New Mexico Supercomputing Challenge

How and why do Jellyfish Blooms Affect the Environment

Team: 1008

School: Taos Middle School

Area of Science: Oceanography


Interim: Team #1008

Team Number: 1008
School Name: Taos Middle School
Area of Science: Oceanography
Project Title: How and why do Jellyfish Blooms Affect the Environment.

Problem Definition:
The problem we are investigating is how and why jellyfish blooms are taking over the world’s oceans. Jellyfish populations are increasing because of higher water temperatures, and too much commercial fishing. Too many jellyfish means less fish and more human injuries. This could mean thousands of human’s jobs/lives, and sea creatures affected. This could be a serious problem. That is why we propose to study and eventually solve how and why jellyfish blooms affect the environment.
The software we are going to use is Starlogo. The agent- based aspects we will be using are fish, jellyfish and water temperature. The data we will be measuring is the population of jellyfish, the population of fish, and the water temperature.
Problem Solution:
One possible solution that scientists have suggested is the use of Gobies (a small fish) to eat the jellyfish. Since Gobies are endangered, scientists would have to breed them which would solve their problem, and since gobies eat jellyfish they would solve our problem too. A Gobies diet is anything that doesn’t have a vertebrae. As you all know jellyfish don’t have vertebrae’s so, if we were to release Gobies into the Gulf of Mexico, Mediterranean, Black Sea, and Yellow and Japan Sea’s (all of the places where the jellyfish blooms are) the Gobies would eventually even out the population of jellyfish. If the population of jellyfish ever evens out, the human injury risk, and fish population will also even out. Our second solution would be to have the government pass a law to decrease sport fishing (where they use Gobies as bait), and commercial fishing so that there would be more fish to eat the jellyfish, and less room for the jellyfish to spread.

Progress to Date:
I started out with just me on the team but with advice from my scientist Thomas Robey I recruited two new members Lena Schulze, and McKenzie Henderson. Our progress with our project has jumped from barely starting on the 5th of December to having water temperatures, research, data, and a possible solution to our problem.

Water temperatures off the coast of Port Mansfield, Texas suggests that rising ocean temperatures in the Gulf of Mexico are one of the leading causes to increasing jellyfish blooms. The temperatures start off in the 50’s and are highest in July, and August and then are in the low 60’s in December. Warm enough water temperatures for the jellyfish to keep blooming. If the temperatures keep rising and the jellyfish keep blooming the whole ocean could be entirely taken over by jellyfish.

The population of jellyfish is rising because of global warming, pollution, and overfishing. Two of those reasons for jellyfish blooms increasing are human related and can be solved by humans. Which our solutions will possibly solve.

Expected Results: With our solution we expect the jellyfish population to go back to normal along with the Goby population to go back to normal as well in 5 to 7 years. We expect our first solution to take 3 to 5 years to be completed. For this task to be completed scientists must breed Gobies which will take roughly 2 to 3 years to get enough Gobies to eat most of the jellyfish. Then it will take 3 to 4 months to release all of the Gobies to the places around the world where the jellyfish are blooming, and finally it will take another 1 to 2 years to eat the jellyfish. For our second solution we expect it to take 1 to 2 years to be completed. For our law to be passed it must go through all of the members of congress to be approved, and if the law is not passed it could take a number of other years to be passed. So in total for both of our solutions to be completed it will take upwards to 7 years if not more.

Team Members: Delaney Galligan, McKenzie Henderson, and Lena Schulze

Sponsoring Teacher: Tracy Galligan


Team Members:

  Delaney Galligan
  Lena Schulze
  McKenzie Henderson

Sponsoring Teacher: Tracy Galligan

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