- Editor's note: The following is a press release from the Irvington School District. Have something to announce to the community? Click here to learn how.
The Irvington Middle School sixth graders recently partnered with the Irvington High School marine biology class to participate in this year's 10th annual “A Day in the Life of the Hudson River.”
The 140 plus IMS sixth graders and 23 IHS juniors and seniors collected data at RM25E (river mile 25 east). The sampling took place at Matthiessen Park in Irvington on Thursday, Oct. 4.
The students were among 3,000 students and educators who participated at 70 waterfront locations from New York City to Troy.
Science teacher Philip Levine (grade 6) said this year’s event stands apart from those past in that the high school students took the lead. Although the event was prepared by the teachers, it was student focused with the older students teaching and working with the younger ones. “It was a special and unique opportunity that allowed the high school students to teach and mentor the sixth graders. It was a new kind of partnership,” said Levine. “The sixth graders felt empowered and the high school students felt proud.”
The approach to the day was also different, this year was more scientific with stricter focus on data and findings.
Students used a large seining net to collect living river specimens. Each of these organisms was identified, measured, and observed before being released back into the river. “We had incredible success with seining this year,” said Levine. “Every year the quality of samples is different, but we got a great mix of fish this time.”
Prior to coming down to the river to collect data that morning, sixth graders with the support of their science teachers Mr. Levine and Mrs. Amy Panitz made predictions/hypotheses about what they would “discover” at the river. These predictions have been based upon previous years’ “A Day in the Life” data, monitoring actual live-time river data and preparation work in their science classrooms.
“It was fascinating and exciting as the students matched the predictions to the outcomes,” said Mr. Levine, who has been involved in this event since 2006 when he took fifth grade in the Irvington school district’s Main Street School.
MORE DETAILS: Joanna Morabito's marine biology class assisted sixth graders in three different stations, each with a different focus on data collecting.
- One station focused on the water chemistry of the river;
- one focused on the physical settings of the particular river location;
- one focused on the actual fish and other living organisms that live in the river.
The goal was to collect scientific data in a number of science parameters and then share this data on the Internet as a way to understand the health of the Hudson River.
Once a year, this “snapshot” of the river takes place up and down the river. By sharing their data, students gain a greater understanding of the complex interdependent ecosystems that help the Hudson remain a unique watershed system.
They are able to see trends taking place in parts of the river, analyze their findings and make additional predictions/hypotheses on the health of the river.
This event, which first took place nine years ago at only a few sampling locations, was conceived by Professor Margie Turrin of the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory and Mr. Steve Stanne of the DEC Hudson River Estuary Program.
This year it has grown in numbers with groups collecting data as far north as above the Albany/Troy dam and as far south as at RM1 at the mouth of the Hudson River in New York harbor.
For more info, go to "A Day in the Life of the Hudson River" including a look at previous years’ data, check out the event's website at: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/edu/k12/snapshotday/ .