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This month, 8th Grade Science received two visitors from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, Amanda Higgs, fisheries biologist, and Rebecca Houser, of The Hudson River Estuary Program. The subject of their presentation? Sturgeon!

Amanda talked about her hands-on work with this ancient and endangered fish, vital to the Hudson River ecosystem. Two species of sturgeon live in the Hudson, the Atlantic and Short Nosed, with individuals surviving some 60-70 years.

Students learned about the work of the NYSDEC to estimate populations throughout the river using side scan sonar to create images of hundreds of fish otherwise hidden under the water. Overfished until a local fishery closed in 1996, populations are now managed as a shared natural resource, and are beginning to rebound.

There’s nothing like face-to-face interaction with the experts working in the field to inspire our students to BE SCIENTISTS.