Selected Winning Essays: 1998-2003

Part of the Young Naturalist Awards Curriculum Collection.

Winning essays from 1998-2003 of the Young Naturalist Awards by students in grades 7-12. 

Article My Fish-Shaped Home: A History of Changes Did you know that Long Island was once part of a chain of volcanoes? Or that it was part of the tropics—and faced south? Step back... Article Deformed Frogs: The Big Mystery Frogs with a single hind leg were not the most surprising discovery this seventh-grader from New York made. Read what he learned... Article Oscawana: A Dying Lake? 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Oscawana has all the symptoms of a dying lake. Join this seventh-grader from New York... Article Saguaro Cactus: From Life to Death 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Journey to the Sonoran Desert in southern Arizona with this seventh-grader for an up-close... Article Reading the Rocks in Cold Spring Harbor, New York After 200 years and the mining of 106 million tons of iron, the Cornwall iron mine was closed. Yet, as this 10th-grader from Pennsylvania... Article The Big Chill: Calming Signals Among Wolves Wolves have long been the favorite animal of this eighth-grader from Illinois. Learn how she turned her interest into an insightful... Article Investigating the Effects of Water Pollution on Daphnia magna This Iowan eighth-grader turned her love of nature into a long-term study of water pollution. She's continuing to investigate the... Article Biodiversity in Arizona It can seem that the desert ecosystem is devoid of much life. But this Arizona teen found biodiversity just by turning over a few... Article Comparing Streams in Southwest Washington to Determine the Needs of Salmon 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Dip your toes into the study of salmon habitats with this eighth-grader from Washington... Article The Natural Environment of New Lisbon, New York Take a nature walk through the fields and wooded areas in the back-hill farm country of New York State with this 15-year-old. But... Article The History and Geology of Rocks and Fossils in Helena, Montana Granite rocks that resemble elephant heads, sapphires that range from the common blue-green to shapes of pink and yellow ... examine... Article Fiddler on the Marsh Fiddler crabs never stray far from their burrow. That's why they will do anything to avoid getting caught and measured, as this ninth-grader... Article Survival in the Northeast Wilderness 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Squirrels aren't the only ones who can make a meal of acorns. You could, too, if you... Article A Beach Walk in New Mexico While planting strawberries in her backyard, this freshman from New Mexico discovered a fossilized seashell. Follow along as she... Article Paleontology and Stratigraphy of the Rochester, New York, Area When this ninth-grader from New York uncovered fossils in the state's Finger Lakes region, it was the first time they'd seen light... Article Aquarium: An Ecosystem in Miniature In a 29-gallon fish tank, this ninth-grader from Virginia created a tropical freshwater ecosystem—and then watched how fish that... Article Reading the Rocks at Cornwall, Pennsylvania See how a day of collecting rocks on the north shore of Long Island turned into an exploration of the Earth's history for this eighth-grader... Article Shaped by Nature and Man: The Geological History of the Palisades This 10th-grader from New York reflects on how the colliding of continental plates and the force of glaciers helped shape the "mysterious... Article Emit What You Eat: An Investigation of the Link Between Bovine Diet and Their Excreta Methane Emissions Just like humans, cows are what they eat. Why is this important? Because their manure can be used to produce methane gas, an alternative... Article Aspen Island 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - "Some plants don't seem to notice the change in weather, but others, like the aspen,... Article Exploring a Woodlot's Ecosystem Chances are you've heard the saying "There's no such thing as a free lunch." But did you know that it's one of fundamental... Article A Study of the Indigenous, Endemic, and Exotic Fungi in the Pu'u Maka'ala Natural Area Reserve in Volcano, Hawaii "Maka'ala" means to be alert or vigilant—the same qualities needed when searching for fungi in this dense Hawaiian rain... Article Habitat Selection for Nest Cups of the Pacific Golden Plover (Pluvialis fulva) in Nome, Alaska This Hawaiian tenth-grader followed her interest in the Pacific golden plover to Alaska. The goal of her trip? To learn if the birds... Article Aspen: A Keystone Species By keeping a nature journal, this 16-year-old from Colorado quickly saw how aspens support and sustain biodiversity. Learn more about... Article A Study of the Geology of the Rocks of the Huntington Formation in the Izee and Olds Ferry Terrains of the Blue Mountains Region The area surrounding the Huntington Formation is very rich in geologic history, yet it is undocumented and hasn't been mapped in... Article Bobwhite Quail Decline in Texas 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Why was this 11th-grader from Texas stopping at every mile marker along the road and... Article Investigating Vegetation and Small Mammals in the Cloud Peak Wilderness Area of the Bighorn Mountains in Wyoming Along with students from her Pennsylvania high school and a high school in Scotland, this 11th-grader spent three weeks doing fieldwork... Article A Comparison of Native Tree Seedling Growth on Fallen Hapu'u Ferns and the Adjacent Forest Floor in Volcano, Hawaii 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Years ago, this 11th-grader from Hawaii relied on dried-up hapu'u fronds to build forts... Article Habitat Variety and Bird Abundance The one constant in this world is change. Watch Lake Wildwood cycle from man-made lake to lakebed mudflats to marsh and finally back... Article Tardigrades as Environmental Bio-Indicators Six years ago, the bear-like appearance of these microscopic organisms hooked this 12th-grader from Iowa. Learn how her interest... Article Growing Up at Espenberg: Eggstatic About Foxes This Alaskan senior wanted more from her summers than being her parents' research assistant. Travel north of the Arctic Circle, and... Article Surviving Against All Odds: Investigating the Adaptability of the Common Periwinkle 2003 Young Naturalist Award-winning essay - Follow along as this 12th-grader from Nova Scotia tries to find out why the common periwinkle... Article From Uplift to Glaciation: The Geological History of the Pikes Peak Region Traverse the geologic history of Pikes Peak and the southern Rocky Mountains—from Precambrian foundation to roughly contoured summits—with... Article First Flights: Fledgling Bald Eagles in Southeast Alaska Before a bald eagle can soar majestically through the sky, it must learn how to fly. Get a firsthand look at several eaglets' first... Article Salmon Creek: A Search for the Missing Salmon One hundred years ago, salmon were so plentiful that children could stack them along the banks like firewood. This seventh-grader...