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Marine Biology Research 2013 Fall Semester in Review

...after a long day's fieldwork...
…after a long day’s fieldwork…

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

Marine Biology Research – Geographic Information Systems

12 grader, Kendall, of the MBRP searches for optimal sites to install wind turbines in the US.
12 grader, Kendall, of the MBRP searches for optimal sites to install wind turbines in the US.

During their final year in the Marine Biology Research Program, 12th graders have the opportunity to learn Geographic Information Systems (GIS). With the support of industry professional, Jim Hall, and industry partner, ESRI, students are learning how to manage geographical data with the leading industry software, ArcGIS. Some of the applications learned thus far are locating optimal sites for renewable energies and using maps to find pollution sources. GIS is a powerful tool employed by all professions, especially Marine Biology. Whenever there is a “where” question, GIS is involved in the solution. Our next exciting activity will be geocaching. Geocaching is a hobby whereby Global Positioning Systems (GPS) are used to locate hidden objects around the world. Marine scholars will be searching for hidden objects around Governors Island. At the end of the school year, students will be eligible to take the SPACE GIS practical assessment developed by Digital Quest, another industry leader in GIS. This assessment will grant students certification in GIS. For more images and lesson resources click here.

12th grader, Makayla, using a map she assembled to find pollution sources dumping in a river.
12th grader, Makayla, uses a map she assembled to find pollution sources in a river.

Work-Based Learning: CONEDISON

MBRP scholars listening to a presentation on environmental management at CONED by Brian Brush.
MBRP scholars listening to a presentation on environmental management at CONED by Brian Brush, senior scientist.

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 Marine Research Students, Guardians, and Partners!

11th Grade Marine Biology Researchers
Class of ’15 Marine Biology Researchers

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:

130915_acas_109_110_209_210_marine_science_research_syllabus

Materials List:

130915_mbrp_supplies

SUNY Albany College Credit for 11th and 12th graders:

130603_web_uhs_2013-2014_student_parent_guide

 

Day 01 – Harbor SEALs Monitoring Kick-Off + More

Nauplius caught on Pier 101 on Thursday, February 7th, 2013
Nauplius caught on Pier 101 by MBRP student researchers on Thursday, February 7th, 2013

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 mgonzalez@harborseals.org. The first correct answer will win a prize (high school students only, sorry;).

MBRP 12th Grade Researchers: Stephanie, Jasmine, and Tony

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.)

Stephanie and Jasmine work on their data.
Stephanie and Jasmine work on their data.

Aquatic Ecosystem Models – Class of ’15

Orlando, Alisha, and Averille working on their Aquatic Ecosystem Models.

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.

Repopulating the Hudson River Estuary with Eel Grass

Harbor SEALs and Urban Ecologists Kerstin, Bart, and Tim planted Eel grass yesterday off of Brooklyn in hopes of helping to bring back this keystone species that once used to protect our shores.

On October 13 the Harbor SEALs, in collaboration with NYC urban ecologists and students from other NYHS CTE programs, planted about 20 “tortillas” of eel grass off of a decaying Brooklyn pier. These “tortillas” are made of cut-out burlap about 10 to 12 inches in diameter with 10 Eel grass individuals woven between the material in a concentric pattern. The team set up 6 stations with between 3 and 4 “tortillas per station, detailed GPS points were taken of each station, sedimentation rate was measured, and water quality monitoring was performed. It was another great day of environmental and team work under the NYC sun. (For more information click here.)