Student: Regan Ball, Undergraduate Student
Regan was the ISGC scholarship winner from the 2016 State Science and Technology Fair of Iowa. Below is a description of her winning project. She currently attends the University of Iowa.
Reducing pollutant runoff as a result of agricultural practices
My project was a four-year continuation working towards the objective of finding a solution to the amount of pollutants that are produced from runoff as a result of agricultural practices. This runoff results in algal blooms in areas like the Gulf of Mexico which impacts marine life. My project used the problem algae as the solution. Since algae has the ability to absorb the excess nutrients in the water, it makes for a perfect fertilizer for plants such as Zea mays (corn). I tested different methods of application including applying the algae in a powder as well as in its natural state. I found that when the dried powder was used, there was a significant difference in growth overtime compared to the wet application.
At the University of Iowa I am studying environmental science and I plan on continuing my research on a larger scale and developing this method of fertilization.