Science

“Science at the Hatchery” Event Exposes Elementary Students to Fish and Our Natural Resources

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Shawn Good, Fisheries Biologist for the VT Department of Fish & Wildlife, shows off a large brown trout at Science at the Hatchery

The annual “Science at the Hatchery” took place on September 16th at the Dwight D. Eisenhower U.S. Fish and Wildlife National Fish Hatchery in Chittenden, Vermont. Approximately 200 students in 5th and 6th grades participated from eight Rutland County elementary schools and engaged in interactive learning sessions on fish and fisheries habitat, water quality, river dynamics, wetlands, forestry, soils, bird migration, and recycling. Students were also given a tour of the USFWS Fish Hatchery to learn about the different life stages of trout and salmon and the conditions necessary for their sustenance and survival.

The main purpose behind Science at the Hatchery is to provide students with science-based, interactive learning sessions presented by federal, state, and local science experts that present an outdoor-classroom, hands-on learning experience. “It’s important for students to learn from professionals in these sciences,” said Nanci McGuire with the Rutland Natural Resource Conservation District (NRCD), a primary sponsor of the event, “we hope that some of these kids will gain an insight and appreciation of our natural resources that they may not have gotten from conventional learning experiences.”

In addition to the Rutland NRCD, the event was also sponsored by the US Fish and Wildlife Service, and the Vermont Agency of Natural Resources (VANR). Many other natural resource professionals were also on hand, including scientists and educators from the US Forest Service, USDA – Natural Resource Conservation Service, Lake Champlain Basin Program, Rutland County Audubon, and VANR staff from the Department of Fish & Wildlife, Department of Forests, Parks, and Recreation, and the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC).

For information on future Science at the Hatchery events, please contact Nanci McGuire at  nanci.mcguire@vt.nacdnet.net or (802) 775-8034 (extension 4) or Ethan Swift at ethan.swift@state.vt.us or (802) 786-2503.

Shannon Pytlik, River Scientist with the VT DEC River Management Program, explains river dynamics using the river flume model at the annual Science at the Hatchery event in Chittenden

Shannon Pytlik, River Scientist with the VT DEC River Management Program, explains river dynamics using the river flume model at the annual Science at the Hatchery event in Chittenden