Grades 9-12

Article

The Effects of DEET on Bioluminescent Dinoflagellates, Pyrocystis fusiformis

Puerto Rico is home to three bioluminescent bays, protected inlets that hold millions of marine bioluminescent dinoflagellates. These bays are huge tourist attractions, and swimming in them, when permitted, is popular. Often the visitors have sprayed themselves with insect repellants containing the active ingredient DEET. The purpose of this paper is to examine the effects of DEET on the ability of the dinoflagellates to emit light.

Helpful Hints for Field Sketching

Article

Helpful Hints for Field Sketching

People often assume that drawing skills are something you're born with. But the truth is, like any other skill, drawing is something you can learn. Start sketching with these helpful hints.

Leaf Arrangement

Diagram

Leaf Arrangement

Leaves are attached to stem nodes in three different arrangements: alternate, opposite, and whorled. Learn how to spot these leaf arrangements before venturing out on your next field study. 

Leaf Type

Diagram

Leaf Type

Compound or single? Knowing this fundamental difference in leaf type is key to identifying plant specimens. This illustrated guide shows you what both look like. 

Tips to Identify Poison Ivy

Article

Tips to Identify Poison Ivy

Did you know that the first time you come in contact with poison ivy, you probably won't get a rash? Every time after that, though, is a different story. Learn how to spot different varieties.

How to Press and Preserve Plants

Educator Materials

How to Press and Preserve Plants

Autumn leaves, flawless fronds, prickly grasses, and perfect petals—all are great specimens to be noted and preserved. Find out how to press like a pro.

Leaf Margins

Diagram

Leaf Margins

Entire or toothed? Being able to distinguish between these two types of leaf margins will help you identify a plant specimen. This illustrated guide shows you what both look like.

Describing and Understanding Organisms

Educator Materials

Describing and Understanding Organisms

At a loss for words when it comes to explaining your biodiversity findings in the classroom, field, or lab? Increase your vocabulary—and observation skills—with this guide to gathering clues.

The Big Chill: Calming Signals Among Wolves

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 experiment about how wolves calm and comfort each other.

Fiddler on the Marsh

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 from Virginia found out.

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