Consultants: Dr. Cindy Lee, Joseph Yaiullo, and Timothy Dkyman
Title: Destruction and Conservation of Corals
My Senior Project was created to help educate people about the changing environment and how it has an effect on coral reefs. It's mostly a scientific activist project. My product consisted of the building of a coral reef tank and writing three essays. The essays are about the biology of corals, destruction of corals, and conservation of corals. The main reason why I chose to study coral reefs is because I had been reading articles about corals and their decline. I wanted to know more about these odd creatures and spread the news about their recession.
Here are some images of my senior project.
In the summer of junior year I had hoped to create a senior project that was in the field of marine biology. My original plan was to create a hands-on model that helped the general public learn about coral and how they are formed, but it was going to be too difficult to build. Then my second idea was to convert the one of the tanks in the Ecolab in the high school building into a coral reef tank, but it was too massive and most of the equipment was broken. The tank was over 1000 gallons and was not manageable for a beginner and I had no clue how to fix the equipment.
The final plan for my senior project was to start out with a manageable tank size and to get into contact with Joseph Yaiullo. Over the summer I worked at Atlantis Marine World as an educator and got to know the people there. Educators inform the public on the exhibits. In addition to meeting my outside mentor, Joseph Yaiullo I also met with my mentor Patricia Lein. I think by having these early meetings it started my flow of ideas.
As always an ambitious person I created a coral reef tank, three essays, and a series of photographs of corals within my tank. The coral tank was created over a process where the water quality had to be perfect. Joseph Yaiullo, curator of Atlantis Marine World, gave the coral pieces freely. Not only did he give the coral pieces, but also gave advice on water quality and how to balance the tank.
In detail creating a coral tank was difficult because of the changing water quality levels. The most important factors to creating a tank are salinity, pH levels, wave action, and calcium carbonate levels. Everyday I had to measure all these levels using different kits. In addition I wrote three papers titled, General Coral Biology, Conservation of Coral, and Destruction of Coral. Through these papers I wanted to explain to the general public about corals and help them understand why they are important to the environment. The photographs I had used to show in my portfolio to document all the progress of my tank, but in the end added the pictures to the gallery opening to make it more aesthetically pleasing. The skills that I gained from this project were the ability to write scientific papers for the general public, the ability to maintain water quality levels and a saltwater tank.
In conclusion to all my work I have accomplished a lot and was successful in creating an aesthetically pleasing scientific project. In addition I have created a work that helps people understand why coral are a significant part of the marine ecosystem. As I set off to college studying marine biology I hope to delve deeper into a field that I have always enjoyed. This project just gave me one topic in the larger field of marine biology that I learned about.
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Community Member (Details)
For outside consultants I used Joesph
Yaiullo curator of Atlantis Marine World for supplies and advice on the coral
tank that I created. On the coral information and helping with the editing of
my paper I was able to have the advice of Dr. Cindy Lee and Timothy
Dykman. Dr. Cindy Lee works for