- Water Quality
- Land Use
1997 Environmental Science Institute
Water Quality: General
- GLOBE (Global Learning and Observations to Benefit the Environment)
- student research
- GREEN (Global Rivers Environmental Education Network)
- watersheds and environmental stewardship
- seafood safety lab from the FDA
NOTE: These projects are works in progress.
They display varying levels of ecological understanding.
Please contact the individual authors before using this material in your classroom or for your homework!
- 10. Biomagnification of mercury
- by Leslie Giffen, Kathy Juarez.
Heavy metals, pesticides, and herbicides are chemicals which are known to be global environmental pollutants. Biomagnification, the increasing concentration of certain substances at higher trophic levels, exacerbates the impact of many of these pollutants. In this study we planned to focus on modeling the biomagnification of the metal mercury in a specific food chain using STELLA® software.
- 13. Water quality in urban waterways
- by Suzanne High, Erin McNabb, David Storto, Boyd Tolbert.
The water quality in urban waterways is continuing to decline due to the increased pollutants, toxins, sunlight intensity, and varying temperatures. These factors are known to affect the dissolved oxygen levels found in these waterways. The thrust of this project is to look at the affect of sunlight intensity on the amounts of dissolved oxygen in the Delaware and Raritan Canal and Lake Carnegie, running through Princeton, New Jersey.
- 22. Do the herbicides we use contaminate our rivers?
- by Marianne Keck, Cecilia Polumbo.
Lawns are not by nature monoculture (just one species of grass). The golf course look of monoculture lawns are obtained and maintained by spraying of chemicals. Of the 40 most common lawn chemicals, or herbicides, used by lawn care companies and by homeowners, many are linked to cancer, liver, kidney and nervous system damage as well as other health hazards. Lawn chemicals, when used as directed, don't break down completely but filter into lakes, rivers and aquifers, affecting drinking water supplies.
One of the most commonly used lawn chemicals is 2,4-D or 2,4-dichlorophenoxyacetic acid, an organochlorine compound, which functions as a systemic herbicide. It is used to control many broadleaf weeds such as dandelions. While the LD50 of 2,4-D suggests that it is only moderately toxic, the product carries the DANGER signal word on the label indicating that it is highly toxic. Our research will involve qualitative analysis by immunoassay of 2,4-D in water samples taken from five different sites located in the Stony Brook/Millstone Watershed of Princeton, New Jersey.
- 23. Dissolved oxygen in streams
- by Sandra Eidson, Martha Nix, Jane Mullinax, Debra Wood.
Most living things including aquatic organisms use oxygen in respiration. The atmosphere is composed of 21% oxygen, some of which naturally dissolves in water. The amount of oxygen dissolving in water is influenced by water temperature. Many factors contribute to the dissolved oxygen level. This study will investigate the changes in dissolved oxygen in a stream due to photosynthesis, respiration, turbulence, and water temperature based on data from the French Creek Site Project using STELLA® modeling.
- 35. The Duckweed Coalition
- by Daniel Hyke, Arronza Major, Helen Simmons, Debora Stone, Melissa Weimer.
Duckweed, a monocot aquatic species of plants, is a natural purifier of water. Duckweed is capable of treating wastewater, namely nitrates and phosphates, by absorbing the compounds and converting it to biomass and water. It will only survive under certain conditions and is not found in all areas. Presently, duckweed is being used in some areas as a biological means of wastewater treatment and as biomass to feed livestock. Unfortunately, duckweed can become so prolific that it overtakes an aquatic ecosystem, reducing the amount of dissolved oxygen present and lowering the plant and animal population present. If duckweed populations are to be maintained and used effectively for water purification, an understanding of its physical and biological needs must be attained. This project will look at the characteristic traits of aquatic ecosystems which limit the growth of duckweed.
- 38. Wetlands as biofilters
- by Tom Hoskin, Nancy Greenwood, Jodi Bell, Lee Wagstaff, Bob Bowman.
