This year, we are yet again increasing the science onboard the sloop. To review, we have a HRECOS sonde onboard taking water quality data (soon to be returning for the 2015 season), and a “fish finder,” also known as a biological echosounder, complete with GPS. This year, we are paying more attention to our fish catch data, recording select fish sizes, rather than just quantities. Education Coordinator, Isaac, has been working on incorporating this information into a stronger science curriculum for high school sails. This program is research based, with the students engaging directly in collecting samples, recording data, and interpreting the results.
Much of this has been in partnership with former Onboard Educator, Maija Niemisto, who is currently working on her Master’s at Stony Brook University on Long Island. Before the sailing season even started, Maija stopped by to show us new Onboard Educators some of her collection procedures and to collect some samples. The big boat wasn’t sailing yet, so we took the small one…
Maija with sampling gear and Chris guiding the small boat. There was still ice on the River.
We had a fun adventure out on the cold river, and learned the sampling process. Here’s to a season of science on the river!
Our engineer, Sophie, took this video of the first gybe of the season – new boom, new sail!
Gracie and Lucy joined the good sloop as education interns in March. Here is a little about them…
It has been a whirlwind of activity on the Clearwater since I joined the crew at the beginning of April. We immediately started prepping the boat for the sailing season and the upcoming coast guard inspection. Between knocking off frost for morning deck wash and taking a field trip to Norrie Point Environmental for crew training, I’ve already learned so much about my floating home and the Hudson River. Once the day’s work has been done, all 12 crew members crowd around the cozy main cabin with a deck of cards, while someone strums a few cords on the boat’s guitar.
I’ve only spent a few weeks on the Clearwater but I already know this will be an unforgettable experience. I recently graduated from the University of Vermont with a B.S. in Wildlife and Fisheries Biology. I am looking forward to this experience. Biology is my passion and education is something new and exciting to me. I can already tell from the people that I have met around the Hudson Valley and on the Clearwater that this will be a truly incredible experience. By the end of my internship on Clearwater, I know I will always have a place in my heart for the river that flows both ways.
Finally, some time to sit down! The past few weeks have been some of the busiest I’ve ever experienced. But every sore muscle and lost minute of sleep has been repaid in full by countless moments of joy. From waking up in laughter as a crew member employed the tune “Smelly Cat” to drag our exhausted bodies from slumber, to watching a hardy young Hogchoker swim its way around our tank—I already know that this is one adventure on which I am more than happy to be.
As a transplant to the Hudson River Valley from the San Francisco Bay Area, I have learned so much about this beautiful region; it seems that I am constantly discovering new facts about its teeming ecosystems and rich human histories. As I prepare for starting my masters program in Environmental Policy at Bard in the fall, I can’t begin to express how valuable this experiential learning will be for my studies ahead. Here’s to the next few months of learning, growing, laughing, and living on the good sloop Clearwater!