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Student Award Recipients


  • State Science Day Wildlife Awareness Awardstanevich_2016_awardaccept
    • 1st Place: Leah Stanevich – 10th grade, Garfield High School (Akron, OH)
      Title: “The effects of climate change on bird populations”
      Abstract: The question of how climate change has been affecting bird populations is often asked by scientists. In this study, two globally common species populations, Mute Swan (Cygnus olor) and Mallard (Anas platyrhynchos), were studied and compared to temperatures from the United States and Ukraine. (Population data also taken in these regions, North America and Ukraine.) The hypothesis for this study was if the temperatures have increased from the year 1985-2015 in both the United States and Ukraine, then there will be an impact on the population of mute swan and mallard in both regions. After collecting temperature data and bird population data in both the Ukraine and North America, there was a clear increase in temperatures, mallard and mute swan population in both of the regions. This was found to be due to the warming temperatures causing an increased precipitation level which is providing more natural habitat for these species to live. The results of this research study have supported the hypothesis. By doing more research, collecting long term data, and comparing more species population should confirm the validity of this project.
    • 2nd Place: Jordan Skates – 10th grade, Pettisville High School (Pettisville, OH)Pictured: Skates, left, accepting award
      Title: “The effect of artificial fish structure color and lighting on the behavior of Micropterus salmoides
      Abstract: Fish structure color was changed to determine how the color affects Micropterus salmoides The amount of light was also changed to determine how fish react to different colors in different lighting. The study will provide information to improve an ecosystem with stunted bluegill due to under population of largemouth bass. The hypothesis was that the red colored fish structure will attract the most largemouth bass under light because red is visible underwater above three meters before it is absorbed and converted into heat energy. The blue colored fish structure will be most visible to largemouth bass in the absence of light because it is visible at any depth of water. Three small scale fish structures were constructed with: red, blue and black rubber tubing and white PVC pipe. Structures were placed in a 1.514 kiloliter tank with six largemouth bass. Fish were observed five times with light and without light after which the fish structures were rotated one unit clockwise and repeated until all fish structures were in each location within the tank. The structure were then set back to the original spot and repeated six times. The hypothesis was not supported. The fish structure color does not impact the fish nearly as much as structure location. The structure protected by the edge of the tank nearest the observer always had the most fish in/around it. This could be due to the extra protection it gives the bass.
  • Student Travel Grant ($500 to attend the 23rd Annual Conference of The Wildlife Society, Raleigh, NC, October 15-19, 2016)
    • Colleen Hartel – The Ohio State University, Environment and Natural Resources; Environmental Social Science specialization


  • State Science Day Wildlife Awareness Award
    • 1st Place: Catherine Powell – 9th grade, Upper Arlington High School (Columbus, OH)
      Title: “Genetic variation by distance in the genera Apis and Bombus

Abstract: The purpose of this study was to determine if specimens in 8 different species under the genera Bombus showed stronger correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance than bees in the species Apis mellifera. It was hypothesized that the Bombus would show stronger correlation in this respect than the Apis. Genetic data from the CO 1 gene was collected for each of the species through the web database GenBank and entered into an R-Package, which proceeded to generate a P-value for the correlation between genetic and geographic distance for all the specimens within a species, along with a randomized graph. While the Apis mellifera showed no correlation between genetic distance and geographic distance as expected, only two of the species in the Bombus genus exhibited the high correlation as expected. These results indicate that there were possibly some limitations in the data, including a narrow geographic distribution or an inconsistency of specimens collected per species.

  • 2nd Place: Katie Petit – 7th grade, St. Hilary School (Fairlawn, OH)
    Title: “Bird flocks and foraging behavior: Do birds of a feather eat more when together?”