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Grades 9-12

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The Effects of DEET on Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates, Pyrocystis fusiformis

Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, protected inlets that hold millions of marine bioluminescent dinoflagellates. These bays are huge tourist attractions, and swimming in them, when permitted, is popular. Often the visitors have sprayed themselves with insect repellants containing the active ingredient DEET. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of DEET on the ability of the dinoflagellates to emit light.



Helpful Hints for Field Sketching

People often assume that drawing skills are something you're born with. But the truth is, like any other skill, drawing is something you can learn. Start sketching with these helpful hints.



How to Press and Preserve Plants

Autumn leaves, flawless fronds, prickly grasses, and perfect petals—all are great specimens to be noted and preserved. Find out how to press like a pro.



Leaf Arrangement

Leaves are attached to stem nodes in three different arrangements: alternate, opposite, and whorled. Learn how to spot these leaf arrangements before venturing out on your next field study. 



Leaf Type

Compound or single? Knowing this fundamental difference in leaf type is key to identifying plant specimens. This illustrated guide shows you what both look like. 

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Tips to Identify Poison Ivy

Did you know that the first time you come in contact with poison ivy, you probably won't get a rash? Every time after that, though, is a different story. Learn how to spot different varieties.



Leaf Margins

Entire or toothed? Being able to distinguish between these two types of leaf margins will help you identify a plant specimen. This illustrated guide shows you what both look like.


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