Bowser's work with eels and citizen scientists featured on PBS
According to Science Education Specialist Chris Bowser, eels are the perfect way to get young people interested in their local environment. Bowser, who works for the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Estuary Program and Reserve, in partnership with Cornell’s Water Resource Institute, coordinates the Citizen Science Hudson River Eel Project which trains students and other community member volunteers to monitor New York’s local eel populations. Every day, volunteers collect, count, and weigh baby eels that are migrating from their birthplace in the Sargasso sea to freshwater habitats along the Atlantic coastline. After recording data out in the field, students release the eels up above nearby dams and barriers, helping the young eels reach good habitat where they will live for decades, before returning to sea to spawn. In the process, people learn about an animal they knew almost nothing about, and the amazing natural world that exists in their own backyard.