Hudson River Ecology

The Changing Hudson Project curriculum was developed by scientists and educators at Cary to help students understand how the Hudson River changes over time. By collaborating with teachers, scientists, and management agencies, the curriculum has grown to include a wide range of topics that engage students with visualizations, readings, investigations, and actual scientific data.

Invasive Species Independent Research Report


Students will know that aquatic communities change composition based on vegetation types and be able to explain the differences.

Lesson Overview

1. Students select a local invasive species to research 2. Students conduct research 3. Students present the results of their research

Two 45-minute lessons, separated by2 weeks
  • Copies of invasive species list
  • Copies of "How to do Research"
  • Library access

Engage: Ask students to brainstorm a list of local invasive species. If you have used any of the invasive species lessons in this module, students should know a few. Make a list on the board, and augment with provided list if necessary. Assign species based on your preference.

Explore: Students should have several days to complete research during or after school. Students can create posters, brochures, or other materials to display what they have learned. Students should be ready to present their findings to the class.

Explain: Encourage students to think about the positive aspects of invasive species to provide a more in-depth examination of invasions. Although we generally state that “invasives are bad”, it is interesting to think about whether all invasives are bad, and what that term means to the students. Students may also want to discuss what it means for an organism to be invasive, and how long it needs to reside in a location before it becomes “native”, such as the apple tree and the earthworm. Asking students to define these terms can lead to an interesting discussion on the range of changes that invasives have caused, realizing that some things may be ‘better’ while others are certainly ‘worse’.

Extend: Students can research the eradication methods available to their invasive species, and the implications of such a plan.

Evaluate: Students complete research project.

Lesson Resources
NYS Standards
MST 1 - Mathematical analysis, scientific inquiry, and engineering design
MST 4- Physical setting, living environment and nature of science
Benchmarks for Science Literacy
1B Scientific Inquiry
5A Diversity of Life
11C Constancy and Change
12D Communication Skills

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