Environmental education increases public awareness and knowledge about environmental issues or environmental hazards and problems. It provides the public with the necessary skills to make informed decisions and take responsible action. RGISC has engaged in several education projects over the past 20 years. One of them is a large-scale binational project that now involves thousands of students and teachers throughout the entire watershed basin.
Rio Research Roundup
Launched in 2010, with seed money from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, the Rio Research Roundup is an annual student water testing project that involves nearly 80 student teams from the United States and Mexico.
As part of the Roundup, student teams use water testing kits, provided to them by RGISC, and on a given day in October, test the waters of the Rio Grande or one of its tributaries throughout the entire basin.
Students report and analyze data for water quality parameters that include bacteria, nitrates, phosphates, oxygen, turbidity, pH, temperature and others.
Additionally, students submit artwork, 1.5-minute videos, free writing pieces and short answer essays in which they can express their ideas on how to improve water quality in the basin. A panel of judges reviews their work, and winners are announced in December.
Eco-Camp Summer Youth Program
In the summers of 2012 and 2013, RGISC carried out the Eco-Camp summer youth camp.
This intense summer program consisted of four 1-week sessions. At Eco Camp, youngsters took daily field trips to nature trails, wind energy farms, city recycling center, the Lamar Bruni Vergara Environmental Science Center, and local green spaces. They also had the opportunity to kayak, conduct water quality testing, and undertook daily environmental art projects.
Rio Grande International Study Center 1 West End Washington St. Bldg P-11, Laredo, Texas