The objectives of this assignment are to (1) familiarize you with local citizen science projects and restoration efforts, (2) analyze a given data set using simple statistical tests, (3) create and understand simple graphs, and (4) use your results along with published data to draw conclusions about the experiment (the discussion section of a lab report).
You will choose one of the following data sets and citizen science projects to learn about. Each of these data sets are real data, collected by citizens and volunteers alongside marine scientists and environmental educators. These non-profit organizations are often run by a small staff and having citizens volunteer as a part of their workforce helps to accomplish more in a short period of time.
Once you choose the data set, you will need to analyze it. Analysis must include the use of simple statistical tests (i.e., Student’s T-test) as well as creation of graphs. Depending on which data set you choose, there are different analyses you may do to try and answer the hypothesis- this is something you must decide (I can help!!). You will present your raw data (in an organized data table), graphs, and any statistical values in the Results section.
Your results don’t mean much without an explanation of their importance and relevance- this is the Discussion section of a scientific paper. For this project, I have gathered a collection of primary literature articles you may want to use; you are free to find any other primary or secondary sources to help you. You are required to use a minimum of 2 primary resources for your discussion section. The discussion should be about 2 pages, and should discuss the findings of the study and the relevance of them. You want to connect this back to the given. Hypothesis- was the hypothesis supported or rejected based on the data?
What crabs live on a restored oyster reef? NY/NJ Baykeeperhttps://www.nynjbaykeeper.org
For the past 6 years, NY/NJ Baykeeper has organized citizen scientists to go out to an oyster restoration site in the Bronx River (Soundview Park, NY). The EcoVolunteers program helps restoration practitioners and scientists collect data on oyster growth and reproduction, as well as local invertebrate species that colonize the oyster reef. Oyster reefs are complex intertidal communities; the oyster acts as an ecosystem engineer and provides habitat for a host of arthropod, annelid, and fish species (among many others). The data set given focuses on the carapace widths of two crabs, Hemigrapsussanguineus and Rhithropanopeusharrisii. These crabs both live in and around the oyster reef, though they have different niches. The data set looks at crabs on the reef over 3 summers. During sampling events, EcoVolunteers lift baskets out of the water, which are filled with shell and mud (to create a fake oyster reef which can be subsampled). It was hypothesized that the invasive H. sanguineus was larger and moreabundant than the native R.harrisii.
Things to think about:
How many horseshoe crabs mate along Rartian Bay? Save Coastal Wildlife https://www.savecoastalwildlife.org/horseshoe-crab-monitoring
Horseshoe crabs are abundant along the NJ shorelines, and their eggs are a vital food source for migratory birds. Every spring, during the spring tide full moon, citizen scientists go out along Raritan Bay to document horseshoe crabs that have come on shore to mate and lay eggs in the soft sandy beaches. These crabs are tagged with a small metal tag; when a tagged crab comes back to shore, volunteers can call Save Coastal Wildlife and report seeing that crab (they have some crabs that return to the same beach year after year!). These citizen scientists have been documenting crabs at 4-5 locations along the bay since 2009, and have a wealth of data. It was hypothesized thatmore crabs would be closer to the open ocean (Sandy Hook) than further in the bay (Cliffwood beach).
Things to think about:
|date||site||number of females||number of males|
|many mind creek||57||126|
|many mind creek||4||7|
|many mind creek||1||1|
going from sandy hook towards staten island (look at a map)– A.plum island is on sandy hook
How many different species of fish live underneath piers in the Hudson River? Hudson River Park Estuary Lab https://hudsonriverpark.org/visit/events/event/live-from-the-field-3/https://hudsonriverpark.org/the-park/parks-river-project/wetlab/
Fish are an integral part of the Hudson River, both for sport and for food. There are many different types of fish there, including migratory and resident fishes. Smaller, more cryptic fishes tend to hang out underneath pier pilings, though sometimes larger migratory or sport fish can be found there. The staff and citizen scientists working at the River Project, part of the Hudson River Park Estuary Lab, have been cataloging the fish found in traps along the west side of NYC since 1988! This data has been used to modify legislation and restoration practices for the river, and to help with park and walkway renovations. It has been hypothesized that moreresident fish, and smaller fish, will be found in the traps underneath piers than larger, migratory fishes.
Things to think about:
|species||2016 abundance||2017 abundance||2018 abundance|
Data is from Pier 25 on west side of NYC https://firstname.lastname@example.org,-
Grading rubric: The following rubric will be used to determine your grade on this paper. This assignment counts for 15% of your overall grade. To do your best, adhere to the stated due dates! Losing late points will not help you to earn an A. PLEASE reach out to me for help sooner rather than later! I am always available to discuss your progress or take a look over graphs/stats or a rough draft; but you need to give me a day or so to review and give you comments! Don’t send it to me the night before it is due!
|Exceeds expectations (20)||Approaches expectations (10)||No credit (0)||TOTAL|
|Data analysis||Data is analyzed in proper statistical tests; data is
graphed correctly and in a
manner that makes it easy to read. Proper graph type and statistical tests were chosen and executed without flaw
|Data is analyzed well, graphed correctly and can be read well. Graph type and/or
statistical tests were not the correct choice or were executed with some flaws
|Data was not analyzed correctly; either incorrect
graph or statistcs were chosen (or missing); data is difficult to interpret for reader due to choice in graph type or statistical tests.
|Data interpretation||Given data was interpreted correctly; writer is able to compare given data to
previously published data and compare results correctly
|Given data is interpreted with some errors; writer compared
data to previously published results but with some flaws
|Given data was interpreted incorrectly and/or not
compared to previously
published work. Data
interpretation is muddled and hard to understand.
|Discussion of data||In depth discussion of each part of the paper is apparent and well thought out.||Discusion does not go into great depth on specific topic, but is well planned out.||Discussion is very basic and does not give any insight into the topic researched.|
|Intergration of primary references||Previously published research was correctly found,
analyzed, and compared to the given data set in a
relevant way. Writer was able
to draw conclusions between
a given data set and other scientists’ data, and make
strong conclusions about a topic.
|Previously published research was found, analyzed, and
compared to the given data set but with some flaws.
Writer was able to draw weak conclusions between a given data set and other scientists’ data.
|Writer was not able to find previously published research to compare to given data sets, and unable to draw strong conclusions about the topic.|
|Excellent (10)||Average (5)||Below Average (0)|
|Grammar and Writing Style||Grammar/spelling is mistakefree; writing adheres to the style guidelines provided.||Grammar/spelling has few mistakes; writing mostly
adheres to the style guidelines provided.
|Grammar/spelling has many mistakes; writing does not adhere to guidelines provided|
|References and Citations||References are all properly listed, cited in-text, and
material is paraphrased well.
Primary sources are within the past 10 years; secondary sources are professional and used sparingly.
|References are listed and cited; material is not
Sources are from past 10 years, but secondary sources used often.
|References are too old/not professional; text is copied
(not paraphrased), or not cited from original reference.
|adapted from Cornell College/Adelphi University rubrics||Paper grade:||XX/100|