January 2016

Having given a presentation today on recent WISRD/ReefQuest Projects, I wanted to share the link to the example panorama from Kolor, ReefQuest’s new Virtual Reef platform, which will be available soon on ReefQuest’s Website.

See the example Panotour here:






October 25, 2016

ReefQuest and WISRD Projects Update


Over the past few weeks Lexi and I have been developing ReefQuest protocols for erosion studies on the California coastline. We identified a current protocol for the Urban Tides program which documents erosion activity over time. Urban Tides asks citizen scientists to collect still images from a constant location and orientation over time. These images are then compiled into time-lapse videos which show change (erosion) over time. Below is a map of survey locations currently being monitored by the Urban Tide initiative.

urban tide locations

Urban Tide’s protocol is simple: (1) choose a location, (2) choose a constant subject, (3) take a picture, (4) return to complete step 3 on a period basis, (5) repeat steps 1 through 4 for other field sites. ReefQuest is adapting this protocol to incorporate our Photosynth platform. Rather than a static location, ReefQuest’s land erosion is as follows:

  1. Get your camera
  2. Pick location
  3. Stand in known spot and using a compass orient yourself towards the study site
  4. From known spot take photos every 1 step maintaining a constant compass heading
  5. Take photo in landscape orientation
  6. Collect as many photos as desired with a maximum of 200
  7. Move to next location if applicable
  8. Repeat steps 2-6 in new location




Semester 1, 2016-2017

September 13, 2016

ReefQuest and WISRD Projects Update


Due to travel, I was only at school for two days last week. Thus, I was not able to make much progress, but Lexi did finalize her research on surveys. This is a great leap for ReefQuest California Division. We found roughly seven photo-based citizen science surveys that can be virtualized onto the ‘virtual reef’ platform. Find the specific surveys on Lexi’s Page.

[UPDATE 9/21/16] We are now looking at a watershed survey for the LA area. In the next weeks, will develop a protocol designed for our photographic platform and practice it first at Wildwood, and then in field. Possible field sites include Santa Monica Beach, Palos Verdes, Long Beach, and Malibu, amongst other secondary locations if the above locations are successful. [END UPDATE]

In addition, I have been collaborating with the newly created Life Sciences Lab in development of their projects and the creation of an ethics board. I am also investigating a new project in collaboration with Advanced Biology and Biotechnology and World Literature. I would be studying the biological responses to literature and quantifying literature sources with Digital Humanities. This project is still under development.


September 5th, 2016

ReefQuest and WISRD Projects Update


The previous two weeks have been consumed with WISRD Board activities. The board met two weeks prior to the start of school in preparation for the year. Agenda and Minutes can be found on a shared Google Doc (shared with board attendees only).

Below find an overview of topics discussed:

  • PI Structure
    • Maybe too small currently to implement
    • Set foundations:
      • Lab representative
      • Get structure down in writing along with procedural layouts
        • How to begin implementation
        • Exceptions in event of one person, etc.
  • WISRD outreach (Speakers)
  • Lunch Lectures (mandatory/recommended)
    • At least seven required, nine provided.
  • WISRD Wonders
  • Plastic Recycler for 3D printer
  • Calendaring System- OnCampus, Outlook 365 Shared Groups, etc.?
    • Create OnCampus group to display event to entire community
  • WISRD Website
    • Improve functionality and appearance
  • Communications director change from Elliot to Will B- Elliot is graduating, moved on.


The Board met again the first week of school and revised the above topics. Find Agenda and minutes on Shared Outlook Group entitled “Wildwood Institute for STEM Research and Development Board Group”.

In this meeting, board members discussed:

  • Presentations:
    • CA STEM Symposium: 
      • Students Attending:
  • Logo design- Jackie working group– 
  • Shirts- diversify design yearly
  • WISRD Wed./ Labs- Jackie, Aidan, Jacob?
  • Wall: 
    • White board- What is WISRD doing? – Aidan, Stella
  • Lunch Lectures: 
    • STET- 
    • Same amount, clarify expectations, 
    • Incentives? Food/snacks? 
  • Proposals- digital review- see agenda


  • Tabled:
    • Board Officers


In addition to the above topics, WISRD members discussed the digital review of proposals and proposal/project review process in depth. In establishing a biology lab, another upcoming topic will be the development of an Ethics committee, composed of teachers and WISRD members. We will be discussing this at tomorrow’s meeting.

In addition to this, I have continued with ReefQuest data analysis over summer (a more detailed summer work recap will come in the next couple weeks). My next steps on the correlation study will be to write up results into a brief overview, and discuss my calculations and statistical analyses with a professional. I will ask Herach if he is willing to assist me with the statistical review.

I have also been working with a new WISRD member who is interested in ReefQuest programs. She wants to research local animals and ecosystems in hopes of preserving endangered/affected populations. We will collaboratively develop surveys for Marine and Terrestrial ecosystems in the LA area, expanding ReefQuest’s database and scope of projects. The data collected could yield another publication regarding novel research platforms for ecological/biological (tied with physical/chemical) studies.

She started learning basic HTML coding to facilitate development of the web platform. We are now looking into common terrestrial surveys used in LA ecosystems that could be applied to Virtual Reef Transects and conducted on an online platform. These initiatives will require field work in the next few weeks. The board will discuss field-regulations and our policies regarding field work (being housed within a high school, increased limitations).




Weekly Reflection 2

Semester 2


In continuing my study of pH, I have run some experiments studying the carbonation of water. As part of Honors Chemistry, I will be leading a mini-lesson, in which students will learn about pH. Thus, I built a carbonator, which will help demonstrate the chemical reaction that occurs when Carbon Dioxide reacts with Water, producing Carbonic Acid. The device consists of a 5lb CO2 tank, pressurized to 800 psi. A Regulator which decreases the pressure to 40 psi (and is adjustable), and a tube connecting the regulated CO2 to a water bottle. I have tested the pH of flat water, versus the pH of carbonated water, which has demonstrated a change in pH of roughly 2. However, I am skeptical of this, as Carbonic acid is generally at 5.7pH, and might not cause such a dramatic pH decrease. Furthermore, the pH loggers that were utilized seem to be uncalibrated, so the measurements are more precise than accurate. Nonetheless, I recorded a pH decrease, which is consistent with the theoretical results. Video and Image documentation of this will be uploaded in the next days. The first carbonation period with decent results lasted for roughly 1 hr. The second, with less significant results lasted roughly 30 mins. I will continue testing with calibrated loggers to achieve more accurate results of +/- .005 pH.

Visible CO2 Gas being released after carbonation process.

Visible CO2 Gas being released after carbonation process.




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