Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09

Student: Allison Bauser

Mentor: Patricia Lein

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.


Conservation of Coral Paper

Destruction of Coral Paper

General Coral Biology Paper

Here are some images of my senior project.


Other Images (1,2,3,4,5,6,7,8,9,10,11,12,13,14,15,16,17,18)

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.

Works Cited

Alevizon, William S. Pisces Guide to Carribean Reef Ecology. Oakland, CA: Lonely Planet Publications, 1994.

APEX. "Indictors of Reef Health." APEX Environmental. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

Baird, Andrew. "A Large Aggregation of Drupella rugosa Following the Mass Bleaching of Corals on the Great Barrier Reef." Reef Research. Vol. 9.2. June 1990.

The Blue Planet Series. Dir. Alastair Fothergill. DVD. 2001.

Byrant, Dirk, Lauretta Burke, John McManus, and Mark Spalding. Reefs at Risk: A Map-Based Indicator of Threats to the World's Coral Reefs. World Resources Institute, 1998.

Collins, Allen. "Cnidaria: Life History and Ecology." Ed. Ben M. Waggoner. 1998. Regents of the University of California. 17 Sept. 2008 <>.

Coral Reefs." Science and Nature: Animals. 3 Nov. 2008. 17 Sept. 2008 <>.

"Coral Disease." CRC Reef Research Center. Cooperative Research Centre for the Great Barrier Reef World Heritage Area. 2006. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

"Coral Mortality and African Dust." Center for Coastal and Watershed Studies. USGS. 6 Dec. 2008. Viewe 6 Dec. 2008 <

"Corals & Coral Reefs Longevity & Causes of Death." 24 Nov. 2008. SeaWorld/Busch Gardens. Viewed 21 Oct. 2008. <>.

"Coral Reefs Infobursts." BBC Science & Nature. 25 Nov. 2008. Viewed 25 Nov. 2008. <>.

"Crown of Thorns." Library Thinkquest. Viewed  6 Dec. 2008. <>.

"Coral reefs of the Tropics, You can make a difference." The Nature Conservancy. 2008. Viewed 7 Dec. 2008. <>.

Coral Reef Alliance. 25 Things you can do to save coral reefs. Brochure. United States: Author, 1997.

Delbeek, J.Charles, and Julian Sprung. The Reef Aquarium: A Comphrensive Guide to the Identification and Care of Tropical Marine Invertebrates. Vol. 1. Cocnut Grove, FL: Ricordea.

De Putron, Dr. Samantha. "Coral Reproduction and Recruitment." Bermuda Institute of Ocean Sciences. 14 Nov. 2008 <>.

Epatko, Larisa. "Scientists Work to Pinpoint Threats, Repair Reefs." PBS. Dec. 2004. Viewed 24 Nov. 2008. <>.

Forbes, Emily. "Coral Reefs and the Crown-of-Thorns Starfish (Final)." 05 June 2006. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008 <

Gallessich, Gail. "Coral death results from bacteria fed by algae." UC Newsroom. Viewed 06 Dec. 2006. University of California. 3 Dec. 2008. <>.

Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. "What is Coral Bleaching?" Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority. 2007. Austrailian Government. Viewed 31 Oct. 2008. <>.

Hood, Maria, James Orr, Ken Caldeira, Richard Feely, and Scott Doney, eds. "How is Ocean Acidity Changing." The Ocean Acidification Network. 2004.  Viewed 25 Nov. 2008. <>.

Jason Education Project. "Coral Reefs." 2004. Ocean World. 17 Oct. 2008 <>.

Levinton, Jeffrey S. Marine Biology Function, Biodiversity, Ecology. New York, NY: Oxford university P, 1995.

Lybolt, Matthew. "What is Coral?" Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Comission. Fish and Wildlife Research Institute. 17 Oct. 2008 <>.

MacGillivray Freeman Films. "About Corals and Coral Reefs." MacGillivray Freeman's Coral Reef Adventure. 2003. 17 Oct. 2008 <>.

Meyers, Phil. "Phylum Cnidaria." University of Michigan Museum of Zoology: Animal Diversity Website. 2008. University of Michigan. 2 Nov. 2008 <>

 Norberg, Jon. "Ecological Goods and Services." Tropical Marine Ecology. Stockholm University. Viewed 23 Oct. 2008. <

Norberg, Jon. "Threats to Coral Reefs." Tropical Marine Ecology. Stockholm University. View 23 Oct. 2008. <>.

NOAA. "Hazards to Coral Reefs." NOAA's Coral Reef Information System. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. 23 Jan. 2007. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

Onion, Amanda. "Reef Replacement New Project Hopes to Restore Coral Reefs by Growing Them." ABCNews. 8 Dec. 2000. View 2 Dec. 2008. <>.

Panse, Sonal. "Medicines from the Coral Reef Ecosystem." Buzzle. 20 Aug. 2004. View 2 Dec. 2008. <>.

Romano, Sandra L., and Daphne G. Fautin. "Cnidaria Sea anemones, corals, jellyfish, sea pens, hydra." Tree of Life Web project. 1997. 17 Oct. 2008 <>.

Tellus Consultants. "The Crown of Thorns." Viewed  6 Dec. 2008. <>.

Travis, John. "Bleaching Power Marine bacteria rout coral's colorful algae." Science News 15 June 1996.

Turner, Teresa. "An Introduction to Coral Reefs." The Coral Reef Ecology. 1995. University of Virgin Islands. 12 Oct. 2008 <>.

 Vernon, J.E.N. Corals of Australia and the Indo-Pacific. Austrailian Institute of Marine Science, 1983.

Wafar, Mohideen, and Sayeeda Wafar. "Coral Diversity." 101 Questions on Coral. 2001. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

"What are Coral Reefs?" International Year of the Reef 2008. 2007. 17 Oct. 2008 <>.

Yendrek, Craig. "Black Band Disease (Final Paper)." 9 June 2000. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

Zann, Leon P. Our Sea, Our Future Major findings of the State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia. Department of the Environment, Sport and Territories, Canberra, Great Barrier Reef Marine Park Authority, State of the Marine Environment Report for Australia; 2006.

Zubi, Teresa. "Ecology: Reefs at Risk." 13 Oct. 2008. Viewed 6 Dec. 2008. <>.

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 Stony Brook University as a Marine Researcher. Timothy Dykman is the founder and head of Ocean Revolution that inspires and helps young adults become involved in marine science internships in order to further their interests.