2014 Winning Essays main content.

2014 Winning Essays

Part of the Young Naturalist Awards Curriculum Collection.

The Young Naturalist Awards essays, written by students in grades 7 through 12, ranged from an investigation of ways to reduce water evaporation from soil using organic wheat straw, to the effects of urbanization on the diets of northern diamondback terrapins, to the discovery of ancient cedars in Ohio.

Article A Study of the Effectiveness of Different Types of Greywater on the Growth of Pisum sativum Grey water is wastewater from household washing machines, bathtubs, and bathroom sinks. This conservation-minded young naturalist... Article What Produces Nutrient-Rich Soil? An Investigation of Earthworms and Their Diet Because his family depends on earthworms to nourish their organic garden, this young naturalist wanted to know what combination of... Article Algae: A Truly Green Fuel to Power the World Algae biofuel is a promising alternative to other biofuels. However algae can’t produce oil cheaply enough to make it cost-effective.... Article A Method to Reduce Water Evaporation from Soil Using the Absorbent Properties of Organic Wheat Straw Sixty percent of the water used in farming is wasted by runoff or evaporation. Could wheat straw, which readily absorbs water, be... Article Weed Warfare: Investigating Allelopathy: Year IV Pesticides can kill invasive plant species but at what cost to the environment? This ecologically-minded young naturalist tested... Article Effects of Sewage Spillage on the Health of the Wekiva River When officials announced that a sewage spill in a local river had been cleaned up, this young naturalist had her doubts. She conducted... Article Removal of Copper (II) Ions from Contaminated Water by Encapsulation of Peppermint Tea Leaves in Alginate Beads Heavy metal contamination, copper in particular, is a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems. This young naturalist wanted to find... Article Using Agricultural Waste for Remediation of Chemical Contaminants in Water About 250,000 people in Arizona get their drinking water from wells that are not monitored for safety. How to prevent these wells... Article Thoracic Temperatures of the Postman Butterfly, Heliconius melpomene, in Relation to Diurnal Ambient Temperature Changes in Coastal Guyana Are tropical species particularly vulnerable to climate change? This young naturalist conducted research in a rain forest in Guyana... Article Anomalies in the Diets of Malaclemys terrapin, the Northern Diamondback Terrapin, in the Bays of Long Island, NY: The Impact of Urbanization on Unus... How has urbanization impacted the diets of northern diamondback terrapins in Jamaica Bay, a large wildlife refuge in New York City?... Article Age and Radial Growth Rates of Ancient Cedars, Juniperus virginiana and Thuja occidentalis, in Adams County, Ohio Red and white cedars grow on the dolomite cliffs near this young naturalist’s home. An article on ancient cedars inspired him to... Article Size, Abundance, Biodiversity and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton Found in Barnegat Bay from May 2012 to October 2013 Barnegat Bay, New Jersey, once a dynamic breeding ground teeming with marine life, is now a heavily polluted estuary. This young... Article Occupancy Modeling of Bird Species in a Subalpine Lake Ecosystem How has human development impacted the diversity of bird species at Ryker Lake? The question inspired this young naturalist, an avid...