Turtles Vs. Pollution

Team: 45

School: Melrose High

Area of Science: Marine ecology

Interim: Interim Report
Turtles vs. Pollution
Team #: 45 School: Melrose High School Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty.
Team Members: Evelyn Garrett, Alexis Smith, Madison Garrett, Gracie Sanchez, Laci Meadors.

Problem Definition:
Our team is currently developing a project that is about sea turtles and how pollution affects them. The species that we are using is the Leatherback sea turtle. Our model will show the turtles’ lifestyles and how pollution and their food source play a part in their survival. We are planning on making two screens. One of these will be featuring the Pacific Ocean and the migration of the turtles. It will also show where the main pollution areas, or trash islands, are located. The migration pattern of these turtles is from Indonesia and Papua New Guinea to the Coast of Western North America and back. The second screen will represent a small segment of the ocean. Here we will show how the turtles live in the open ocean, diving for what they eat, and how pollution can affect them.
Problem Solution:
We are using NetLogo to write the computer program for our model. These models will be linked using the ‘Level Space’ option on NetLogo. We have two different models that will be used and shown. One with the Pacific Ocean with turtle migration and the second showing the prey and depths the Leatherback turtles will go through. So far in our project, the first model has the Pacific Ocean with the surrounding continents, and shows how the turtles will hatch from the breeding grounds and go through their migration path, passing right through the trash islands. Once they’re mature enough, they will go back to the breeding ground and reproduce. The second model is based off of a project part of our team made last year on “Turtle Ecology”. It has the depths in the ocean of which the turtles go, showing how deep and far they will go to find their food.
Progress to Date:
Currently, we have done a lot of research about the leatherback sea turtles. We have learned that it takes leatherbacks various amounts of time to get from Indonesia to Western North America, depending on what currents are met, and what routes they take. We have also learned that the turtles go through some trash islands. There are islands that continuously swirl and add more and more trash and pollution to it. This trash is mainly floating plastic which can be hazardous to turtles. During their travels, the sea turtles diet mainly consists of Lions Mane jelly fish.
Our computer model plan is done based on the research of turtle migration patterns. The islands of trash are also in the area of the turtle’s migrations that they pass through. We are including their food supply, and graphs for their population.
Aspects we are currently working on include: making the trash islands change in size and location based on the season, and having the turtle migration routes be based on the individual turtle conditions and characteristics.
Expected Results:
The expected results is to get a better understanding of the Leatherback turtles and how they are affected by the conditions of the sea, and from the pollution in all of the areas they travel through. This should help us to show a need for greater controls on pollution.
Book: The Leatherback Turtle -
James R. Spotila and Pilar Santidrain Tomillo. 2015. Johns Hopkins University Press.
Interviews, -Visitation- Sea Turtle Awareness Day -
January 18. 2019. 903 10th St. SW, Albuquerque, NM 87102.

Team Members:

  Alexis Smith
  Evelyn Garrett
  Gracie Sanchez
  Laci Meadors
  Madison Garrett

Sponsoring Teacher: Alan Daugherty

Mail the entire Team