Tuesday, April 11, 2017

Midland College represented at Texas Academy of Science meeting

Pictured from left to right, MC Chemistry Professor Dr. Thomas Ready, MC alumna/UTPB student Melissa Wood and MC student David Prieto-Uzcategu
• MC presents coral reef water chemistry project; MC alumna receives award

By Rebecca Bell
Dean of Community Relations & Special Events

On March 3-5, Midland College (MC) faculty and students participated in the 2017 Texas Academy of Science (TAS) meeting held in Belton, TX at the University of Mary Hardin-Baylor. During the three-day event, David Prieto-Uzcategui, MC student, and Melissa Wood, MC alumna and current student at the University of Texas of the Permian Basin (UTPB), gave presentations on research related to coral reef water chemistry derived from the Midland College/University of Texas at El Paso marine science effort in Roatan, Honduras, last July.

On July 3-9, 2016, the marine research team studied several aspects of the coral reef habitat in Roatan. The student team was under the leadership of Midland College Biology Professor Greg Larson and Chemistry Professor Dr. Tom Ready.

Aspects that were studied during the research trip to Central America included:

   Water quality parameters associated with healthy vs. diseased coral. The students performed research on temperature, pH, dissolved oxygen, conductivity, reduction/oxidation potential, turbidity and water flow rate (current strength).
   • Fish populations associated with healthy vs. diseased coral.
   • Phosphate, nitrate and nitrite nutrient concentrations associated with healthy vs. diseased coral.
   • Organic metabolites associated with healthy vs. diseased coral.

Dr. Ready will lead another team to Roatan this coming summer to continue the research.

At the recent TAS meeting in March, Prieto-Uzcategui presented a paper on nitrate concentrations above the Roatan coral reef, and Wood presented a paper on phosphate concentrations above the reef. Wood won 3rd place for oral presentations in marine science.

David Preito-Uzcategui plans to transfer from MC to Texas Tech in the fall and major in Chemical Engineering. Melissa Wood is majoring in Biology at UTPB.

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