In this module students will learn how land use has changed in the Hudson River watershed, both in geologic history and in more recent times in response to human pressures. Lessons include using paleoecology to understand change since the last glaciation, and using macroinvertebrates as an indicator for ecosystem health as it relates to land use.
The Hudson Valley: A Social-Ecological System
Day 1: Introduction to Land Use Change
Students will know the major changes that have taken place in the Hudson Valley and will be able to use aerial photos to describe major trends.
Day 2: Change since 1609: Settlement Changes Hudson Valley plant communities
Students will know how the climate of the Hudson Valley has changed over the last 400 years and be able to explain these changes.
Day 3: Soil: The natural water filter
Students will know the importance of soil as a water filter, and be able to discuss how the composition of the soil impacts its ability to filter pollutants.
Day 4: Soil Permeability
Students will know the connection between land use and permeability, and be able to use data from a classroom activity to explain this connection.
Day 5: Investigating Land Use & Water Quality
Students will know how land use affects water quality and be able to compare water quality in two different aquatic ecosystems.
Day 6: Aquatic Pollution Tolerance
Students will know how land use affects water quality and be able to use macroinvertebrates to understand the impact of land use change in watersheds.
Day 7: Aquatic Stream Diversity
Students will know how land use affects water quality, and be able to calculate a macroinvertebrate diversity index to understand the impact of land use change in watersheds.
Day 8: Human Accelerated Environmental Change
Students will know some of the major changes that have taken place in the Hudson River watershed and be able to determine what has caused these changes using graphs, tables, and maps.