Young people who care about local water set sail and take action. At the New York Harbor School, students join forces with local environmental groups to regularly monitor the health of water.
By counting, measuring, and identifying stingrays, sharks, and skates, as well as bottom fish, high school students help scientists make connections between human activities, natural events, and the health of coastal waters.
Can counting and measuring clams help environmental agencies make smarter decisions about conservation and land management? Absolutely. Just ask students who gather this important data.
After cleaning up a local stream, the United Anglers of Casa Grande revived the trout population and then added to it by creating a hatchery. Working with marine scientists, they aspire to protect and enrich trout and salmon species, using only donations to stay afloat.
Eyes on Eggs
Kids watch nests to give scientists a better understanding of how changes in land use and climate impact birds, while learning about fine-feathered parenting at the same time.
At one annual coastal-cleanup day, thousands of volunteers, many of them school-age kids, pick up trash along coastal and inland waterways, canyons, and streets. During a recent outing, more than 5,000 volunteers compiled roughly 45,000 tons of trash and recyclables at sixty sites.
By observing birds in backyards, on balconies, and at rooftop gardens, kids give scientists insights into the areas urban birds prefer.
Take a Breather
Visibility Volunteers take air-quality readings on hikes in states ranging from Maine to Virginia, creating data that will be used for public education as well as to improve air-quality laws.
Data from kids counting ladybugs give scientists a better grasp on why native species seem to be disappearing.
Citizen scientists of all ages check the effects of climate change in their own backyards, noting details such as plant and tree blooms to help scientists determine the role and impact of global warming.
Brave Newt World
Salamanders breathe through their skin, which makes them valuable indicators in determining air quality. No wonder researchers welcome the data students gather about these amphibians.
And don't forget to check out Edutopia's Go Green Database to explore our ever-expanding trove of environmentally-conscious teaching tools. Search for lesson plans, Web sites, and educational resources by topic, grade level, cost, or location, or add your resource. Or join a discussion in our Green Schools Group.