The 2013 Fall semester at the Marine Biology Research and Harbor SEALs Programs has been full of progress. Starting with the generous support of our scholars, we were able to move our lab to the Marine Science room in 3 days. On October 12 we set off to restore eel grass at Brooklyn Pier’s Park with our team leader, Nicolle. Continue reading Marine Biology Research 2013 Fall Semester in Review
The New York Harbor School’s Marine Biology Research Program provides Work-based learning (WBL) experiences to its students in the 10 through 12th grades. WBL gives our marine scholars opportunities to study complex subject matter as well as vital workplace skills in a hands-on environment. WBL experiences also provide students with career awareness, career options exploration, appropriate workplace skills development, and the opportunity to relate academic skills to real-life applications.
Some WBL activities appropriate for every grade level are: guest speaker visits to the classroom, career fairs, job site tours, job shadowing, work with professional mentors on research projects, and internships. Internships are considered the pinnacle of the WBL spectrum. As students see the connections between their lab/field work and what is required at the work site, they gain an understanding of the importance of learning and are able to make better decisions about their futures.
On May 4th and October 3rd our research scholars were invited to explore careers in Science, Technology, Engineering, and Math (STEM) with the Consolidated Edison Corporation of NY (CONED) by their EHS manager, Michael Kessler. They had the opportunity to view several high-level professional presentations ranging from the running of the facilities to environmental management strategies. Our scholars were then given a tour of the facilities. The CONED team including Alexander Potulicki (engineer) and Brian Brush (senior scientist) showed great interest in continuing to support our scholars. For more images click here.
Over the summer, approximately 15 Marine scholars participated in internships with partners such as Manhattan College, The Nature Conservancy, the Wildlife Conservation Society, Roger Williams University, and Columbia University.
On Tuesday, November 5th (Election Day), Marine scholars will attend the 2nd Annual STEM Career Day organized by the Office of School Programs and Partnerships. Students will have the opportunity to visit STEM companies around the city and learn more about STEM career pathways. Click here for more information.
On Saturday, November 9th, Marine Scholars will attend the 2013 LEAF Green College and Career Fair organized by The Nature Conservancy. Scholars will have the opportunity to meet representatives from regional organizations, colleges and universities about opportunities for green programs, careers, scholarships and jobs. Click here for more information.
The MBRP Employability Skills Check List is a document that outlines many of the skills our scholars will graduate with from the Marine Biology Research Program that will be valuable in their professional careers.
Welcome to the 2013 – 2014 school year at the Urban Assembly New York Harbor School. We have a lot to celebrate! The Marine Biology Research Program and its research students have a new home this year. We’ve moved to the Marine Science room on the first floor. This space is being transformed so that we can perform all of our programmed activities. We’re also almost finished with our Self Study document. This document is required of all CTE programs by the New York State Education Department in order for students to receive CTE certification on their high school diplomas. Lastly, below you’ll find a few documents you’ll need in order to be ready for the Marine Biology Research Program. Wishing you all the best!
Marine Biology Research Syllabus:
SUNY Albany College Credit for 11th and 12th graders:
Intermediate Marine Biology Research (MBRP) students monitor the Upper Hudson River Estuary (HRE) on Governors Island. With water quality gear in hand the students set out to monitor the waters on a weekly basis to determine the state of health of the HRE in the heart of NYC. The students replicate their sampling and collect their data on data sheets. They then process the information in the lab and work towards completing a college level research paper which they will submit at the end of the year to the NYC Science and Engineering fair in order to compete for scholarships and prizes. Some of the projects involve monitoring physical-chemical water parameters, zooplankton, and fish. This kind of experiential learning helps them to develop critical thinking skills and prepares them for college and industry while keeping it real. For more images of their work click here.
