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Mid-Hudson YES Program

Broadening local participation of underrepresented demographic groups in science, technology, engineering, and mathematics (STEM) fields.

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MH-YES Summer Activities

The program begins with the Dive into Aquatic Ecology week at Marist College, where students will participate in hands-on instruction in aquatic ecology and environmental science.

For the remaining 5 weeks, participants will work in two teams along with college students, professors and scientists; one based at each of the research institutions and each focusing on distinct but related research questions.

Through the MH-YES program, high school students will build proficiency in research, data collection, interpretation, and the utilization of lab techniques, in tandem with the development of communication skills, leadership and presentation skills.


Teams will consist of 3-4 high school students, an undergraduate student, a science teacher, and a research mentor. Teams will conduct research on pertinent water quality issues in the Hudson Valley, and standard abiotic and biotic water quality measures will be collected by both teams to allow for cross-team comparison. While the general research topics are set, it is imperative that research teams work together to develop their specific research questions.

The Marist Team will explore the factors associated with the risk of increase in Harmful Algal Blooms (HAB) in the Hudson and its tributaries under our warming climate.

The Cary Institute team will study tributary flashiness, turbidity and water chemistry responses to storm events.

Student Eligibility

The Summer Internship Program is for students who are currently enrolled in high school and are rising juniors or seniors, current 10th and 11th grade students. All applicants will be considered, however students from under-represented groups are especially encouraged to apply.

Teacher Eligibility

The Summer Fellowship Program is for local high school science teachers interested in strengthening their research and mentoring skills.


Field Sites: Hudson River tributaries TBD by research team

Laboratory Site: Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies (2801 Sharon Tpke, Millbrook, NY 12545)

Transportation to the field and lab spaces will be provided.


July 1st-Aug 9th, 2019


The program is 32 hours per week. Participants will work from 9am - 4pm Monday through Thursday, and from 9am-1pm on Fridays, with occasional variation depending on specific scheduling.

About the MH-YES Program

The MH-YES Program will engage a diverse group of local high school students with teachers, undergraduates and scientists in authentic water quality research that addresses pressing environmental challenges in the local community.

The aims are to build students' knowledge, skills, motivation, and confidence for pursuing environmental science careers, while supporting teachers' ability to pique student interest in geoscience.

Youth from under-represented groups in the Hudson Valley often lack opportunities to engage with their local environment and consequently feel that environmental science is not accessible to them. MH-YES addresses this problem directly by providing an opportunity for students to conduct original research. We have developed a network of scientists and educators in the mid-Hudson Valley committed to mentoring, research, and community engagement. Students will do collaborative research into human influences on the ecology of local streams and the Hudson River.

Research teams will work out of the networked institutions in the Hudson Valley. The MH-YES program will engage with the community during the Dive into Aquatic Ecology week, and through two outreach events: one to raise awareness of water quality issues and the other to share the teams' research findings. Additionally, teachers will take the experience back into their classrooms, further extending the reach of the program into local schools.

The MH-YES Program is part of a regional network of mentoring programs for high school students organized by the Lamont Doherty Earth Observatory at Columbia University Early Engagement in Research Program.

Support for this program comes from the New York State Water Resources Institute at Cornell University and NYSDEC Hudson River Estuary Program, as well as Columbia University, Marist College, and Cary Institute.