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Natural History of the Hudson River

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6-8, 9-12 Hudson River Ecology

This unit introduces students to the ecosystem concept using the Hudson River ecosystem. Students learn about both the biotic and physical history of the Hudson River ecosystem, including its geology, tides, and watershed. This unit's focus is on the  characteristics and historical drivers that primarily shaped the Hudson River ecosystem before European settlement. Changes after European settlement are explored in the following unit "The Hudson Valley: A Social-Ecological System."

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how an aquatic ecosystem works and be able to collect representative organisms, identify the organism and its trophic level, and create a food web of a local aquatic ecosystem.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will interpret geological maps, identify the permeability rates in different glacial deposits, and be able to infer which local townships can best benefit from residential wells.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know  how to estimate flow in a river or stream, and be able to explain how how Hudson River flow is expected to change as predicted by global climate change models. 

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will identify Hudson Valley rocks and be able to explain why the rocks came to be as they are in each place.

  • Grades: 3-5, 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know the components of the Hudson River ecosystem and be able to give several examples of ways that living and non-living things interact in the Hudson River.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how the climate of the Hudson Valley has changed over the last glaciation and be able to explain these changes.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how tides affect the Hudson River and be able to create a graph showing a two-day pattern of tides in the river.

  • Grades: 6-8, 9-12

    Students will know how water flows around their school and will be able to explain how permeability and pollution within a watershed affect water quality.