Back to top

Here is what you can expect from our team while we are all practicing social distancing:

  •  Weekly short video updates from our staff posted to the NYSDEC youtube channel introducing you to a variety of exciting live animals and river-side excursions.
  •  Suggested complementary videos on the NYSDEC youtube channel or partner sites from an extensive online library to delve more deeply into certain concepts.
  •  Suggested complementary lesson plans from our NYSDEC website or partner sites to support deeper learning at home on the topics introduced in each weekly short video update.
  • Opportunities for submitting questions that our education staff will review and answer with a future online presentation.

What is an Estuary?

Estuary
What is an Estuary?

We suggest beginning by watching the two short videos called "What is an Estuary?" by our DEC educators and by NOAA. We then suggest going through the "Estuaries: Nature's Water Filters" online interactive presentation and game. From there you can decide to do an individualized lesson plan called "From the Mountains to the Sea" or you can work collaboratively with a few other students in a zoom or google hangout room with the "Introduction to Estuaries" lesson plan which will need slight modifications for working remotely. Then, after having watched the videos, completed the interactive presentation, and finishing at least one of the lesson plans, we suggest every student complete the "Test your Estuarine Knowledge" online short quiz. Once your class have completed all these steps, please submit a question to our education team and we'll create an online response for you.

Hudson River Source to Sea:

Hudson River Source to Sea
Hudson River Source to Sea

We recommend beginning your exciting exploration of the entire path of the Hudson River with the short "Hudson River Source to Sea" video by our DEC educators. "From the River to the Sea" is a simple reading with reflection questions that we suggest next. Then, we encourage you to examine the colorful "Explore the Hudson River" map. For younger students, we recommend completing the "River Runs Through It"  lesson plan and watching the "River" story time video. And for older students, we suggest completing the "How Much Water is in That River?" lesson plan and viewing the beautiful "Source to Sea" video about Riverkeeper's citizen science work. For an assessment of understanding for any age, we recommend reading and completing the mapping exercise called "Meet the Hudson River."  Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

Hudson River Fish: Identification and Adaptations

Fish Identification
Hudson River Fish: Identification and Adaptations

We suggest starting this week's update by opening the "Clearwater's Fish Key" in one window first. Then, we recommend watching the "Identify a live Hudson River Fish" video, and be ready to pause the video for identifying the fish on your own. We then recommend individually completing the short "Sturgeon Reading" before watching the "Sturgeon Adaptations in the Hudson River" video about another amazing fish found in the Hudson. We suggest using the next three resources together. The "Fish Diagram" and "Body Part Shapes of Fish" are excellent visual aids that will make the "Fish Form and Function" lesson plan easier for individuals to complete alone at home. Then, we suggest going through the fun "Identify a Fish Game" followed by testing your new knowledge with the "Clearwater Fish Quiz." Finally, we encourage anyone who has a question to submit them in the "Submit your Questions" box so our education team can answer them for everyone.

High Tides and Low Tides:

Tide Marker
Tide Marker

We recommend beginning your exciting exploration of the Tides with "Tide Finder" for a wonderful short video by our DEC educators. Then, we encourage you to watch the animated "Tides" video. Then we encourage students to read  "Tides in the Hudson River" and answer the "Tides Questions." If students are looking for a more detailed description and graphical representation of how water moves in the estuary, we challenge them to explore "Tides and Currents." After reading and reflecting on these processes, we recommend examining the "The Tidal Cycle on the Hudson River Estuary" visual aid. For a deep dive into the topic, we suggest students complete "Hudson Ups and Downs" as an assessment tool while teachers make use of the answer key.  Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

Watersheds:

Watershed
Watershed

We recommend beginning your exciting exploration of the Hudson River Watershed with our "What is a Watershed?" short video from our DEC educators. Then, we encourage you to enjoy the entertaining "Watersheds!" animated video. After watching these we recommend opening the "Hudson River Watershed Map" to examine what our local watershed looks like. Then, we suggest going through the "Introduction to the Hudson River Watershed" powerpoint presentation. Next, dig into the "What's a Watershed?" reading and complete the "Watershed Questions."  For more advanced students, we encourage you to open the interactive online lesson, "Model My Watershed" webpage while turning up your volume and listening to the "How to Model My Watershed" narrated presentation and directed activity. For younger students, we suggest checking out the "Water Cycle" webpage . Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

American eel
American Eels

American Eels (Younger Audience):

For younger students, we recommend beginning your exciting exploration of the American Eel with "The Eel Story" for a wonderful life cycle storytime. Then, we encourage you to examine the beautiful "Life Cycle Poster."  After enjoying those two resources we recommend moving onto "The Incredible Eel" reading with reflection questions and the "Growing Up as an Eel" lesson plan for individual student work at home. After completing the reading and lesson plan, we recommend enjoying "The Amazing Story of the European Eel"  which is a really fun animated video about a related species. Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

