Ross School - Senior Project 2008-09
Mentor: Patty Lein
Title: Seaweed Survey of Three
Description: I collected algae from Three
in East Hampton, New York. I identified the algae and pressed
them on to herbarium paper. I also created a poster about the zonation, the
morphology, nutrients, and the reproduction of algae. This poster will be used
to inform the public about the species of algae in Three Mile Harbor and facts about them. My final
product is the poster and a book containing all of my pressed algae samples.
Throughout this process I have learned both how to press and identify algae. I
chose this project because of my interest in Marine Biology.
senior project I did a general survey of seaweed in Three Mile Harbor. I researched and designed
a scientific poster to better educate the public about local species of
seaweed. My original plans for senior project was to create an artificial
reef for fish and other species. An artificial reef is a man made reef
environment. The main problems with this was that the tubing for the reef
were hundreds of dollars and the project would have taken longer then the given
time period to get good results. Then I started emailing Dr. Larry
Liddle, who became my outside consultant. He is a phycologist, which is
an expert in the biology of algae. He does algae pressing as a scientific
study and hobby. He was a friend of the family because he had been both
my parentsŐ professor in Southampton
having a few discussions through email, we decided that I could do a survey of
algae in a local water system, Three
I would be pressing the algae and identifying it and then I would create a
poster to better educate the public. I arranged for a date and time to
meet with Dr. Liddle and I drove up the Southampton Marine Station. We
collected algae off the dock and he showed me how to press the algae and gave
me a list of the supplies I would need to get started. The project goals
were the following: Learning how to press and identify algae. Collect
enough specimens to cull 10 quality pressings of different species of
algae. Learning how to frame and present algae specimens in a museum
style. Learning the terminology of phycology. For field research I
collected most of the algae near the shore, with the exception of deep-water
algae with John Aldred from the East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery. While I
spent many days looking for and collecting algae, I realized that further study
of the harbor is necessary for a complete listing of algae of species in the
harbor and to better understand patterns of zonation, which can be a direction
for future research. In the end, my study became an exploratory field
research. To identify the algae I used several identification keys and it
was not easy to identify the algae due to similarities in morphology.
During my presentation I showed two different samples of algae that looked very
similar and I had a blow up picture of the different tips to show how I
identified them. I used the identification keys and a magnifying glass to
identify them, and I had Dr. Liddle as final back up. For reference
research I researched books and online sources for the poster content and I
talk to Dr. Liddle about how the algae reproduces, identification verification,
and other topics for the poster. During this whole process I had to learn
and develop a new skill set to understand the terminology associated with the
study of algae while reading the books. I had about 9 different algae
texts and most of them were upper level college and beyond. I was not
used to much of the scientific vocabulary and I would have to read it over and
over again until I understood it. I had a few problems and challenges
occur during the process of the project. During the collection process, I
would have problems with tides and weather. I had problems with the time
because the low and high tide would not work out with my time and this was very
necessary to my collection. I had problems with the weather because there
were quite a few storms and I would be unable to collect during these storms.
I had problems during the pressing process, such as warping, wrinkling and
mold. The warping and wrinkling was unavoidable because Dr. Liddle said
my herbarium paper was too thin. This was very helpful to know because I
was freaking out about the wrinkles and warping of the paper. A lot of
the larger seaweed samples started to develop mold and even though I tried to
clean them with rubbing alcohol, they dried out and I was unable to keep
them. I had problems with framing the algae because it was a time
consuming and exacting process. The biggest problem was identification
and reading the upper level textbooks. Throughout this whole project I
learned a lot about the algae, codium. I have always seen it when I was
walking along the beach, but I never thought much of it. It turns out
that it is an invasive species. It changes different colors at different
zones in the water to be able to receive energy from different wavelengths of
light. Codium is a prolific reproducer and can live in almost any zone
and any season. It is called sputnik weed because it was introduced to
the United States
during 1957. I achieved many skills though this project and they were the
following: I am able to use a key index to indentify algae. I learned how
to press algae successfully. I learned a new vocabulary from reading
books on algae. I learned how to frame algae properly. Key indexs
are used throughout the field of biology to help identify and classify
specimens. It has trained my eyes to look for details of the
structure. These skills will help me in the future of this project.
For my conclusion, I plan to continue this once the weather is nice again and I
hope to sell a few at art shows because many people love how they look. I
plan to attend college for Marine Biology so this scientifically helped me
towards this career. I liked this project overall because it was a nice
combination of science and art.
Bold, Harold C. and Michael J. Wynne. Introduction.
Cliffs: Prentice-Hall Inc, 1985.
Frost, Alex and Molly Fallon. The Guide
to Pressing Seaweed Practical Instructions for students, educators, and
enthusiasts. Peace Dale: Cryptogrammic Botany Company, 2003.
Lobban, Christopher S. and Michael J. Wynne.
The Biology of Seaweeds. Los Angeles: University of California Press, 1981.
Lobban, Christopher S. and Paul J. Harrison.
Seaweed Ecology and Physiology. Cambridge:
Cambridge University Press, 1997.
Petry, Loren C. and Marcia G. Norman. A
Beachcomber's Botany. Chatham: Chatham Conservation
Foundation Press, 1968.
University, Washington State.
EZ-ID Shore Plants. 2008. 16
September 2008 <http://www.beachwatchers.wsu.edu/
Villalard-Bohnsack, Martine. Illustrated
Key to the Seaweeds of New England. Kingston: Rhode
Island Natural History Survey, 1995.
Weiss, Howard M. Marine Animals of
Southern New England and New York.
Connecticut Department of Environmental Press, 1995.
Wilcox, Lee W. and Linda E. Graham. Algae.
Upper Saddle River:
Prentice-Hall Inc., 2000.
Zaiko, Anastasija. Codium fragile.
2005. 6 December 2008 <http://www.corpi.ku.lt/nemo/Codium.html>.
Community Member (Details)
Larry Liddle, was my outside consultant and helped identify and come up with
topics for my poster. I met with him at least three times to show him my
product and to go over my poster.
John Aldred works for the
East Hampton Shellfish Hatchery and he took me out on his boat after school to
collect algae from deeper areas of Three
with a long clam rake device. I worked with him for about 4-5 hours.