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ARE THE FLOOD WATERS HARMFUL ?. Presented by: ECSU Pre-Service Teacher Yvonne L. Spellman. What prompted this project?. Recent flooding in Pasquotank County after various hurricanes, tropical storms and nor’easters. Drain ditches were clogged and overflowed.

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ARE

THE FLOOD WATERS

HARMFUL?

Presented by:

ECSU Pre-Service Teacher

Yvonne L. Spellman


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What prompted this project?

  • Recent flooding in Pasquotank County after various hurricanes, tropical storms and nor’easters.

  • Drain ditches were clogged and overflowed.

  • The rise in water and the tide caused water from the near by swamp to run onto the surrounding properties in the community.

  • There was about 24 inches of water.

  • For days people walked through this water to find food and shelter.


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What seems to be the problem?

  • There is currently a drainage problem in the county due to the growing population and construction/development of property.

  • There are nine watersheds which are: Newland, Upper Pasquotank, Perquimans, Knobbs Creek, Upper little river, Lower little river, Charles Creek, Newbegun and Flatty Creek.

  • Five of these (one being Knobbs Creek) drain into the Pasquotank River.

  • The swamp runs to a tidal creek located on Creek Road in Pasquotank County runs into the Knobbs Creek canal which in turn goes into the Pasquotank River.


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Knobbs Creek

  • The Pasquotank River arises from the Great Dismal Swamp along the Virginia/North Carolina border.

  • Knobbs Creek was established as one of the drainage creeks which housed a few mills

  • Knobbs Creek is located north of town and is the site of the present sewage treatment plant.

  • There are 38 subdivisions in the Knobbs creek watershed district and others are planned in the farming areas west of Elizabeth City.





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Are the flood waters harmful?

  • Often we only know danger or know something is dangerous when we see it.

  • What about those things that are unseen to the naked eye but may be seen with the aide of the microscope.

  • Too often we neglect the large number of interesting free-living microorganisms that abound in the water, soil, and air.


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Microorganisms

  • A microorganism or microbe is an organism that is microscopic (too small to be seen by the naked human eye).

  • Microorganisms are incredibly diverse and include bacteria, fungi, algae, and protozoa, as well as some microscopic plants and animals such as plankton, and popularly-known animals such as the planarian and the amoeba.

  • Most microorganisms are single-celled, or unicellular.

  • Microorganisms live in all parts of the biosphere where there is liquid water.


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Protozoa

  • Microscopic one-celled animals, that often live in ponds, rivers, on plants, and in animals’ bodies.

  • Their external surfaces consist of a cell membrane or pellicle; cell walls are absent.

  • They are typically eukaryotic in that the nucleoplasm is enveloped in a nuclear membrane.

  • They all reproduce asexually by cell division.

  • Their ability to form resistant dormant stages, called cysts, enables them to survive drought, heat, and freezing.


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Algae

  • These microorganisms are universally present where ample moisture, favorable temperature and sufficient sunlight exist. Although a great majority of them live submerged in water, some grow on soil; others grow on the bark of trees or the surfaces of rocks.

  • Algae include all the protists that possess the photosynthetic pigment chlorophyll a and can evolve oxygen as a byproduct of photosynthesis.

  • Prokaryotic and eukaryotic lines of algae have evolved. The blue-green algae are typically prokaryotic in that they lack nuclear membranes. All other algae are eukaryotic .


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Method

  • Collected 3 jars of water

  • Jar A contained water and grass from Creek Road (tidal creek).

  • Jar B contained water, grass, and mud (bottom debris) from the side of the creek.

  • Jar C contained water and grass from a ditch in my community that leads to the swamp which in turn leads to knobbs creek.

  • Samples of water from each jar was examined under a microscope.


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Method

  • Materials needed:

    Containers for water samples

    Microscope

    Microscope slides and cover glasses

    pipettes

    reference (pictures) book

  • Use pipette to collect water from containers (bottom of container is best)

    Apply several drops to slide and cover

    Examine slide first on low magnification (use higher magnification as needed)

  • Use reference book/pictures for identifying.


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What did I find? Phylum 3 Ciliata

  • Stylonychiais a genus of ciliate, included among the stichotrichs. It is very common in fresh water and soil, found on filamentous algae, surface films, and among particles of sediment. Like its relatives, Stylonychia has cilia grouped into membranelles alongside the mouth and cirri over the body. It is distinguished partly by long cirri at the posterior, usually a cluster of three.

  • The stylonychia is oval in shape when viewed from the top, and it is notable for its incessant activity and rapid movement. It, like the paramecium and blepharisma, is a ciliate (having short hair like extensions). The cilia of stylonychia are more highly specialized and not freely distributed over its body. The cilia along the edge of the ventral surface seem to be tufts of cilia fused together and are used very much like legs allowing the animal to move with a walking motion. Longer fused cilia form stylus-like protrusions at both ends of its body. Another set of specialized cilia beat the water and sweep bacteria and other microorganisms into its oral cavity.


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What did I find? Surirella

  • Chrysophyta consist of over 6000 species.

  • They are called the golden brown algae because of the combination of fucoxanthin, yellow pigments and chlorophylls that make them look golden brown.

  • Surirella is a chrysophytes and fall into a special category called diatoms.

  • Diatoms have hard cell walls of pectin, cellulose or silicon that are constructed in two halves.


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Is there cause for fear?

  • Maybe, maybe not. For now my data is inclusive. Greater knowledge and research is needed in order to be able to identify the different types of microorganisms and their affect on humans.

  • Many protozoa we know as parasites, but like bacteria, they can be classified as helpful or harmful.


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Something to think about

  • Some protozoa can form protective coverings around their bodies known as cysts. These are harder for a person’s body to kill.

  • Certain protozoa can even form protective coverings known as oocysts around their eggs.

  • Some of these protective coverings are so effective, that many types of protozoa can safely pass through a person’s stomach and not be killed by the acid in the stomach.

  • There are various types of protozoa and while some are not dangerous to people, there are others that can cause a variety of serious diseases, and even death.


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Something to think about

  • Harmful protozoa infections can result in no obvious symptoms at all, or one or more of a variety of uncomfortable symptoms.

  • Some symptoms can be but are not limited to stomach cramps, diarrhea, and dehydration.

  • In humans, protozoa usually cause disease.

  • Doctors usually use antiparasitic medicine to treat protozoal infections. Unfortunately, there are very few medicines that fight protozoal infections, and some of those are either harmful to humans or are becoming ineffective.


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What can be done if it is harmful?

  • Some type of filtration system?


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References

  • http://biology.clc.uc.edu/courses/bio106/protista.htm

  • http://www.microbeworld.org/microbes/protista/

  • http://www.elizcity.com/history/elizabeth-city-history02.shtml

  • National Institue of Allergy and Infections Diseases, USA

  • Hobbs, Upchurch & Associates, P.A.


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Acknowledgements

  • My mentor - Dr. Pringle

  • My spouse – Anthony Spellman

  • My father – Roscoe Poole, Jr.


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Any Questions

Thank you


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