A Micronormous Problem
Cypress Knudson
Sir Winston Churchill
Floor Location : M 067 V

The Future of Our Oceans is a series of experiments studying the effects oil spills and oil clean up methods and their effect on microbes. The inspiration for this project is the barren tide pools off the coast of Vancouver due to a thin layer of oil on the surface water. The experiments made use of ocean microbes as they are at the bottom of the food chain and could severely affect the living beings higher up on the food chain. Throughout the length of this study there were two main experiments that were conducted; an artificial oil spill, and the effects it had on the microorganism, and an artificial oil spill where the surface of the water was ignited with a lighter, mimicking in situ burning, a controversial cleaning method. Each experiment played with the dependant variables of population, activity levels and visual appearance of the microbes and where measured immediately after the exposure, and hour after and a day after. The overall results of both experiments were quite surprising rendering both my hypothesis’ wrong. In experiment one I expected the microbes to react violently to the oil, however the microbes both the microbe population and activity levels decreased moderately and their appearance started to look mangled. In the second experiment I had expected the same effects as experiment one after the exposure to the fast eruption of heat from the burning, and that is how it started, however after about an hour the microbes seemed to rebound and their population, activity levels, and appearance soared reaching their original status. In conclusion, this study reveals the resiliency of microorganisms and the battle they face and in extension every other marine animals against oil spills.