2006 Winning Essays

Twelve winning essays from the 2006 contest year of the Young Naturalist Awards by students from grade 7 - 12. Winning essays ranged from a look at Spanish moss as an indicator of air pollution, to the engineering feats of harvester ants, to the affect of ozone pollution on white pines.

Toxic Algae: A Threat to Florida Waters?

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Toxic Algae: A Threat to Florida Waters?

The headline in a local newspaper — "Health Menace Lurks in Lakes" — spurred this young naturalist to find out if the lake she lives on had "killer algae."

Waterworks: A Purification Process

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Waterworks: A Purification Process

Would it be possible to make contaminated water safe to drink using something as universal and inexpensive as the sun's ultraviolet rays and simple plastic bottles? Find out what this young naturalist discovered when she set out to answer that question. 

Tillandsia usneoides: An Indicator to Air Pollution

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Tillandsia usneoides: An Indicator to Air Pollution

The observation that Spanish moss, an important part of the Southern United States’ ecosystem, is declining set this young naturalist on a path to find out why — and if that decline is related to air pollution.

Ozone Pollution and White Pines: Phase II

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Ozone Pollution and White Pines: Phase II

After witnessing the damage air pollutants had caused to the trees along her route to school, this young naturalist set out to learn more about how ozone pollution is affecting our environment.