Published on August 8, 2019

Engaging Local High School Students in Watershed Conservation

Christine Hatch with students at Tidmarsh © Alex Hackman

Tidmarsh is thrilled to be one of the five Mass Audubon wildlife sanctuaries offering a second year of the Science for Solutions program during the 2019-2020 school year!

Designed to help students better understand fragile wetlands and their crucial relationships with cities and towns in which the students live, Science for Solutions focuses on both professional development for teachers as well as classroom and in-the-field science experiences for students.  

Connecting with Local Students

This year, Tidmarsh will be partnering with Middleboro High School, Wareham High School, and Sacred Heart in Kingston to give local students a way to study a range of conservation topics and gain first-hand knowledge of just how critically important their local wetland ecosystems are. The student's work will culminate in projects that positively impact wetland habitats and the flora and fauna that depend upon them.

Hands-on field experience is a cornerstone of the program. On one field trip in October 2018, more than 80 students from Plymouth North High School had the opportunity to visit Tidmarsh for a first-hand look at the process of habitat restoration. They surveyed the riparian zone of an upstream dam removal site, discussed how this restoration will impact watershed health, and learned about the key role river herring play in Massachusetts’ coastal ecosystems.

"Our goal is to build young conservation leaders—ready to apply new scientific understanding about local watersheds and the species that depend on them to ensure their conservation," said Kris Scopinich, Mass Audubon’s Director of Education.

"We are excited about how Science for Solutions can engage students and their teachers, and look forward to the resulting benefits for watersheds and the natural and social communities that depend on their health and resilience."

About the Program

Mass Audubon is partnering with high schools throughout the Commonwealth to help students better understand fragile wetlands and their crucial relationships with cities and towns in which the students live. The project, entitled Science for Solutions, focuses on both professional development for teachers and classroom and in-the-field science experiences for students.  

"This is a place-based stewardship education program that is rooted in how scientific research can inform our approaches to environmental issues," said Mass Audubon Education Grants Manager Jen Klein. "It will empower youth to draw on personal experiences and community connections to shift their relationship to and understanding of their local watersheds."

Science for Solutions is funded by a three-year Bay Watershed and Education Training grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).