Tuesday, August 08, 2006

High school students study why fish died suddenly at Forest Park

Below is a news release about some of the students participating in the summer program I mentioned in a previous article.

Contact: Justin Lopinot (314) 516-6690July 28, 2006
Back to News Release Main
University of Missouri-St. Louis
Media Services
One University Blvd.
414 Woods Hall
St. Louis, MO 63121-4499

High school students study why fish died suddenly at
Forest Park

Lyndell Bade (left), a biology student at UMSL, and Brittney Tyson, a senior at Normandy High School, collect a water sample from Post-Dispatch Lake at Forest Park in St. Louis.1.2 MB .jpg
University of Missouri-St. Louis students -- along with student-interns from Normandy, Pattonville and McCluer high schools -- on July 26 tested the water in a lake and two ponds at Forest Park in St. Louis as part of a preliminary study to determine why fish died suddenly last fall.
The researchers were taking part in Missouri Science Teaching and Education Partnerships, or
MO-STEP, a science and education program operated by the Department of Biology and International Center for Tropical Ecology at UMSL. The program is funded through a $1.6 million, three-year grant from the National Science Foundation.
Students tested for dissolved oxygen, pH levels and temperature in water samples taken over a 24-hour period. The samples provided information about the health and condition of the lake and ponds.
Several UMSL students took part in the project, which was led by Lyndell Bade, a biology student at UMSL and MO-STEP fellow.
Bade created a device to examine lake stratification by collecting samples at various depths of Post-Dispatch Lake and the two ponds. Study participants couldn't determine, based on their findings, exactly what caused the fish to die, she said.
"Our study did, however, provide a lot of data that can be used to determine future research at Forest Park," she said.
The pH levels of Post-Dispatch Lake, for example, were fairly neutral. And the water temperature of the two ponds dropped in the evening.
"We really would like to conduct additional testing to get more exact measurements," Bade said.
The study was about more than data collection to those involved.
"This program provided me with very good learning experiences, which will help prepare me to be a scientist," said student-intern Brittney Tyson, a senior at Normandy High School who plans to study birds by pursuing a career as an ornithologist.
Other student-interns who participated in the study were: Charlesatta Cunningham, a senior at Normandy High School; Nathan Fulton, a sophomore at Pattonville High School; and Tori Straussner, a recent McCluer High School graduate who plans to attend St. Louis Community College.
Also contributing to the study were Forest Park Forever and the Missouri Department of Conservation.
http://www.umsl.edu/~biology to learn more about MO-STEP.

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