The past two weeks have been anything but dull. Whether it was doing addition background research, watching videos of people building acrylic tanks, or reading in textbooks saying that ocean acidity could possibly not be a factor in the effect on the growth of corals worldwide. However, the most taxing task throughout these two weeks has been compiling a materials list and a long-term procedure.
After deciding what my original topic and primary idea was two weeks ago, I spent the next few days looking at what EXACTLY I was going to be doing. This was not an extremely hard process for me because I have had this idea in my mind since I submitted my proposal in the spring. The first thing that I need to get in order is a solid set of background information so that I am able to travel through this project with enough knowledge and confidence to achieve success. I did this by looking through some resources in some textbooks in the Westtown library and in the Environmental Science lab. This offered a really good wealth of information about the natural process of life that the corals and polyps go through. After I felt confident about the natural aspects of the corals, I started to look for scholarly articles that were helping me further my knowledge about why this research is going to be important to the world.
Once I had a good sense of understanding about the topic that I was looking into, I started to look at how I was going to actually make it happen. This is when I really started to think about the path I wanted to take. However, I have come to a final plan. The rough plan is to setup and establish two independent, but identical, aquariums. After the water is at a steady and stable state, I will raise the test tank from 78 degrees Fahrenheit to 83 degrees Fahrenheit. If all goes according to plan, this is the point at which the corals in the test tank will start to become uncomfortable and eventually lose their zooxanthellae. After the entirety of the research is complete, I plan to move the tanks into the basement of the library for the sake of offering information, sparking curiosity, or just putting something down there for the sake of a study break.
This week, I am planning on prioritizing on the materials list as well as focusing on my overall budget that I am given, and save on every area that I can. Hopefully, if all goes well, I should be on track for ordering materials within the next 7-10 days. This would mean that I will be spending a lot more time doing hands-on work that will be much more entertaining and interesting than reading about what I am going to be doing.
Images taken by Grant Thomas and Renata Romeo from The Ocean Agency