Using the knowledge acquired in Dan Mainville’s global environment course at G. Ray Bodley High School, 11 students recently showcased their research at an environmental summit sponsored by SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry.
The summit provides an opportunity for students enrolled in the college-level course to present their findings to their peers, SUNY ESF faculty and scholars.
The research is conducted as part of the global environment course curriculum and gives students a better understanding of the subject matter.
It also encourages students to review scientific literature, engage in critical thinking and consider science-related careers.
For the students from Fulton, their hard work in the classroom this year was on display as they delivered their oral presentations and displayed posters highlighting their research.
Seniors Mark Pollock, Jeremy Langdon and Seth DeLisle showcased their findings regarding the effects of cigarette filter pollution on the mortality rate of daphnia.
“We all brainstormed ideas for our research project and since we like to fish and we always see cigarette butts on the shore, we thought it would make a good topic,” DeLisle said. “We wanted to know how the cigarette butts impact the daphnia population.”
The group noted that their findings were eye-opening and indicated a significant death rate of daphnia when placed in polluted water.
“If the cigarette butts affect the daphnia, then the food chain would be disrupted. Look at all the living things that rely on the daphnia,” Pollock said as he gestured toward an illustration of the food chain.
In addition to the pollution and remediation presentation, three other GRB students gave an oral presentation during the summit. Seniors Keisha Pierce, Josh Plonka and Konner Myers explored biodiversity and natural history to determine how earthworms affect forest ecosystems.
“The students did very well,” Mainville said. “They had a unique opportunity to present their research to college professors who specialize in the environmental fields … No pressure! They did a fantastic job and I couldn’t be more proud of them.”
Other high schools participating in the environmental summit were Chittenango, East Syracuse-Minoa, Fabius-Pompey, LaFayette, Institute of Technology, Liverpool, Ulster BOCES New Visions, Westhill, Solvay and Vestal.