“The River Runs Through It: The Hudson and Our Lives” with Robin Bell and Martin Visbeck (Mar 2003)

by | Jul 25, 2023 | Hudson River Studies, Uncategorized

Originally presented 28 Mar 2003

Introduction by Dr. Michael J. Passow

Hudson River 2003

The Hudson River is one of our nation’s great waterways, although far from the longest or widest. The Hudson has played many roles through America’s history. Geologically, it exemplifies many processes, including various in geomorphological stage, stream piracy, fjord features, and deposition/erosion dynamics. This slide show will provide some background to the  presentations of our guest scientists.

Earth Science Content

The Hudson River flows from the headwaters in the Adirondacks to the Atlantic Ocean off the Battery and the State of Liberty. Although from the shore the river seems to be undergoing a calm, stately march, beneath the surface a ongoing turbulent mixing between the ocean influences and the freshwater input continues. The Hudson Estuary is characterized by tidal bores, sediments that are deposited and then disappear months later. The riverbed contains large sediment waves moving with the tides, ancient oyster beds and long evidence of human occupation. LDEO scientists Robin Bell and Martin Visbeck are developing new, innovative ways to study the Hudson.

More information about various LDEO investigations of the Hudson Estuary can be found at http://www.hudson.columbia.edu/ and http://xtide.ldeo.columbia.edu/hudson/

More materials from Dr. Martin Visbeck ( Last year’s presentation: PowerPoint | HTML )

Integrating Educational Technologies

Software as Mind Tools:

When dealing with a large quantity of data, the students may get confused or lost in dealing with so many numbers. There are several software available to help them not only organize the data, but have to make decisions about how to organize the data. The software will show the results of these decisions, and help students analyze why it worked or not.

This type of software that help children visualize their own thinking process are called “Mind Tools” by some authors. They are very useful in helping children learn how to deal with their thinking process and improve upon it.

We will be examining some of these software below. One of the characteristics of these software is that they are not tied to content, and can be used in almost any lesson.

First we will examine the Inspiration Software. If you are already familiar with this software, help those around you who have not used it before. Share with us how you’ve used it in your classroom and how it worked for you.

Go to http://www.inspiration.com

Choose Download Free Trial. There is a complete online tutorial available to teach you how to use the software each step of the way. This website also contains different examples of how it can be used in the classroom.

Next, we’ll take a look at another interesting software called Table Top. (http://www.terc.edu/TEMPLATE/Products/item.cfm?ProductID=39). It is a great tool to help students understand how data can be organized and classified.

Another excellent tool to help students look at their own reasoning is none other than Excel, commonly found in all Windows machines! Once students get to the point of finding the right formulas to analyze a data set, and create graphs (having to choose the best type of graph to represent their data), you will have taken your students to the highest levels of critical thinking.

Have fun. Explore the possibilities. Choose one of these and try it out with your students. You may be amazed with the results!


Links from Dr. Passow’s PowerPoint Presentation

Last year’s PowerPoint provided much information about the Hudson River and should still be utilized

After the May E2C program, some of us explored the Hudson near Piermont by kayak, and enjoyed an “interesting” example of spring tides which has been preserved in our “Virtual Tours” section

Our few hours on the river were nice, but some people undertake much more adventurous expeditions, such as the “Great Hudson River Paddle 2002”

One of the most interesting ways to explore the Hudson for non-paddlers is aboard the “Clearwater”

During the Revolutionary War, both sides saw control of the Hudson as key to victory. The Americans constructed a Great Chain across the river to keep British ships from using it. Some links from the Chain are now on display in the US Military Academy at West Point. Of course, control of West Point itself was the object of Benedict Arnold’s treason.
For more about the region’s history:

Another interesting place to learn about local geology and history is at the Trailside Museum, Bear Mountain State Park

We who have an orientation toward the Lower Hudson sometimes tend to overlook other sections of the river, but the Newburgh Library has a great collection of electronic and print materials about the Hudson

NYS Dept. of Conservation Hudson River home page: http://www.dec.state.ny.us/website/hudson/

For example, here’s a link to the New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary Program: http://www.harborestuary.org/

Some other additions to our E2C Hudson River Resources

LDEO Hudson Riverscope Pilot Study

Wildlife Trust—NY Bioscape

Hudson River Resources

One of the best books of Hudson River photographs is available from

Let’s explore more about tides in general and tides in the Hudson River.

Technology Resources

Inspiration: http://www.inspiration.com

Table Top: http://www.terc.edu/TEMPLATE/Products/item.cfm?ProductID=39