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Environmental Study Team (EST)

Environmental Study Team (EST) is an organization of students with a mission to improve the local environment, enjoy the outdoors, and instill a sense of environmental awareness in the community.


This dynamic network is an effective means of fostering environmental educational experiences and stewardship while directly benefiting the community and the environment.


Youth who are interested in joining EST should print out the application (click here), complete it, and have their parent/guardian review and sign the parental permission form, and then bring it to their first meeting. A parent or guardian should contact us by e-mail or phone to learn more about the program before coming to their first meeting.

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Long Form Application

EST Videos

EST Videos

EST Videos
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EST Winter Hike - 3/5/23

EST Winter Hike - 3/5/23

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Red Squirrel Pinecone Cache - EST 1/8/23

Red Squirrel Pinecone Cache - EST 1/8/23

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EST Visit to NYPA at Blenheim-Gilboa

EST Visit to NYPA at Blenheim-Gilboa

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Environmental Study Team

This video is an introduction to the EST program and was created by the United Way of the Greater Capital Region. 

**Watershed Assessment Associates are no longer affiliated with EST and Schoharie River Center**

Our Home Our River


This Video was produced by the Amsterdam EST program.

Smithsonian's Institution's  Main Street - Waterways

digital story telling project


The Amsterdam Environmental Study Team has been looking at plastic pollution in the Capital Region of New York.  Plastic Pollution: Nurdles and the Coleco Connection is a video they produced, documenting their research into the source of micro-plastic pollution occurring in Mayfield Lake.  Mayfield Lake is a natural lake and part of the Great Sacandaga Lake watershed that feeds the Hudson River.  Like many forms of pollution, plastic does not tend to remain in one place, and when it's released into freshwater it can travel hundreds and thousand of miles, literally from Mayfield, New York to the Atlantic Ocean.

More about EST

EST is a program, started in 2002, which engages middle school and high school age youth to work with ecologists and aquatic biologists to study, monitor and improve the water quality of local streams, rivers and lakes.

In 2007 and in 2011 the program was awarded a national Environmental Excellence Award from the Conservation Matters program sponsored by Sea World – Busch Gardens –Fuji Films.  EST students flew to San Diego, CA and Orlando, FL to receive their awards.


With programs located in Burtonsville, Schenectady and Conesville, NY, EST serves students from the Duanesburg, Gilboa-Conesville, Schalmont, Schenectady, Schoharie and Amsterdam school districts, as well as several area private schools. Meetings are generally every other Sunday from noon to 4pm and always includes hot and healthy, freshly prepared food at the end of the day.


EST members learn how to conduct chemical tests to determine water quality, identify macro invertebrates found in the waters and prepare written scientific reports of their findings.  The methods that are taught for water testing and macro invertebrate identification are the same ones that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation uses.  In the process, students develop various skills including computer, photography, videography, writing and public speaking as there are various opportunities to make presentations to the public.


While learning about their environment, EST members go hiking, swimming, biking, cross-country skiing, snowshoeing, canoeing, kayaking & sailing.  Each spring, students can also help and learn how to make maple syrup in our maple syrup sugar shack.

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