Virtual Yuba Salmon Adventures

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Salmon Expeditions have gone virtual! Join us on seven virtual adventures, each individually designed for K-6th grade students (or the whole family) to explore a different ecological, cultural, or historical aspect of the fall Chinook salmon run, right in the backyard of the lower Yuba River.

These 8-15 minute video episodes come as an educational unit package, which includes: a resource guide, pre-assessments, pre-episode activities, during episode activities, post-activities, and post-assessments. All activities are designed for easy environmental science learning at home. All your student needs are paper, their writing utensil, a device to watch it on, and their curiosity! There are also English & Spanish Subtitled Versions of Each Episode!

These videos and corresponding educational materials are designed to support environmental science and social studies learning. While they are specifically targeted at 4th grade Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS), they can be adapted to align with 3rd-6th grade NGSS as well. 

While you’re welcome to have students engage with this content at whatever pace or sequencing works for you, we recommend the following sequencing:

  1. Introduction: students take pre-assessment
  2. Unit implementation timeline: students engage with 1-2 episodes and their corresponding pre- and during-episode activities per week, depending on your desired timeline (e.g. 3-6 weeks total)
  3. Wrap-up: students take post-assessment

Check out our resource guide for more information about episode topics and themes, sequencing, aligned Next Generation Science Standards, and more!  




Teacher/Educator Note:

VIDEO PASSWORD: YubaTeacher2020

EDUCATORS: With access to the educational unit content page, please feel free to share the link to the page and the password directly with your students and families. Or, you may send them the link to this other Student Friendly Google Version of the Unit or Student Fillable PDF Version of the Unit.

For further questions and details contact monique[at]yubariver.org with inquiries.

Episode 1: Salmon as a Keystone Species

Episodio 1: Versión de subtítulos en español

Welcome to the unique ecosystem that is the lower Yuba River. We’ll discover lots about this special place, which is the ancestral spawning habitat of – you guessed it – Chinook salmon! We’ll learn about salmon as a keystone species, and how to become River Scientists for our future adventures. Join us in uncovering why conserving salmon habitat, and ultimately, this ecosystem, is so important.

Episode 1 Activities

Episode 2: The Gold Rush & Indigenous Communities

Episodio 2: Versión de subtítulos en español

As salmon habitat conservationists today, it’s important to express our respect and gratitude to the original conservationists of this ecosystem – local Native American Tribes, like the Nisenan Tribe. By learning about these conservationists that came before, and are still here today, we get one step closer to creating a shared vision for how to rebalance our relationship to the lower Yuba River.

Episode 2 Activities

Episode 3: The Story of the Yuba Salmon Journey

Episodio 3: Versión de subtítulos en español

Every year, Chinook salmon journey hundreds of miles from the Pacific Ocean back to their native spawning grounds in the lower Yuba River, laying eggs and completing their life cycle. Once the eggs are laid, the real adventure begins with the new generation: hatching, dodging predators, finding food, and making their way to the Pacific. Join us as we learn about the incredible Chinook journey, and all the obstacles and challenges they face as they make their way from the Yuba to the Pacific, and back again!

Episode 3 Activities

Episode 4: Benthic Macroinvertebrate (BMI) Investigation!


Episodio 4: Versión de subtítulos en español

Learn how to do your own water quality monitoring activity at home. In this adventure, we discover how benthic macroinvertebrates are not only a source of juvenile salmonid food, but indicate whether the Yuba River is in a healthy or an unhealthy condition. Time to put those River Scientist hats on, hit the waterways and look for some bugs!

BMI Identification Sheet

Episode 4 Activities

Episode 5: The Importance of Lower Yuba Restoration

Episodio 5: Versión de subtítulos en español

Chinook salmon in the Lower Yuba are in urgent need of support. Their habitat needs vary at different stages in their life cycle, and we can make an impact through ecological restoration. Let’s learn about how SYRCL is restoring Chinook salmon habitat, and how you can get involved!

Episode 5 Activities

Episode 6: Let’s Take Action to Protect the Yuba!

Episodio 6: Versión de subtítulos en español

After all our adventuring, we’re hoping you’re feeling inspired and excited to protect this important ecosystem that gives us so many resources- and what a great place to swim and play too. Whether it’s using water wisely, taking civic action or volunteering with SYRCL, there are lots of ways you can protect YOUR Yuba River!

Episode 6 Activities

Episode 7: The 2020 Fall Chinook Run!

And for our finale video… witness the fall 2020 Chinook Salmon Run, in our beloved lower Yuba River!

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