Friday, August 6, 2010

DI POD #6 "Jacy's Horseshoe Crab Research at the Sea Lab"

As a requirement for the International Baccalaureate Program at Murphy High School, students are required to complete an extended essay. The extended essay is a culminating 4000 word paper/project requiring primary research and can be in a content area of  the student's choice; My daughter Jacy chose marine biology. This choice was followed by an impromptu trip to the Dauphin Island Sea Lab in February, 2010 to explore possible options. We were eventually led to someone on the premises who could give us some information and fortunately met Nicole Taylor, a lab assistant for Dr. Ruth Carmichael. Nicole took a lot of time explaining the types of research being conducted at the Sea Lab and encouraged Jacy to contact Dr. Carmichael to pursue her questions. Jacy did later e-mail Dr. Carmichael who has now spent numerous months supervising Jacy's research.

Jacy spent the summer measuring horseshoe crab growth and development under various conditions. She  created (literally built) 4 environments and counted/sorted 360 horseshoe crab larvae to get started. The environments included rectangular tanks with natural or clean sand and round tanks with natural or clean sand. While numerous data are still being analyzed (dissolved oxygen, salintity, and temperature), the variables of tank shape and sediment type resulted in the most horseshoe crabs staying alive in the rectangular tanks with natural sediment.

Welcome to Jacy's Wet Lab

Jacy is making sure the air stones are working.

Finding a baby for us to see.

Two month old babies measured in millimeters!

Jacy sharing her research with our scientists...Papa and Josh!


bivalve18 said...

Fantastic pictures and a very nice commentary, mom. A colleague of mine from DE, who specializes in HSC management, found your post and sent it to me. Thank you for sharing Jacy with us this summer. She is a great worker. I look forward to seeing her finished paper.

Paige V. Baggett said...

Jacy was so fortunate to work with everyone at the Sea Lab this summer. it was an educational/life experience which will serve her well in the future. So glad you found the post! As a part of my "back-to-school checklist, I'm in the process of sending links to all those involved. You might want to check out an emerging educational site I am involved with called Voices on the Gulf.

Ruth Carmichael said...

As a nice Post-Script to this post. We just finished polishing off a manuscript based on Jacy's work and it was submitted late last week. Fingers-crossed that it will be accepted with minor revision and she will soon be a published scientist! Hope all is going well with Jacy and the rest of her family. Best wishes. RH Carmichael and al the rest of the Carmichael Lab at DISL!