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Hastings High School Students Study Hudson River

Thumbs up from a student at the Hudson RiverHastings High School student scientists became Hudson River researchers this past week.

Hastings High School’s advanced placement environmental science class traveled to the banks of the Hudson River on Thursday to take part in the Department of Environmental Conservation’s (DEC) 19th annual "A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor."

The class joined thousands of other students from over 65 schools in collecting scientific information to create snapshots of the river at dozens of locations. The data was then shared via the web so students could better understand how their small piece of the river fits into the larger Hudson River estuary ecosystem.

“We tested the river water, which was hard because of the tide, mud, and the current,” said Hastings High School senior Raneen Badaan. “The current is really fast and strong.”

Hastings High School students performed their data collection at nearby Kinnally Cove where they donned waders and boots to measure the tide, determine water quality, and catch and observe a variety of aquatic life with seine nets. The data collected by students on the Hudson will also help the DEC create a detailed picture of the river’s ecology. “It was very interesting,” said Hastings High School senior Sabine Hinkaty.

Hastings-High-School-students-try-to-identify-fish-caught-from-the-Hudson-River“It was good to get some hands-on experience.” The hands-on experience with the Hudson was surprisingly a first for some of the students.

“Although they live on the river, many of them don't really know much about it,” said Science Department Chair and teacher Melissa Shandroff. “This is my 10th year participating and I think it’s a great opportunity for them to learn more about the river system as a whole.”

While students learn about ecosystems and water chemistry in the classroom, Shandroff said there was no substitute for hands-on experience.

“One of the favorite stations is fishing where the students use a 25-foot seining net to catch and identify fish and crabs,” she said. “I love that the students get their hands dirty and learn about life in the river as well.”