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UTSA students on Port Aransas field trip
(Photos by Chris Coteff)

UTSA biology students explore Gulf of Mexico

By Kris Rodriguez
Public Affairs Specialist

(Sept. 26, 2006)--Thirteen students from UTSA's biology department recently had a first-hand look at marine life in the Gulf of Mexico. One of two annual field trips to Port Aransas, the two-day excursion has been conducted for seven years under the leadership of UTSA biology professor Jyotsna Sharma.

"I think it's important for the students to be aware of our changing environments and the impact we have on the world around us," said Sharma. "Our students learn about the diversity of marine organisms and their habitats."

In addition to valuable field experience, the trips help prepare students for job opportunities through networking with researchers and biologists at local marine research facilities, fish and wildlife departments, parks and wildlife groups and various private organizations.

The students spend their time walking the Port Aransas beaches, jetties and mud flats gathering samples for observation and trawling at sea for marine life aboard a research vessel.

"It was amazing and makes you appreciate all the things you learn in the lab when you see people using those same techniques out in the field," said Michael Cavazos, junior biology major.

The field trips are open to biology and environmental science students who have completed introductory biology classes.

For more information about the January field trip, contact the UTSA Department of Biology at (210) 458-4458.

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