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Showing blog posts tagged with "Young Naturalist Awards"

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Student Tracks Butterfly Flower Preferences

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When 12-year-old Katelyn took a field trip to a butterfly exhibit, she wondered why butterflies chose certain flowers over others when it came time to feed.

The question led Katelyn to conduct an experiment that tracked painted lady butterflies’ flower preferences. Her project, which earned her a 2011 Young Naturalist Award, is described in the essay Butterfly Buffet: The Feeding Preferences of Painted Ladies.

Tags: Butterflies, Young Naturalist Awards

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California Student Investigates Effects of Plastic Debris on Ocean Insects

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Growing up near coastal California, 17-year-old Marci watched plastic litter enter the ocean at an alarming rate. After reading about how this debris affected large vertebrates, she wondered how animals lower on the food chain fared.

Marci decided the water strider species Halobates sericeus would be the ideal subject for her experiment. “Since these fully pelagic water striders live solely at the sea-air interface, their life is played out completely on the two-dimensional surface of the ocean,” where most plastic debris collects, wrote Marci in her essay Effect of Neustonic Microplastic Debris on the Pelagic Insect Halobates sericeus. Her experiment earned her a 2011 Young Naturalist Award.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

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Young Naturalist Tests Honeybee Memory Endurance

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Though honeybees are famous for producing honey, they also pollinate agricultural crops. Intrigued by these tiny pollinators, 16-year-old Jill decided to learn more about the role memory and landscape play in honeybee foraging and pollination.

“Honeybee memory is a primary source of honeybee prosperity,” Jill explains in her essay Memory Retention of Landscape Learning in Honeybees, Apis Mellifera, for which she won a2011 Young Naturalist Award. After researching the importance of landscape memory in honeybees’ ability to forage and return to the hive, Jill conducted an experiment that examined the insects’ long-term memory.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

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Acidifying Waters Inspire Young Naturalist’s Investigation

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Growing up in the Chesapeake Bay watershed, 14-year-old George was always attentive to its aquatic life. When he learned the waters were acidifying, George wondered how it would affect aquatic organisms.

He decided to measure the effects of changing water acidity, salinity, and temperature on grass shrimp, Palaemonetes pugio, using their heart rates as a measure of their metabolic oxygen consumption. For his investigation, which is described at length in his essay, The Effects of pH, Salinity, and Water Temperature on Palaemonetes pugioGeorge received a2011 Young Naturalist Award.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

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Tracking Baboons’ Behavior Wins Student Young Naturalist Award

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Henry always loved to observe. “Walking through parks,” he would later reflect, “I have watched squirrels, birds and other animals, always curious to know what their actions meant.”

So when given the chance to monitor the behavior ofhamadryas baboons at Brooklyn’s Prospect Park Zoo, 15-year-old Henry grabbed his journal and found a comfortable seat by their glass enclosure. He wanted to know how captive baboons differed from their relatives in the wild and which activities baboons performed most frequently in the zoo. Profiled in a recent New York Times article, Henry’s project, which he describes in the essay Hamadryas Baboons, Papio hamadryas: Captive vs. Wild, earned him a 2011 Young Naturalist Award.

Tags: Young Naturalist Awards

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