Changing Hudson Project

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.

Natural Selection & Evolution

Grades: 
9-12
Topic(s): 
Water
Biodiversity
Nature of Science

This unit integrates ecology and evolution by focusing on the story of Foundry Cove, where thousands of pounds of cadmium waste were dumped from the 1950s through 1970s.  Surprisingly, a species of mud worm became resistant to the chemicals within a very short period of time, illustrating the principles of evolution through a local story.  By using non-fiction articles and readings along with hands on activities and graphic organizers, students will explore the events at Foundry Cove, how the resistance developed over time, and the larger consequences for the Hudson River ecosystem.  The culminating lesson asks students to explore the evolution of resistance to PCBs in Hudson River tomcod using popular media articles. 

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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