Students Collect Real Data on Hudson River Ecosystem
On October 20th Chatham’s Environmental Science classes and Ecology Club, along with the Taconic Hills AP Environmental Class, participated in the annual Day in the Life of the Hudson, which is sponsored by the DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program with assistance from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. The students used seine nets, water testing kits, and measuring tools to investigate aquatic life, water chemistry, tides and weather. They also collected core samples of river bottom mud for analysis.
2016 was the largest collection day yet with ninety sites along the Hudson from New York Harbor to the Mohawk River and over 4000 students and educators participating. Chatham has participated the last six years collaborating with the Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. They provided educators to assist us in fish and micro/macroplankton catches and identification. The students rotated through five stations: fish seining; sampling for plankton and macroinvertebrates; water chemistry sampling; weather, physical data, and sediment core collection; and water depth, tide, and turbidity data collection – the fish seining being the most popular part of the day.
This year we had forty-two students collecting data and they caught over 700 fish, including banded killifish, white perch, bluegills, mummichogs, and spot-tail shiners. The data they collected will be archived at the
Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory (http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/) for analysis and use by educators and researchers worldwide.