Students Conduct Field Research at Hudson River Estuary

On March 30, juniors and seniors in Grace’s Full STEAM Ahead: Exploring the Hudson River Estuary Lab Day course (taught in collaboration with Columbia University) visited the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory, Columbia’s scientific research center that focuses on climate and earth sciences.
Beyond providing a chance to finally experience the ecosystem at the center of their studies, the trip also provided an opportunity to practice actual field research techniques alongside professional scientists. “This field trip culminates in one of the best parts of our partnership with Columbia,” began Dean of Community Life and Science Teacher Kim Chaloner of the excursion. “...seeing the students in the field excited to explore the river in person.”

Led by the observatory’s Education Coordinator Laurel Zaima, students traversed the estuary throughout the day, gathering samples of its biodiversity, studying its invasive species (such as zebra mussels) and measuring its water quality, all with the goal of better understanding the estuary’s ecological environment. The lessons learned at the observatory will inform students’ scientific coursework at Grace and beyond.

About Full STEAM Ahead: Exploring the Hudson River Estuary Class
The Hudson River estuary is a dynamic and diverse ecosystem that provides a rich opportunity to teach transdisciplinary science and the complexities of a natural system through experiential education. Through the Hudson River Estuary, students will be 1) introduced to the interrelated nature of systems science, 2) learn how to translate that science into decision-making and planning processes in their community, and 3) explore how to use a range of resources and tools to strengthen their applied science skills.
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Grace Church School is a co-educational independent school in downtown Manhattan, New York City providing instruction for nearly 800 students in Junior Kindergarten through Grade 12.