Advancing Lake Sturgeon Conservation: New Curriculum, Workshops and Virtual Field Trip
Publications: Success Stories - Extension (2022)

NYSG Summer Teachers Workshop educators with Sturgeon Sack materials with NYSG Coastal Literacy Specialist Nate Drag (5th from left). Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery staff answer student questions during virtual trip as NYSG Great Lakes Outreach Coordinator Megan Kocher films the live event. Credit: Stacy Furgal/NYSG


Nate Drag, NYSG Coastal Processes and Hazards Specialist, E:, P: 716-645-3612

Stacy Furgal, New York Sea Grant Great Lakes Fisheries and Ecosystem Health Specialist, E:, P: (315) 312-3042 

New York Sea Grant is advancing education about a Threatened fish species with a new curriculum, supplemental teaching resources, workshops, and a virtual field trip opportunity.

Buffalo, NY, August 10, 2022 - Lake sturgeon (Acipenser fulvescens) are an important native fish species in the Great Lakes, with historical, ecological, and cultural significance.

In July 2021, New York Sea Grant (NYSG) developed and released a Lake Sturgeon Intermediate Curriculum. The curriculum consists of 10 lesson plans, aligned with New York State and Next Generation Learning Standards for science, social studies, and math. Supplemental teaching resources include videos and a loan-out “Sturgeon Sack” with field equipment for community science projects, books for literacy activities, and fun items for use in developing students’ knowledge and appreciation for the unique fish. The curriculum and supplemental resources are available at no cost to educators statewide.

With the COVID-19 pandemic restricting schools’ ability to take traditional field trips, NYSG developed and led a live virtual field trip for schools in October. Students “visited” the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery, where lake sturgeon are reared for conservation stocking, and viewed a lake sturgeon-themed mixed media exhibit at the Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State College. The exhibit included five juvenile lake sturgeon, incubated, hatched, and raised at the Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery.

Seven schools participated in the live field trip event and seven requested access to the recording of the field trip. Fourteen teachers and educators connected more than 100 students, from fifth grade through college undergraduates, to this special learning opportunity. Thirty-five Sturgeon Sacks were distributed to 24 classroom teachers and 11 non-formal educators with environmental organizations, nature centers, museums, etc., reaching more than 1,100 youth.

Project Partners: 

• New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Oneida Lake Fish Hatchery
• Burchfield Penney Art Center at SUNY Buffalo State College

NYSG’s suite of lake sturgeon conservation and education resources featuring the charismatic and threatened fish species are designed to serve as a springboard into the world of science, environmental stewardship, and STEM-based careers. Learn more at

More Info: New York Sea Grant

New York Sea Grant (NYSG), a cooperative program of Cornell University and the State University of New York (SUNY), is one of 34 university-based programs under the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s National Sea Grant College Program.

Since 1971, NYSG has represented a statewide network of integrated research, education and extension services promoting coastal community economic vitality, environmental sustainability and citizen awareness and understanding about the State’s marine and Great Lakes resources.

Through NYSG’s efforts, the combined talents of university scientists and extension specialists help develop and transfer science-based information to many coastal user groups—businesses and industries, federal, state and local government decision-makers and agency managers, educators, the media and the interested public.

The program maintains Great Lakes offices at Cornell University, SUNY Buffalo, SUNY Oswego and the Wayne County Cooperative Extension office in Newark. In the State's marine waters, NYSG has offices at Stony Brook University in Long Island, Brooklyn College and Cornell Cooperative Extension in NYC and Kingston in the Hudson Valley.

For updates on Sea Grant activities: has RSS, Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, and YouTube links. NYSG offers a free e-list sign up via for its flagship publication, NY Coastlines/Currents, which is published quarterly.

New York Sea Grant Home *  NYS Department of Environmental Conservation Home

This website was developed with funding from the Environmental Protection Fund, in support of the Ocean and Great Lakes Ecosystem Conservation Act of 2006. 

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