Sophomores in Patrick Clear’s Earth Science class at Ag PTECH collected samples from the Mohawk River and Zimmerman Creek on Thursday to send them to be DNA tested for the presence of invasive species of fish.
The testing kit the students used is part of FishTracker, a student-oriented citizen science project based at Cornell University. The program records and maps the presence of several species of fish, both endangered and invasive, in New York and is funded by the USDA National Institute of Food and Agriculture.
Using the kit from FishTracker, the Ag PTECH students collected environmental DNA (eDNA) from water samples, which was sent to Cornell for analysis. The results will be incorporated into the university’s fish species database.
Ag PTECH should receive the results from the water samples in about a week, and Clear said he plans to use the data for classroom discussion.