education. We deliver programming, knowledge, and leadership skills to students in South Texas, including underserved communities, benefiting the region now and in the future.

East Foundation, along with our partners, has developed virtual field lessons to allow students from across Texas access to the land and the life that depends on it. Our Virtual Field Lessons are free and science TEKS aligned for 5th through 8th grades. These lessons allow classroom educators to scale up to upper grades or down to lower grades. Each lesson is presented using Zoom, about 45 minutes in length, and offered once a week.

Virtual Field Lessons Offered

Elusive Ocelots

Join the East Foundation, Caesar Kleberg Wildlife Research Institute (CKWRI) and the curators from the Texas Zoo uncover the mysteries of the elusive ocelot here in deep South Texas. We will explore and investigate the anatomy of the ocelot which helps them survive in the Wild Horse Desert as well as learn from our partnering scientists the methods they use to study individual ocelot populations on East Foundation’s El Sauz Ranch in Willacy County.

Who’s Eating Who? Predator and Prey Relationships on the San Antonio Viejo Ranch 

Join our educators along with Dr. Tomeček, an Assistant Professor and Extension Wildlife Specialist with Texas A&M University and Texas A&M AgriLife Extension and Alex Hettena, a graduate student at Texas A&M University, as we explore and investigate predator-prey relationships on East Foundation rangelands. We will be discussing food chains, food webs, coyotes, jackrabbits, and feral hogs.  

Land to Sea Stewardship

In partnership with the UT-RGV Coastal Studies Lab in South Padre Island, Texas, East Foundation will take students on a journey across our El Sauz Ranch to the coast of the Laguna Madre to learn how the two ecosystems are connected. Through a series of live and prerecorded presentations students will be able to identify both flora and fauna within these two ecosystems and how active management of the grasslands can positively and impact the seagrass ecosystem and beyond.

Land Stewardship Across Two Ecoregions in Texas *New Virtual Field Lesson*

Join us along with our partner Selah, Bamberger Ranch Preserve as we explore the South Texas Plains and the Edwards Plateau and how these two different organizations steward in their ecoregion. We will discuss habitat management, endemic species (Ocelot and Golden-Cheeked Warbler), ground and surface water, and how these lands benefit the public within the state of Texas.

A Look into Our Past: How South Texas Ranchlands Were Settled 

Join us and The Museum of South Texas History as we travel back in time to learn how the Coahuiltecan Indians followed by Spanish and Mexican colonizers settled lands south of the Nueces river. Students will virtually visit both the Museum of South Texas History and the historic San Antonio Viejo Ranch all in one day! 

Behind the Gates of a Working Cattle Ranch

Go behind the gates of the historic San Antonio Viejo Ranch with East Foundation ranch staff as they show us what being a land steward is all about. For us at the East Foundation, land stewardship is about caring for our land, water and wildlife while also producing quality beef for all Texans to enjoy. Join us to learn how and why we do what we do. Students will get an inside look into a cattle management operation.  

Behind the Gates of a Working Cattle Ranch 2.0 *New Virtual Field Lesson*

You've seen what happens behind the gates of working cattle ranch, but there are a lot more moving parts and people needed to make a working ranch run. We will visit with different East Foundation personnel as we learn about their careers and how their work ensures we are able to promote the advancement of land stewardship through ranching, science, and education. The careers we will learn about are Ranch Foreman, Vaquero, Water Well Infrastructure Crew Lead, Research Scientist, and Bookkeeper. Some of these careers within the ranching industry do not require a college education!

Shadows of the Night *New Virtual Field Lesson*

Join us alongside our partner, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center, as we explore and identify nocturnal organisms and the functions of the structures that have allowed them to be successful nocturnal animals. We will also investigate behaviors of both their urban and rural counterparts.

Registration and Participation Information 

Registration is required in advance. Click on the linked time and date on the schedule to register. Teachers please register once for your entire class and then forward or share the registration link that will be e-mailed to you. Feel free to email us at education@eastfoundation.net if you have questions so we can accommodate you and your students.