American Eels (Older Audience):

Yellow eel
Yellow eel

For older students, we recommend beginning your exciting exploration of the American Eel by examining the "Life Cycle Poster" which beautifully illustrates how this animal grows. "The American Eel" video is a great next step on your journey with our education staff as we follow the migration path of this fish. Next, we invite you to turn on your speakers and follow the "Eels for Experiencing and Learning Science"  narrated powerpoint presentation. After reviewing these resources, we suggest completing the "Mapping the Migration of American Eels" lesson plan from the DEC by using the accompanying  "North Atlantic Map." To learn about how students are involved with monitoring and conserving American Eels, check out the short video on "The Hudson River Eel Project." Then, kick back and enjoy listening to an entertaining episode of Radiolab called "Silky Love" all about our favorite fish.  Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

Aquatic Macroinvertebrates:

Macroinvertebrates
Macroinvertebrates

We recommend beginning your exploration of aquatic macroinvertebrates with us by opening the "Identification Sheet" for quick reference of species you will become familiar with while watching the "Aquatic Macroinvertebrates" short video from our education staff. Then, we suggested checking out the self-directed "Aquatic Benthic Macroinvertebrate" powerpoint presentation. The "Macroinvertebrate Reading" followed by the "Macroinvertebrate Questions" are a good reading and reflection lesson that students can do at home to deepen their understanding and demonstrate their knowledge about these animals.  Then we recommend playing the "Bridging the Watershed Game" for a fun way to test your new knowledge. For an amazing deeper dive into the secret lives of macroinvertebrates, explore the "Atlas of Macroinvertebrates."  To find out how people help out with collection and identification of macroinvertebrates, watch the short "WAVE Citizen Science Monitoring" video. Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

Seining for Fish

Seining for Fish
Seining for Fish

We recommend beginning your seining adventure with us by watching the "Seining for Fish" short video update from this spring. Then we suggested checking out the "Seining on the Hudson " video of students seining for fish a few years ago. Then, we recommend older students read "Hudson River Almanac Seining" which is a short compilation of people's experiences seining on the Hudson River. Younger readers will enjoy "Conservationist for Kids." We've also provided two lesson plans with real data collected from seining the Hudson. The first lesson is "Which Fish Where?" with an accompanying teacher answer guide and the second lesson is "Day in the Life of the Hudson Data." " For a fun wrap up, we encourage students to make any observation about the natural world by looking out their window or visiting a safe outdoor space and submitting their observations to the "Create Your Almanac Observation" and subscribe to "The Almanac" to see observations in weekly newsletter. Finally, everyone is welcome to "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.

 

Turtles

Turtle
Turtles

Here is another exciting weekly Virtual Hudson River update on Turtles! 

We suggest beginning by watching the our short videos called "Hudson River Valley Turtles" by our DEC educators. We then suggest reading through the "Woodland Pool Habitat" and "Swamp Habitat" online readings to learn more about what kinds of habitats Hudson Valley turtles like. From there you can do the two individualized lesson plans called "Mapping Where Animals Liveand the "Turtle Shells" lesson plan. Then try out the online game "Quest to Nest" about human interactions with turtle habitats. To see how people are helping protect turtles in our region, watch the short video "Terrapin Nesting Project." Now we recommend synthesizing all your newly gained knowledge about turtles with the "Create Your Own Turtle" activity.  Once your class have completed all these steps, please "submit a question" to our education team and we'll create an online response for you.

 

Vernal Pools and Salamanders 

Vernal Pools and Salamanders
Vernal Pools and Salamanders

We recommend beginning your exploration of vernal pools by watching the "Weird World of Vernal Pools."  Then we suggested checking out the beautiful "Spotted Salamander Life Cycle" poster while you listen to the accompanying podcast about this species' unique relationship with algae. If you are looking for a challenge, we have provided "Dive into Vernal Pools" which is the instructor copy lesson plan (including an answer key) and we suggest using our virtual "Fairy Shrimp Tank" to assist with completing it. We've also provided an easier reading option with most recent "Conservationist Kids - Amphibian and Reptile Issue." Next, are two resources about how to get involved with a citizen science project helping amphibians cross roads during their migration to vernal pools. The "Amphibian Migration Project" video can be viewed individually and the "Woodland Pool Conservation" webpage provides more information on how to protect these sensitive habitats. For a fun wrap up, look over the "Learn you Salamanders" identification sheet and take the "Salamander Identification Quiz." Finally,  "Submit your Question" to our question box and we'll respond to everyone's inquiries together.


 

For more information email maija.niemisto@dec.ny.gov.