For the fifth year in a row, Clarkson University’s Beacon Institute hosted students at Dennings Point to participate in NYS DEC’s annual “Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor”. Over 3,200 students participated at 70 sites up and down the Hudson River on October 14th to capture a “snapshot” of the Hudson River's health in the 19th annual watershed-wide event.
Clarkson’s Beacon Institute staff hosted 50 fifth-grade students and four teachers from Beacon’s South Avenue Elementary School. They guided groups through a variety of hands-on activities, including beach seining for live fish, fish identification using dichotomous keys, tide and current tracking, and water quality analysis.
“In order to connect students to the river, a network of prior knowledge and experiences, or schema, must be built - and this trip fits the bill!”, said Aaron Burke, Librarian at South Avenue Elementary School. Despite most Beacon students living in close proximity to the Hudson River, many have little direct experience with it. “There were so many engaging elements of the day,” Burke said, “but the highlight would have to be seining for fish! So many fish! The kids had a great interaction with the river and came away really excited about their trip.”
Dozens of partner organizations including colleges, non-profits, and schools travel to the Hudson’s shores every year to help middle and high school students collect field data on the river. Data is sent to the NYSDEC and Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University where it is examined to gain a better understanding of the historic and vital estuary system.
Learn more about Clarkson’s Beacon Institute programs at https://www.clarkson.edu/academics/beacon.