Discipline: Biological Sciences
Subcategory: Biochemistry (not Cell and Molecular Biology and Genetics)
Room: Exhibit Hall A
Chazz Offord - Norfolk State University
Co-Author(s): Sondai Riddick, Norfolk State University, Norfolk; A'maya Looper, Norfolk State University, Norfolk
The state of the Elizabeth River impacts the environmental and economic health of the Hampton Roads area. Unfortunately, as of 2014, the Elizabeth River was given a grade of C by scientists working with the Elizabeth River Project (ERP), a non-profit organization whose mission is to restore the river through collaboration with local community partners. Our lab is collaborating with ERP to continue assessing the River during their Eastern Branch Restoration Strategy. Our approach is to calculate the diversity of benthic macroinvertebrates present at two different sites: Harbor Park Ferry Dock and Grandy Village Learning Community. The Ferry Dock is a high industrial area with a man-made shoreline, whereas the Grandy Village Center is much more residential and has a well-established living shoreline present. Specifically, this project is assessing the Shannon Diversity Index, which is a calculation of the number of species present in proportion to the total. Samples will be collected using a petite ponar to grab the sediment, a dissecting scope to remove the macroinvertebrates, and a dichotomous key to identify them. We hypothesize that the Shannon Diversity Index will be higher at the Grandy Village site, due to industrial factors and a lack of a living shoreline near Harbor Park. This data will contribute to a larger metric of river health called the Benthic Index of Biotic Integrity and help us measure the progress being made on the Eastern Branch. In the long term, these types of data will help guide the future restoration efforts of ERP.
Funder Acknowledgement(s): Howard Hughes Medical Institute Inclusive Excellence Grant -NSF STARS Grant to NSU
Faculty Advisor: Dr. Ashley Haines, email@example.com
Role: I was apart of the collection, sorting, and identification of the samples, as well as the making of presentations.