Local River a Natural Resource for Student-Researchers


Students from High School East’s ThINK Discovery Research program had the opportunity to conduct research right in their own backyard when they participated in the third annual “A Day in the Life of the Nissequogue River” event on Oct. 7.

The school’s participation in the program was led by Maria Zeitlin, HSE research coordinator, and coordinated by Brookhaven National Laboratory, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation, the Suffolk County Water Authority and the Central Pine Barrens Commission.

With the help of natural resource experts, the Smithtown East students explored and collected firsthand information to learn how their river and estuary fits into the larger ecosystem at Short Beach. Their work will determine the health of the aquatic ecosystem and biodiversity of the Nissequogue River.
Four hundred students and teachers from 10 school districts also engaged in the program at 13 sites on the Nissequogue River. Four other “Day in the Life” events were held on the Connetquot River and locations within the Peconic Estuary, including the North and South Forks and Shelter Island. In total, more than 2,000 students will participate, guided by 38 partner agencies and 40 schools.