Discipline: Biological Sciences
Xavier E. Sivels - Virginia State University
Co-Author(s): Joseph Teamer, Latia Jackson, and Ie'Tausjua Eley, Virginia State University, Petersburg, VA
The Earth is covered roughly by 71% water, including both fresh and saltwater bodies. With such a large percentage of the planet being dominated by water, it is certain that much of how nature operates is controlled by this factor. Water quality analysis is fundamental to understanding the very nature of our ecosystem(s) having various microorganisms, chemical compositions, and various other aspects. Because the type of microorganisms that are found in specific water types give clues to the pH (percent hydrogen), turbidity, and nutrient levels, quality analysis at this level provides the best insight on the overall nature of both land and water ecosystems. In order to test water quality, at the microorganismic level, a 10 week long research experiment was conducted in Hilo, Hawaii. The purpose of the study was to determine how anthropogenic activities on land affect the dynamics of phytoplanktons in marine environment. Over the course of the research, water analysis was carried out, through the use of organismal counts, flocytometery, Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) imagery, as well as reading on the chemical properties of Hilo Bay. The purpose of various water quality measurements was to study their effect on or correlation with phytoplankton diversity and abundance. With the data collected, several key features of the Hilo Bay watershed were highlighted, including the potential existence of a “sweet spot” for microorganismal growth.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): LSAMP; Virginia State University
Faculty Advisor: Xianfa Xie, firstname.lastname@example.org
Role: Participated in the data collection and analysis phases of the research