North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve
Estuary Live provides the opportunity for students to take a virtual field trip led by estuarine specialist Susan Lovelace from The North Carolina Estuarine Research Reserve Program. Students can experience the field trip in a live, interactive mode via RealVideo, or watch an online video of an earlier expedition. Classes must register for the live transmissions in order to ensure smooth delivery of the experience, and to permit customizing the field trip to address different circumstances. Classes may transmit questions during the live events via email or chat window. Six or seven field trips are conducted each spring and fall. Viewing requirements specify version 3.0 or better of Netscape or Internet Explorer, and the RealVideo browser plug-in (free download). An extensive online field guide is provided on the site, along with a scrapbook of photographs and online videos that can be downloaded and used in student projects. Other materials provided include maps, lesson plans, examples of how schools are using Estuary Live, and a link to hourly water quality and weather data from the The North Carolina National Estuarine Research Reserve Web site (http://www.ncnerr.org/). An upcoming redesign of the site will simplify the interface and add more cross-curricular and high school level activities. Estuary Live will prove an invaluable resource to classes studying marine life, estuaries, or the water cycle. Its developers are committed to a flexible implementation that will address the needs of a diversity of classroom situations.