BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium Botanical Society of America Southeast Missouri State University Missouri Botanical Garden
Poster: It's Not Easy Being Green
Authors          Audiences          Overview           Materials          Resources           Future Directions



Gretchen Koch
Goucher College

Sarah Schubert
Southeast Missouri State University

Jill Buerck
Southeast Missouri State University


Possible Audiences:

Middle School, High School, College  


Brief Overview:

The Chesapeake Bay watershed covers 64,000 square miles, with thousands of tributaries. Given the amount of water flowing into the bay, this area, like any other, has pollution problems. Several contributing factors exist that pollute the bay, including fertilizers, air pollution, sewage, and boat discharge. About half of the pollution comes from agriculture, since fertilizer run-off adds a large amount of nitrogen to the water. Organisms such as algae thrive on the nitrogen. Algae blooms cloud the water reducing the amount of light that reaches the submerged aquatic vegetation (SAV). Also, when the algae die, they sink to the bottom of the bay and decompose; this process uses oxygen that is vital to the survival of other organisms in the water. Measuring chlorophyll shows the amount of algae and other microscopic organisms in water and gives an indication of water quality.  


Project Materials:

PowerPoint Presentation
My World GIS software
Investigative Case 8: Back to the Bay - Changes in Chesapeake Bay - Biological Inquiry Casebook  


Resources and References:

Chesapeake Bay Foundation: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Department of Environmental Protection: Chesapeake Bay Program: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

SAV in Chesapeake Bay Submerged Aquatic Vegetation (SAV) in Chesapeake Bay: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Andrews, Emma. Outline of the Chesapeake Bay Watershed Map. Maps History Chesapeake Bay Program: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Nitrogen Level Graph and Dead Zone posters. Chesapeake Bay Foundation - Save the Bay: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Chesapeake Bay Data Set for My World. Untitled Pages: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Maryland Department of Natural Resources. Eyes on the Bay: Chesapeake Bay and Costal Bays Water Quality Data: Accessed June 16, 2008: SEMO.

Chesapeake Bay Remote Sensing Program: Accessed June 17, 2008: SEMO.

Waterman, Margaret and Ethel Stanley. Biological Inquiry: A Workbook of Investigative Cases for Campbell Reese Biology, Eighth Edition. 2nd ed. San Francisco: 2008.  


Future Directions:

Further work includes working with the GIS files to map the SAV data along with the water quality station locations to see if there are any relationships between the data recorded at the individual stations and the amount of SAV present.  



- BioQuest_Real_Poster.ppt
- my_world_chesapeake_bay_map.pdf
- invasive_plants.nlogo
- Documentation.pdf
- BC_Journal_of_Ecology_2005_ALL.pdf