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The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation has added a link to a translation service developed by Microsoft Inc., entitled Bing Translator, as a convenience to visitors to the DEC website who speak languages other than English.

Additional information can be found at DEC's Language Assistance Page.

Education Programs

Marist College students display their 'catch of the day' during a field program at the Norrie Point Environmental Center. There are five young women in waders and one is holding a large catfish.
Marist College students display their "catch of the day" during a
field program at Norrie Point. (Chris Bowser)

A commitment to environmental education supports the Reserve's efforts in research, stewardship, and restoration. Our programs focus on hands-on, inquiry-based learning involving current science and superb facilities. Topics include:

  • Hudson River animals, habitats, and ecosystems
  • Changes in the river from climate change, invasive species, and land use patterns
  • Research on the river, including water monitoring and mapping vegetation and the river bottom
  • Student-level research and stewardship projects

Different programs focus on school classes and the general public. Student education programs follow New York State Learning Standards as well as national K-12 Estuarine Education Program (KEEP). Please click on the links below to find out more about specific programs:

School Field Programs at Norrie Point

Middle school students investigate water quality in the Hudson River Estuary by performing chemical tests in the water. NYSDEC Educator leads the station. The students are working at a picnic table on the patio next to the river.
Middle school students investigate water quality in the
Hudson River Estuary during a field program led by
educators at the DEC Hudson River Research Reserve.

Immerse your students in Hudson River Estuary education! Free field-based programs available at Norrie Point Environmental Center for students 6th grade and older. Maximum group size of 45.

Our educational programs draw on past and current Hudson River research and field studies. The reserve's education programs provide first-hand experience with the estuary. Students explore the reserve's lands and waters, and the host of life that abounds within them, by engaging with educators at various "stations". Current stations include:

  • Hudson River Estuary Puzzle
  • Macroinvertebrates & More (Biological Indicators and Invasives)
  • Fish ID & Biology
  • Fish Seining in Norrie Cove
  • Water Chemistry
  • Watershed Model
  • Canoeing & Marsh Ecology (high school only)

Stations under development include Weather & Climate and Environmental Jeopardy.

Reservations are required. For more information on School Field Programs at Norrie Point, please call 845-889-4745 X109 or email jgherrin@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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Distance Learning at Norrie Point

SCA intern leading a distance learning program for a local middle school. Students from the Dutchess County Environmental Academy display a large snake in the background, and another educator is standing in front of the Reserve's "fish wall". The Hudson River is visible out the windows.
SCA member leading a distance learning program for a local
middle school. Students from the Dutchess Academy of
Environmental Studies display a large snake
in the background. (Chris Bowser)

Sometimes, if you can't bring the kids to the field trip, you have to bring the field trip to the kids. In our age of tight schedules and tighter budgets, educators have to get creative. One way to connect students with their larger environment is through videoconferencing and live internet programs, called distance learning.

Educators at the Hudson River Research Reserve are connecting to classrooms from Staten Island to Troy through the internet. Educators and students can see and talk to each other, ask questions, and explore a wide range of topics. Cameras on the river allow students to track tide changes and look at boat traffic, while other cameras give a close-up view of live animals.

Programs are geared towards middle and high school ages, and can cover topics including estuary basics of tides and watersheds, river ecology and biology, and current Reserve Research initiatives.

For more information on Distance Learning at Norrie Point, please call 845-889-4745 x105 or email chbowser@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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Citizen-science Fisheries Research: American Eels

Photo of two hands holding about 20 'glass eels', a juvenile stage of American eels. These glass eels were caught in a Hudson River tributary as part of a monitoring program spearheaded by the Hudson River Research Reserve and the Hudson River Estuary Program.
These glass eels were caught in a Hudson River tributary as
part of a monitoring program spearheaded by the Hudson River
Research Reserve and the Hudson River Estuary Program.
(Chris Bowser)

American eels are "catadromous", which means they're born in the salty Atlantic Ocean and migrate into freshwater systems in North America. Eels live for decades in freshwater rivers, streams, and ponds before returning to the Sargasso Sea to spawn. By the time the tiny "glass eels" arrive in Hudson River tributaries, they've already traveled over 1,000 miles. Baseline studies of migrations are needed because historically-abundant eel populations are declining in many areas.

Students and community volunteers work with DEC staff and scientists to monitor glass eel populations in Hudson River tributaries each spring. These tiny fish are counted, weighed, then released back into the water to continue their journey upstream.

These projects involve students, teachers, and community volunteers directly with scientific design and field methods. Participants learn about their local ecosystem and collect important information about migrating fish and environmental conditions. More information is available on the citizen-science and eel monitoring page.

For more information on Citizen-science Fisheries Research, please call 845-889-4745 x107 or email ztmalone@gw.dec.state.ny.us

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Fishing the River at Norrie
Seining for fish in the cove adjacent to the Norrie Point Environmental Center. The seine net is being dragged along by three people in chest waders. In the background the surface of the water is covered by invasive Eurasian water chestnuts.
Seining for fish in the cove adjacent to the Norrie Point
Environmental Center. (Chris Bowser)

Come on down to the Norrie Point Environmental Center for some fishing fun. Put on some waders and pull a seine net with Research Reserve educators, or go angling with rods and reels supplied by the DEC "I FISH NEW YORK" program. Full bathroom facilities are available.

Programs are appropriate for children and families, and are guided by DEC and Research Reserve staff. All events are free, no registration needed, and take place monthly from April to September.

For more information on Fishing the River at Norrie, please call 845-889-4745 x109, email jgherrin@gw.dec.state.ny.us or see our Events Calendar for 2013 dates.

Directions to Norrie Point Environmental Center

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More about Education Programs:

  • Public Canoe Program - Free public canoe programs in tidal marshes of the Hudson River estuary. Learn about the wildlife and dynamic system of tidal wetlands.