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2012 Winning Essays

Thirteen winning essays from the 2012 contest year of the Young Naturalist Awards by students from grade 7 - 12. Winning essays ranged from an investigation of a parrolet’s seed preference, to the effect of wildfires on the biodiversity of Arizona wildlife, to a study of a parasite infecting western monarch butterflies.

Alexander YNA thumbnail

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Testing Water Quality Near a Public Landfill

The landfill dump near his home had been closed for years, but was their still a risk of chemicals lingering in the groundwater? See what this young naturalist's experiments determined.

Tiffany YNA thumbnail

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Comparison of a Parrotlet’s Seed Preference

A visit to her best friend's house inspired this young naturalist to learn more about parrotlets and to design an experiment to determine their favorite seeds. See her findings.

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Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Selective Territoriality Among Foxes

The gift of a game camera led this young naturalist to discover wildlife in his own backyard. Find out what he discovered when he focused in on the gray fox.

Alan YNA thumbnail

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

The Effect of Oil and Its Dispersants on the Eastern Oyster, Crassostrea virginica

The Deepwater Horizon oil spill of 2010 was devastating to the ecology of the Gulf. Not only did the oil significantly threaten the survival of most aquatic species in the area surrounding the spill, it also spurred potentially destructive relief efforts. These efforts included the use of dispersants with potentially unforeseen effects.

Lauren YNA thumbnail

Young Naturalist Awards Essay

Pumpkin Purifier: Removal of Toxic Metals from Water Using Curcurbita Agricultural Waste

Because heavy metals enter water through many sources, scientists are motivated to develop purification and extraction methods. Some of these techniques have been successful, but at great cost or with detrimental effects to the environment. The purpose of this experiment was to determine if the agricultural by-product Curcurbita (pumpkin) could be used to remove metal ions from an aqueous solution. 

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