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Encouragement and Thank You to The Trade

Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Mckibbonator, Apr 27, 2017.

  1. Mckibbonator

    Mckibbonator Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    I would be surprised if anyone remembers me as I basically left this forum about... oh... 5+ years ago due to college and such. Despite this to any members who might recall me, and to current users I
    would like to encourage you all in your efforts to make the hobby amazing and available to many many people. When I entered the hobby I was 10, and about the age of 14 I joined this forum and community. Several members helped me grow and expand my aquariums, encouraging me and aiding me on my way. I have seen several other youths come through along with me at the time, and I believe all of us should give this community a thank you. Opportunities like the science fair which allowed me to attend MACNA in Iowa are just a few of the wonderful things this community has put forward. Now I am a junior at the University of Tampa in Marine Biology, about the present research at a Symposium tomorrow. So please MASC continue to grow and thrive so people of all ages can join the hobby and become excited about protecting and managing reefs world wide. My generation, and generations upcoming have a dangerous trend to not relate to the outdoors. Hobbies like this help bring such ecosystems closer to people and fuel passion in the youth. Any way thank you for this rather off topic and out of place thread, I just felt you guys deserved a thank you, keep doing what you are doing.

    cheers, and have a wonderful week.
     
  2. SynDen

    SynDen Shark Staff Member M.A.S.C. B.O.D. M.A.S.C Club Member

    That is excellent, always good to hear, and Thank you as well. I dont know you, but I think the majority of us feel the same way, and honestly there is no greater reward then seeing those that you have taught, encouraged, helped or mentored, grow into something much more. At its core that is the purpose of this community ;)

    What's your research project on? Plans after school?
     
  3. Mckibbonator

    Mckibbonator Sardine M.A.S.C Club Member

    I have no plans after school as of yet, as grad school still looms over my head. Save me from the GRE! I do know I would like to go into Bioinformatics and my top pick atm is the University of Washington.

    This is something not so common in the aquarium trade, however I recall back what I went to meets we had a local expert on keeping seagrass in Aquaria. He also spoke at MACNA in Iowa, but I am having issues recalling his name. Well, beyond the side note, seagrass are overwhelmingly important to coastal ecosystems and coral reefs, but underwhelming in the eyes of the public. Due to this we have seen over an 80% loss of them around the world. This as you can imagine leads to issues as 70% of the species we used in fisheries in the gulf spend a life cycle in seagrass beds. They have also been shown to increase the fish populations in nearby coral reef significantly, and help transport nutrients in the form of grassblade detritus to deeper portions of the continental shelf.

    Tampa, where I am currently studying, is one of the few success stories in conservation of such ecosystems, however it still has some work. One thing limiting such restoration work is the current methods of ranking seagrass bed health. They currently look at the seagrass itself, assessing density and plastochron emergence rates (the asexual form of reproduction they use, similar to that of aspen trees). This method however is costly, takes time, and requires higher level education to successfully accomplish. It also fails to gauge the health of transplanted seagrass beds, as those who appear to be healthy by this measure still fail at an alarming rate.

    The goal of my study was to find an alternative way of ranking seagrass bed healthy by looking at parasite load within the seagrass bed. This method has been used rather successfully in other ecosystems, as usually stress to an ecosystem causes the organisms living in it to become more susceptible to parasites. In my case I used Isopod ectoparasites on Grass Shrimp Palaemonetes pugio. They are great because they live everywhere in mass numbers, and the Isopods are pretty easy to spot.We were able to identify a trend using a Multiple Regression and Wilcoxon test of parasite load vs a couple traditional health indicators, however an exact equation could not be found due to sample size. Next year I might redo the project on a mass scale to try and find a precise answer, as if it works out this method would cost about $15-50 of pvc and netting, opening it up to more non-profits. For now it serves as a good preliminary study.

    I can post the whole essay for it, however it won't be published due to our small sample size, woo time is a wonderful limiting factor.

    Sorry for the TLDR post, I hope you have a good day! I also hope MASC keeps growing!
     
  4. goslugsgo

    goslugsgo Copepod M.A.S.C Club Member

    Wow, that's a fantastic course of study. Good luck in your pursuit of U Dub.
     
  5. rmougey

    rmougey Cuttle Fish M.A.S.C Club Member

    I recall your excitement about going to MACNA in Des Moines. Glad to see that you are continuing your work in the aquarium world. You should apply for the MASNA scholarship, which includes a trip to MACNA in New Orleans this year. The application deadline is June 16! Check out the following link... and good luck in your studies! [url]http://masna.org/masna-programs/scholarship-program/[/url]
     

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