“Science In and Beneath the Hudson’s Waters” with Frank Nitsche and Margie Turrin (Apr 2010)

by | Jul 24, 2023 | Hudson River Studies

with Frank Nitsche and Margie Turrin 

Originally presented 24 Apr 2010

The Hudson River is one of the most studied rivers in the country with its long history of use and abuse. But even with all this study the river still holds a collection of ‘secrets’. What type of benthic habitats exist in sections of the river? Where in the river is sediment depositing and where is it eroding? Where has industry left its mark on the river bottom?

Through studying the features, deposits and markings at the bottom of the river we can learn a lot about river processes. We will look beneath the water to gain a better understanding of the river and its operations, and then will examine and describe small sections of push cores from the bottom of the river to compare the varied environments where they were collected.

Dr. Frank Nitsche and Margie Turrin share highlights of Lamont’s imaging of the Hudson’s hidden features, and examples of hands-on activities available for students and teachers through such programs as River Summer and “A Day in the Life of the Hudson River.”

Introduction to this Workshop

Introductory PowerPoint about the Hudson River

Cutting-Edge Research

In this Workshop, Frank Nitsche provides an overview of the research he and others from Columbia’s Center for Rivers and Estuaries have conducted in recent years, especially about the Hudson’s waters and sediments. For more about this, please look through Dr. Nitsche’s homepage.

Dr. Nitsche’s slideshow (pdf)   [Large file, so be patient as it loads]


Margie Turrin returns to E2C, this time to share results from two LDEO teacher and student training programs, River Summer and A Day in the Life of the Hudson River. Margie also provides descriptions of related data collection projects, including the Hudson Riverkeeper’s Swimmable River program and the Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS).





The Center for Rivers and Estuaries is an association of scientists from Columbia University that study various aspects of rivers and estuaries world wide including the distribution of sediments, the transport and flux of sediments, contaminants, carbon, nutrients, organic material, and aerosols, the evolution and linkage of marshes and wetlands. Much of the research of this center is done in the Hudson River in the vicinity of Columbia University. This opens also the opportunity for several outreach activities for communities, K-12, and higher education.

Website: http://www.hudson.columbia.edu/index.php


Classroom Resources

LDEO Center for Rivers and Estuaries

     Education and Outreach

     A Day in the Life of the Hudson River (Snapshot Day)

     Hudson River Basin Watch

Center for Environmental Research and Conservation (CERC) Teacher Training Curriculum

Understanding Patterns of River Discharge – William Menke
Mohawk and Hudson River Discharge Data 1980 – 1997


“History of the Hudson River” — lesson plan by Linda Ruiz McCall
(E2C Participant)

“The Hudson River Canyon” — lesson plan (pdf)

“Wandering the Watershed: Sparkill/Piermont Region of the Hudson River”

Other Resources for This Topic


NYS Hudson River home page: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/hudson/index.html

Riverkeeper Swimmable River Project

Hudson River Environmental Conditions Observing System (HRECOS)

State of the Hudson — Resources from the Poughkeepsie Journal

Sea Floor Topography and Backscatter Intensity of the Hudson Canyon Region Offshore of New York and New Jersey http://pubs.usgs.gov/of/2004/1441/index.html

US Geological Survey programs in NYS: http://water.usgs.gov/wid/html/ny.html

US Geological Survey “Salt Front” data http://ny.usgs.gov/htdocs/dialer_plots/saltfront.html

USGS Hudson River Basin National Water Quality Assessment

Geology of the New York Bight http://everest.hunter.cuny.edu/bight/index.html

New York Geology Resource Page http://www.albany.net/~go/newyorker/

Hudson River Links http://riverresource.com/text/Hudsonlinks.html

Palisades Interstate Park http://www.njpalisades.org/

GE and Hudson River Dredging:http://www.ge.com/en/citizenship/ehs/remedial/hudson/index.htm


National Ocean Service www.nos.noaa.gov

Tide Predictions http://www.co-ops.nos.noaa.gov/tp4days.html

“Tides On Line” http://tidesonline.nos.noaa.gov/

Xtide Tide Prediction Server: http://xtide.ldeo.columbia.edu:8080/

EPA Surf Your Watershed: http://cfpub1.epa.gov/surf/locate/index.cfm

New York, including the Hudson River watershed segments: http://cfpub1.epa.gov/surf/state.cfm?statepostal=NY

Partnership for the Delaware Estuary: http://www.delawareestuary.org/

Selected Bibliography about the Hudson River

Adams, A.G., 1996, The Hudson River Through the Years. Fordham Univ Pr; ISBN: 0823216772

Beard, J., 1970, Blue Water Views of Old New York. Scrimshaw Press, Barre, MA.

Boyle, R. H., 1979, The Hudson River: A Natural and Unnatural History (The Norton Library; N 844). W.W. Norton & Company; ISBN: 0393008444

Mylod, J., 1969, Biography of a River: The People and Legends of the Hudson Valley. Bonanza Books, NY (0-517-L0208X)

Rajs, J., 1995, The Hudson River: from Lake Tear of the Clouds to Manhattan. Monacelli Press, New York, NY. 1-885254-10-5

Van Zandt, R., 1992, Chronicles of the Hudson: Three Centuries of Travel and Adventure. North Country Books; ISBN: 0962852333

Selected Videos and DVDs:

“World’s End: A Brief History of the Hudson Highlands”
Hudson River Film & Video, Indian Brook Road, Garrison NY 10524, 914-265-3405

“Hudson River Recovery: Choosing the Most Effective PCB Remedy”
GE Corporate Environmental Programs

Integrating Educational Technologies

General suggestions: Integrating Educational Technologies into Your Classrooms

Dr. Frank Nitsche utilized “fly-through animations” in his slideshow. He provides the following information and links for those who would like to learn more about this technology:

Regarding the resources for the fly-though animations and Google earth you can link to my home page: http://www.ldeo.columbia.edu/~fnitsche/research/HRB_GoogleEarth/HRB_GoogleEarthHome.html for Google Earth Examples and to the free viewer from IVS/Fledermaus http://www.ivs3d.com/products/iview3d/.

Good sources for GIS data and images form NYS are

A free viewer GIS viewer for most of these data sets is the ArcExplorer from ESRI ArcGIS: http://www.esri.com/software/arcgis/explorer/

Your assignment:

1) What characteristics make fly-through animations effective as a classroom teaching tool?

2) When should fly-through animations be used for full-class instruction, and when should they be used for small groups or individual projects?

3) Describe strategies to locate suitable fly-through animations for your classes.


4) Design a lesson plan that incorporates at least one fly-through animation .

E2C Follow-up:

You may send your model lesson and other responses to this “assignment” to michael@earth2class.org. If suitable, we will post your work in the E2C lesson plans and/or add them to this section of the Workshop website.