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 This conservation-minded young naturalist experimented to discover what effect treated grey water would have on plant growth. Article What Produces Nutrient-Rich Soil? An Investigation of Earthworms and Their Diet This young naturalist wanted to know what combination of worms and composting material would produce the most fertile soil. Article Algae: A Truly Green Fuel to Power the World This young naturalist decided to investigate aspects of algae production that had not been thoroughly researched. Article A Method to Reduce Water Evaporation from Soil Using the Absorbent Properties of Organic Wheat Straw 60% of the water used in farming is wasted by runoff or evaporation, but could wheat straw be used to conserve water in soil? Article Weed Warfare: Investigating Allelopathy: Year IV This ecologically-minded young naturalist tested the effectiveness of using one invasive plant species to control another. Article Effects of Sewage Spillage on the Health of the Wekiva River When officials concluded that a sewage spill in a local river had been cleaned up, this young naturalist went to investigate. Article Removal of Copper (II) Ions from Contaminated Water by Encapsulation of Peppermint Tea Leaves in Alginate Beads This young naturalist found a way to remove copper—a serious threat to aquatic ecosystems—using low-cost biological materials. Article Using Agricultural Waste for Remediation of Chemical Contaminants in Water This young naturalist researched how to prevent Arizona's drinking wells from being contaminated by agricultural runoff. Article Thoracic Temperatures of the Postman Butterfly, Heliconius melpomene, in Relation to Diurnal Ambient Temperature Changes in Coastal Guyana This young naturalist studied in a rain forest to learn if tropical species are particularly vulnerable to climate change. Article Anomalies in the Diets of Malaclemys terrapin, the Northern Diamondback Terrapin, in the Bays of Long Island, NY: The Impact of Urbanization on Unu... This young naturalist studied how urbanization impacted the diets of northern diamondback terrapins in New York's bays Article Age and Radial Growth Rates of Ancient Cedars, Juniperus virginiana and Thuja occidentalis, in Adams County, Ohio An article on ancient cedars inspired this young naturalist to investigate the age of red and white cedars close to his home. Article Size, Abundance, Biodiversity and Distribution of Ichthyoplankton Found in Barnegat Bay from May 2012 to October 2013 Learn how this young naturalist's research can restore a heavily polluted estuary to its former health. Article Occupancy Modeling of Bird Species in a Subalpine Lake Ecosystem A young naturalist (and avid birder) looks at how has human development impacted the diversity of bird species at Ryker Lake.