Princeton University's surroundings include a unique wetland area that is host to a wide diversity of environmental influences. There is a bird sanctuary, some stream effluent, and a varied and rich plant life that integrate in a way to have a healthy ecological impact on the area. One such impact is the ability to filter out unwanted nitrates. An investigation that could confirm this would lead not only to preservation of a needed resource, but contribute to the investigation of other wetland areas across the country and their potential contribution as a natural biofilter alternative and/or supplement to present water filtration systems. The hypothesis of our project is that the level of nitrates introduced into the Princeton wetland is higher than the level of nitrates that is leaving the wetland.
- 43. Determing the presence of Escherichia coli in water
- by Walter Garcia, John Sumpter, Fran Robbins, Renee Yuen, Tracey Gratto, Fiona Lewis-Mackert.
Being a group of teachers coming from an urban setting that experiences seasonal flood control runoff that usually contains unsafe levels of contaminates, we decided to test for Escherichia coli in two local bodies of water, the Delaware & Raritan Canal and Carnegie Lake. Research on E.coli, especially its origin, presence in water, and effects on humans, was also done. A protocol for testing for the presence of E.coli was created and executed.
- 44. Modelling the Trinity River watershed
- by Janet McDonald Fuller, Todd Hindman.
The Dallas-Ft. Worth Metroplex is a massive urban area that is the home of 4.5 million people and is graced by the Trinity River. The Trinity River is a paradox, holding the hopes of recreation and wildlife while dealing death and destruction with massive flooding and containing toxic material and pathogens. The communities surrounding the river have the vision that the river might one day become a magnet for eco-tourism and a refreshing green haven for the citizens of the area.
The Trinity River Project will be broken into two phases. Phase I will take place during the seventh grade and will involve testing for dissolved oxygen, temperature, and pH in Five Mile Creek, which feeds into the Trinity River. In Phase II, the eighth grade will conduct a more comprehensive study of the two forks and the main stem of the Trinity River, completing tests on temperature, dissolved oxygen, pH, nitrates, phosphates, and turbidity.
- 45. Factors that are conducive to the origin and development of a healthy wetland
- by Rebecca Gipson, Elaine Granger.
To study the factors that conclusively indicate a healthy and thriving wetland by observing and counting the number of different species of plants in a given area and by taking water samples in order to determine the concentrations of various chemicals. The question that was explored is: Can the biodiversity of plant life within a wetland be the most salient indicator that it is thriving and healthy, if chemical concentrates are in the 'normal' ranges?
- 46. Impact study of fecal coliform in runoff water
- by John Castillo, Ernie Vasquez, Bridgette Calloway-Hall.
Water that flows on the earth's surface is exposed to many microorganism that can cause diseases. Water flowing down streams and into lakes gather biological impurities which include plant particles and animal matter in various states of decay. Upstream releases and exposure to leaking septic tanks and cesspools can also add to the bacterial count of water. The problem that was explored is: How does the concentration of fecal coliform in surface runoff water, after a rain event, impact Lake Carnegie?
- 55. What is the impact of applied fertilizer and agricultural animal waste on levels of nitrate in freshwater streams?
- by Lisa Maccagno, Evelyn Maurice, Toni Watt.
The impact of nitrates in freshwater streams has become a concern to environmentalists and lay people. Nitrate pollution from agricultural, personal and recreational activities has increased enough to have an impact upon human health and the quality of life, as well as the environment. The correlation of elevated nitrate levels to blue babies, impaired neurological development in children, non-Hodgkin's lymphoma as well as alga blooms, eutrophication, oxygen depletion and accelerated succession, have stimulated our interest in nitrate loading in freshwater streams. In this investigation there was an on-going study of fertilizer run-off from the Springdale Golf Course in Princeton, New Jersey. Upon completion of preliminary research, the team proposed the following hypothesis to be examined: Nitrates will accumulate from source to sink along a stream. The hypothesis was tested and results are presented.
Abstracts by Linda Padwa.