The students of Randolph’s Summer Discovery Zone Program got to be citizen scientists by sharing how many herring they saw swim past the underwater camera. The data the students gathered will help further the understanding of the herring migration patterns, and thus help with their conservation.

Students of Randolph Public School Summer Discovery Zone participated in the North and South Rivers Watershed Association F.I.S.H. School. Short for Fostering Innovative Science through Herring Counts in Schools, F.I.S.H. School allows students to discover the importance of a local keystone fish species called river herring.

By participating in the program, the students were able to become scientists for a day and counted herring as they swam by an underwater camera. The NSRWA offers this program in 17 schools on the South Shore, with more than 1,800 students participating to date this year. F.I.S.H. School is made possible by a generous grant from Battelle.

Thanks to Battelle, students can go online, watch countless underwater video clips, and enter their data of the number of herring they saw swim upstream to spawn. It’s super fun and easy, plus the data that the students generate is used by the NSRWA, the state’s Division of Marine Fisheries, as well as organizations such as NOAA, all working to monitor and track herring populations and trends. All of this education and engagement is done with the goal of herring conservation and understanding the herring’s importance to the marine and freshwater ecosystems, as well as the overall food web, one that we, as humans, are also a part of.