Earth Institute Live is a virtual platform dedicated to bringing the science of sustainability to you! This online video series provides educational content to K12 students and educators. The series will feature scientific experts from across the institute in 60-minute live sessions where they will share aspects of their work through lectures, interactive activities, and/or demos. The Field Station produced 5 E.I. LIVE sessions that pertain to Hudson River science that you can explore with your students!
1. STEM Through the Hudson River (Grades 3-5)
The Hudson River estuary spans 153 miles from the Troy dam down to the tip of the New York Battery and it is a wonderful educational feature located in our very own “backyard.” We are going to be using real data collected from the “Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor Program” to explore the dynamic nature of the salt front and the diverse fish communities that call the Hudson River estuary home.
- Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor Program – Visit the DITL website to access data that has been collected for this event since 2003. Activities are also available for you to do your own Hudson River investigations at home.
- “STEM on the Hudson” Presentation Packet– Including slides, Killifish and Salinity Graphs and the Hudson River Estuary Map to follow along with the activity.
- Student 2019 Fish worksheet – Download the Student 2019 Fish worksheet.
- Teacher 2019 Fish worksheet – Download the Teacher 2019 Fish worksheet.
- Student 2019 Salinity worksheet – Download the Student 2019 Salinity worksheet.
- Teacher 2019 Salinity worksheet – Download the Teacher 2019 Salinity worksheet.
- Salinity Data visualization comparing 2008 vs 2009 Years – Use these teacher notes to teach the Hudson River Salinity Mapping Activity that compares salinity in 2008 vs. 2009.
- 2008 Salinity Map – Download the 2008 Salinity Map for the activity.
- 2009 Salinity Map – Download the 2009 Salinity Map for the activity.
2. All About Fish (Grades 1-5)
Fish in the Hudson may share a watery habitat, but aside from that, fish can vary in every way imaginable. They are uniquely adapted to their niche in the ecosystem. Learn how different adaptations benefit different species and expand your love of these charismatic little vertebrates as we do different fish activities and we learn all about fish. (Note that while we are focusing on the Hudson, but this fish activity applies more widely).
- “All About Fish” Presentation Packet– Includes slides and a lesson write up.
- Fish Forms/What Defines a Fish?– Download the ‘What Defines a Fish” template for the activity (with teacher notes)
3. The Hudson’s Habitat (Grades 6-8)
The Hudson is a critical habitat for many threatened and endangered species. Some of the most damaged and highly urban areas have rebounded to provide rich habitats for flora and fauna that is of value not only locally but regionally along the North Atlantic coastline. In this session, learn to match the species to their habitats using digital maps and species data.
Critical habitat or species description sheets, maps, and resources that allow educators to run these activities for their Hudson Valley region:
- New York City Critical Habitat Activity
- New Jersey Critical Habitats
- Rockland County Critical Habitats
- Upper Hudson Critical Habitats
4. Migration and Fish Management (Grades 9-12)
Migrating fish are monitored and managed across different regions and states. Data can appear to tell very different stories depending on when they are collected, over what time period, and what other supporting information is collected. In this session, you’ll review the data and be the judge about the management decision to be made.
- “Fish on the Move” Presentation Packet- Includes slides and a lesson write up.
5. Microplastics, Mega Impact (Grades 3-5)
Join Laurel in this session to explore the science behind microplastics. They have been found everywhere, from Arctic snow to the depths of the Mariana Trench, and they are even found in our food webs and our laundry! Laurel will introduce students to exactly what they are, where they can be found, and why we should care about their emergence in multiple aspects of our lives.
- Microplastics Explained – Watch this explainity explainer video to get the big picture view of microplastics.
- Microplastics: Tiny Plastics, Huge Problems – Click here to go through a presentation on microplastics and biomagnification at your own pace.
- Microplastics Input/Output – This Microplastics Input/Output model is the perfect lesson to introduce students to microplastics.
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) Role in the Hudson River System
Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) are subtidal plant communities that live in fairly shallow water to enable photosynthesis. They serve a diversity of ecological functions and provide ecosystem services for us! This three day curriculum allows students to explore the different SAV in the Hudson, their roles, and their current and future status through a combination of lessons and activities.
- SAV’s Role in the Hudson River System– Click here to go through a PDF presentation at your own pace.
- LESSON PLAN- Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: Influence on the Hudson River System– This teacher guide provides a day by day outline, learning objectives, links to the NYS Science Learning Standards, and guidance through the questions and activities.
- STUDENT PACKET- Submerged Aquatic Vegetation: Influence on the Hudson River System– This student packet is full of background information, activities, graphs and images, and discussion prompts necessary to complete the SAV curriculum.
- SAV Species Cards– Used for Activity 1
- Hudson River Map– Used for Activity 1
- Stony Point SAV Transects– Used for Activity 2
- Water Celery Informational Sheet– Additional information provided by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
- Water Chestnut Informational Sheet– Additional information provided by the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies
Day in the Life on the Hudson and Harbor
Day in the Life of the Hudson River and Harbor (DITL) is an event is designed to celebrate the Hudson River Estuary and educate participants on the uniqueness of our estuary. The event is coordinated by The Hudson River Estuary Program of New York State Department of Environmental Conservation and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory. Each fall, environmental education centers are encouraged to team with school classes along the Hudson River to create a day-in-the-life picture of the river from the Troy Dam to New York Harbor. The event began in 2003 with a modest 300 student participants and has grown until in our most recent event, October 2019 where we involved over 5000 students and individual participants ~ 90 sites from the New York Bight up to Peebles Island on the Hudson River, and into the Mohawk watershed, a major Hudson River tributary. Each site gathered data on the Hudson and shared their results, gaining a better understanding of this historic and vital estuary system.
Educational Resource Guide for Parents and Teachers
The Educational Resource Guide provides parents and teachers alike with effective educational resources to help meet curriculum course requirements or to simply offer a fun family activity about the Hudson River Estuary. As a part of the Harbor and Hudson River work group, we have reinvented our programs to incorporate new virtual and at-home lessons and activities! Housed on the Hudson River Foundation website, the Educational Resource Guide seeks to offer a searchable, sortable collection of sustainability-related, place-based resources from environmental educators across the Hudson Estuary.