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CURB Receives $70,000 Grant for Hudson River Ecology Research with High School Students

The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Hudson RIver Estuary Program recently released their latest round of Hudson River Estuary Grants for River Education. Included is a grant for CURB titled “Rising TIDES (Training Innovative and Diverse Environmental Scientists): EELS Team (Evaluating Estuary Lateral Species)”. 

The overarching goal of The Rising TIDES - EELS Team program is to cultivate young scientists from diverse backgrounds from within our community through intensive training and mentored education and research experience at CURB. Our expectation is that by engaging in this program these students will be well-prepared to continue their science education into college and enter into the STEM workforce.

Over the two-year grant twenty Yonkers Public Schools High School students will learn from CURB’s highly-trained staff and Sarah Lawrence students and faculty at our waterfront center, engaging in place-based learning with their surrounding environment. Starting summer 2023 ten students will complete a 1-college-credit summer intensive followed by paid afterschool education and research during the academic year. A second cohort will begin in summer 2024. 

Their collective research projects will focus on Hudson River Ecology and include data from seining, migratory eel monitoring, eDNA analysis, and use of water chemistry data from HRECOS. The eDNA presence/absence analysis will focus on the Round Goby (an invasive from the Great Lakes) and the Lyre Goby (a new species for the Hudson CURB discovered last year that may be expanding its range North due to climate change). With mentorship from staff, Sarah Lawrence students, and their teachers they will create presentations to be shared with the community. In addition to their science training lessons will include green career options, communications training, and resume assistance. 

In total over 50% of the grant budget will go directly towards travel, compensation, and tuition for the Yonkers students who will participate in the program. 

The program is modeled after our highly successful Rising TIDES - Blue Team Program that is funded by the NYS DEC Office of Environmental Justice. Blue Team also includes paid education and research experience for High School students, tiered mentorship, and life-skills lessons, but with a focus on water quality education, research, and community outreach.