2012 Winning Essays main content.

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.

Article 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 groundwat... Article 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... Article 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 whe... Article Living Waters: A Study of the Effects of Elevation on Water Quality and Biota in Great Smoky Mountains National Park Water quality can be difficult to measure, especially in areas such as the Great Smoky Mountains National Park. But that didn... Article Using Plant-Based Biofilters to Purify Household Wastewater Laundry detergent cleans our clothes but at what cost to the environment? This ecologically minded young naturalist tested th... Article An Analysis of the Effects of a Wildfire on the Biodiversity of Wildlife in Southern Arizona Wildfires burned more than one million acres of Arizona forest and grassland during the summer of 2011. This young naturalist... Article 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 threat... Article Biochar Carbon Sequestration: The Effect of Feedstock and Particle Size on Physical and Chemical Stability Biochar is naturally present in soils as a result of forest fires and the ancient soil-enrichment practice of making terra pr... Article The Effect of Coprophagous Beetles (Coleoptera: Scarabaeidae, Geotrupidae, and Hydrophilidae) on Methane Emission Rates and a Six-Month Species Comp... Cattle and farming practices are a growing source of methane emissions. This young naturalist hit the pasture to see firsthan... Article 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 method... Article Genetic Analysis of the Brown, Brook, and Tiger Trout Populations in the Lake Champlain Basin Worried about the declining population of native brook trout in the Lake Champlain Basin, this young naturalist set out to de... Article The Prevalence of Ophryocystis elektroscirrha Infections in the Monarch Butterfly (Danaus plexippus): A Study of the Protozoan Parasite in a Wild Po... High in the eucalyptus trees in coastal southern California, a cluster of migrating monarch butterflies formed huddled masses... Article Effects of Urbanization on Cutaneous Bacteria as Inhibitors of the Amphibian Fungal Pathogen Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis Intrigued by Eastern Redback salamanders, this young naturalist was inspired to research the worldwide amphibian decline. See...