Last Wednesday, New York Harbor School’s Harbor SEALs kicked off their first day of full scale monitoring for the Hudson River Estuary Water/Air Quality Monitoring Program. We had a total of 21 volunteers working the jam packed schedule. In all, 4 different localities were sampled at exactly the same time in order to compare water conditions and determine the influence of the currents from the different bodies of water flowing through the Battery. We thank all the volunteers – adults and children who participated. We also thank the EPA for its support of this important project. We are in the process of developing a page on this site to post the data.
Additionally, last week our 11th grade Marine Biology Research students found a nauplius larva during their weekly sampling run at Pier 101. With a water temperature of 4 C and winter in full force, we were surprised to see that the Harbor is preparing for an early spring. Can you identify what Infraclass of organisms it belongs to? E-mail your answer to firstname.lastname@example.org. The first correct answer will win a prize (high school students only, sorry;).
The main focus of the MBRP and Harbor SEALs is for high school students to work on real scientific research projects. Projects, such as the ones being worked on by 12th graders Stephanie Rodriguez, Jasmine Hernandez, and Tony Fernandez, span all of the academic subjects students are required to complete in high school while giving them invaluable first hand, experiential learning that stays with them for the rest of their lives. Jasmine and Stephanie have been experimenting with the effects of various types of nutrients on plants to better understand the nature of eutrophication of the Hudson River Estuary, plant physiology, and the project management process. Since last year, they have been putting together their projects from scratch. From constructing the growth support system to data collection and analysis to presenting their results professionally in front of an audience, they have set the gears of the program into motion. One or more of the skills they are practicing will transfer directly into their post secondary education and professional careers. All of these skills will transfer into their personal lives. We wish them the best of success. (For more images click here.)
On Wednesday, December 5th, 13 marine specialists gathered on Governors Island for the annual Marine Biology Research Program’s Professional Advisory Committee meeting. MBRP 12th grade students convened at Soissons Dock to welcome the members off the ferry with water quality gear in hand. Once the members disembarked, we headed over to Pier 101 to work on water quality and participate in a short presentation by SeaArc Scientists Shimrit Perkol-Finkel and Ido Sella on Econcrete. We then headed over to the MBRP lab and had a working lunch session where we discussed how to improve the Program. Our two main goals were, 01) the further development of internship opportunities for students and, 02) the further development of research collaborations between our PAC members and the MBRP. For a list of our accomplishments click here.
So far this year the 10th grade Marine Biology Research students have done a great job of working together to produce exceptional results. Putting together Aquatic Ecosystem Models, they’ve begun to learn the basics of water chemistry, physics, and ecology. From jump starting the nitrification cycle in their Models by adding ammonium chloride and nitrifying bacteria to adding terrestrial plants for nitrate removal, these future environmental scientists are learning what it takes to keep an ecosystem healthy from the bottom up. Once these students have mastered keeping their Ecosystems healthy they’ll start formulating projects around the Hudson River Estuary to apply their skills to the real world. Continue here.
This weekend, the Harbor SEALs trekked up to Black Rock Forest in Cornwall, New York to complete a one day ecology workshop sponsored by a Toyota Grant. We monitored the physical-chemical parameters of Cascade Brook and determined the health of this pristine ecosystem. With chemical and biological sampling gear in hand, we took a roller coaster-type ride up to the Brook on pick up trucks and got to work early Saturday morning. The SEALs team were able to determine that, although the Brook’s waters are pristine, it’s not immune to the effects of acid rain. We found pH values of around 5 to 6 units. Surveying the vertebrates and macroinvertebrates, the SEALs determined that the Brook has Type II organisms that are semi-tolerant to pollutants and thus are experiencing some stress. It wasn’t all work though as the team celebrated Ameena’s 17th birthday, hiked up to one of the Forest’s peeks, played board games, and delightfully cooperated in preparing meals. Thanks Rebecca and all for a great time! (For more pictures, click here: IMAGO)
For using benthic macro-invertebrates for water quality go to the EPA’s and PBS’s websites: http://www.epa.gov/bioiweb1/html/benthosclean.html; http://www.pbs.org/teachers/ecoinvestigators/lesson-plans/freshwater/creepy-crawly-water-quality/