Teacher Webinar and Module: Impacts of Climate Change on Long Island Sound Coastal Marshes

This teacher webinar was hosted by the Long Island Sound Study on August 18, 2020 to provide information about a newly developed teaching module based on coastal marsh and sea-level rise research funded through the LIS Research Grant Program. Read on for more information and access to the module and the 2020 webinar recording.

Coastal marshes that fringe Long Island Sound are dynamic ecosystems between land and sea that provide essential ecosystem services to surrounding communities such as improved water quality, carbon removal to the sediment, and protection from storm surges. However, as these valuable wetlands are increasingly altered by rising seas, invasive species, and increased salinity, there are changes in carbon and nitrogen cycling as well as in plant species composition.

This virtual teacher webinar focused on providing information about a newly developed teaching module based on coastal marsh and sea-level rise research. The research was conducted as part of a 2016 LIS Research Grant awarded to Dr. Beth Lawrence, a University of Connecticut wetland and plant ecologist, who with her team explored the direct and indirect effects of sea-level rise on carbon and nitrogen cycling in coastal marshes. The webinar was led by Lawrence and Kimberly “Ly” Williams, a Smithtown High School master teacher in Long Island who collaborated with Lawrence along with former teacher Candace Cambrial to create the teaching module.

The teacher webinar, led by Dr. Beth Lawrence (UCONN) and Kimberly “Ly” Williams (Smithtown High School/ NY Master Teacher), took place on August 18, 2020 via Zoom. It included a brief introduction into the Long Island Sound Study and a Q&A discussion demoing some of the useful teaching tools.

The module covered in this webinar meets Next Generation Science Standards and features five days of interactive activities for grades 9-12 designed to be easily modified and delivered to different skill levels and audiences. It also includes videos with further information about Lawrence’s work and other research on coastal marshes, suggested resources and educational tools for teachers, activity sheets, and access to answer keys for some of the exercises.

To access and explore the module, click the button below!

The module is ideal for educators who want their students to learn about:

  • a variety of different techniques used in climate change research,
  • carbon- and nitrogen-based services associated with dominant coastal marsh plant species,
  • how shifts in dominant marsh species will alter ecosystem service provision of Long Island Sound coastal wetlands,
  • the complex interactions among climate change, sea-level rise, coastal wetlands,
  • and ecosystem services in the Long Island Sound region.

Questions? Email Jimena Perez-Viscasillas at [email protected] for more information on the webinar or access to LIS Educational Resources. For questions on the module, contact Ly Williams at [email protected] or Dr. Beth Lawrence at [email protected].

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