Friday, October 31, 2014

Now It's Fish Time, part 2

3. Would you watch nature documentaries, no matter the subject, on your preferred form of visual media?

Since I intend to make some kind of a film to go along with this project, I wanted to see if there was some kind of a demand for it. Turns out 59% responses were positive. This solidifies my decision to go forward with making the film next semester. The other 41% aren't all negative with the other questions, though some ended up not really caring about fish in general. That's fine, as honest responses are what I need in this project.
Because of last-second college stuff, I couldn't finish in time. Part 3 on Tuesday.

Wednesday, October 29, 2014

Now It's Fish Time!

   Since the survey was released to the juniors and seniors of TAG, I got 53 results. This is almost half of all the people I sent it to! I intend to send it to more people outside of the school. Now I want to go into in-depth analysis of each question.

1. Goldfish can survive in a bowl.
  I chose this question because this is one of the most basic rules of fishkeeping: never keep goldfish, or any fish for that matter, in a bowl. Their waste products quickly pile up, and they have almost no room to grow. This kills them prematurely.
  Out of  53 people, 35 have a positive (agree or strongly agree) position on the question. Most of the respondents who answered like this have dead fish, from one cause or another. The 8 negative responses are either non-or former fish owners, and they mention their fish die after improper care or some accident.
2. Name 5 freshwater ornamental fish.
  I wanted to know which species of fish were well-known among the TAG juniors and seniors who bother to answer the survey. Unsurprisingly, everyone knew what a goldfish was. Bettas (though often misspelled) were pretty common sights, because of their ease of care and bright colors. I was surprised by the prevalence of angelfish (don't see many in person) Catfish were the group to have the most specific species named, as featherfin , emerald, and plecostomus showed up at least once. However, there was a common trend of people not distinguishing among freshwater and marine fish, as clownfish and regal tang "Dory" showed up many times.  Non-fish species, like jellyfish and crabs, even showed up a few times.

Because I was also looking at college stuff, I'll add more results Friday.

Monday, October 27, 2014

College now, Fish can stand to wait a little longer

   Today, I added more details for specific schools to the Common app. The November 1 deadline is fast approaching, but I am confident I will have my applications completed in time. I also had my survey finally distributed to the juniors and seniors, so data analysis will come soon, hopefully. I also started looking for websites I can source "fun facts" from, to hopefully plaster highly visible areas with.

Thursday, October 23, 2014

College Now, Fish Later

Today I worked on 2 of 4 admissions essays, and added Purdue and SUNY-ESF to the Common App. I did nothing about my thesis today.

Tuesday, October 21, 2014

Uhh.. I can't think of anything witty.

Today I revised my survey questions according to the suggestions of my former statistics teacher. She said I should give answer choices ranging from strong agreement to strong disagreement ( the Likert Scale) and reduce the bias on some of the questions. I also wrote out what goals I have for each facet of this yet-unnamed, proposed advocacy/conservation group.
Advertising: Encourage the masses who'd normally overlook freshwater fish to care enough to keep them, breed them, and make donations.
Donations: Money comes from group members and fundraising events, which I need to research and brainstorm. Will go to breeding, husbandry, and reintroduction.
Networking: Possibly a hybrid of internet forum/ major social media site. Hopefully informal and inviting. I can't program, so I'm left with proposing an outline. Maybe I'll try to host a couple of brick and mortar meetings, to see how things would go.
Breeding/Research: Members of group will breed fish depending on skill level. Offspring would go to pet stores, other members, and to their natural habitat, if possible. Laymen's observations and findings will be shared with group members via forum.

Thursday, October 16, 2014

My sources aren't off-topic.

   Today I checked my progress on the Common App.I only need to add activities, edit the essay, and put in parental information. This took up time I could have used to look at sources. Sources now will have less of a focus on fish as I attempt to find ways to make conservation and the fishkeeping hobby more palatable to the masses.
This source is about marketing artistic events to minorities. Using minority-focused plays and paintings to build support in the community is  the main idea of the article. It also goes over ways to appeal to specific minority groups. Since I want White people in on fish conservation too, I'll look for more general sources.

Sunday, October 12, 2014

Focus of the Next 6 Weeks

Because of ACT registration and thesis presentations, I haven't posted. The presentation was a success, however, with many people asking me questions. I'll keep them in mind as I enter the next phase: audience research.

Thursday, October 2, 2014

Annotated Bibliography

   Today I did most of my annotated bibliography. Since I left some information at home, I couldn't do all of it, nor post my other survey questions. Here's what I've done so far:

Many freshwater environments containing thousands of unique species are endangered by pollution and habitat loss. Also, freshwater creatures are not really noticed by the media and general public, who'd rather pay attention and donate to funds protecting large and/or cute mammals and birds. This has led me to make my senior thesis about a freshwater fish advocacy group.
This project sets out to answer two questions: Why don’t people care about freshwater fish? How can we make them care enough to do something to aid their conservation? I will do research on these two questions using surveys and internet sources, and then compile my findings into a video which I hope will answer the second question.
Jepson, P., & Darwall, W. (2013, June 13). Is freshwater advocacy group the solution? Retrieved August 28, 2014, from
    This is a video discussing how small and isolated the groups discussing freshwater biodiversity are compared to marine and charismatic land animal conservation groups. It proposed a freshwater biodiversity advocacy group that amateurs who care, like anglers and aquarists, can join. This source was the one giving me the idea for this thesis project. It is geared towards conservationists and serious aquarists.

Leathwick, J. R., Collier, K. J., & Chadderton, W. L. (2007). Identifying freshwater ecosystems with nationally important natural heritage values: Development of a biogeographic framework. Wellington, N.Z.: Science & Technical Pub., Dept. of Conservation. Retrieved September 2, 2014, from
    This source talks about the effects of catastrophic events like earthquakes on recolonizing freshwater ecosystems, as well as the worth of conserving some specific habitats in New Zealand. It considers the distributions of diadromic (pure freshwater) organisms highly important in gauging changes over time in New Zealand’s biota, as they don’t leave the rivers and lakes they call home. This source is geared towards researchers and college students studying ecology and not the general public or amateur naturalists, judging by the length and language.

The freshwater biome. (n.d.). Retrieved September 2, 2014, from
    A source giving background as to what habitats I’m actually studying. Has little to do with fish, but does describe where they live. Will be used in the very beginning of products and presentations, to provide background. This source is intended for use by laymen, as the article contains little jargon and explains what it does have.

Maceda-Veiga, A. (2014, August 13). The aquarium hobby: Can sinners become saints in freshwater fish conservation? [PDF]. John Wiley & Sons.
    A rare scholarly source on the aquarium hobby. It has a neutral tone on it, because it has led to the introduction of invasive species into worldwide freshwaters and has many ignorant amateurs killing fish earlier than they should, despite the hobby of fishkeeping leading to a greater awareness of fish amongst a small section of the general public and a few passionate aquarists leading conservation and research efforts.

Ofish - Conservation Benefits of Wild Capture. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2014, from

Conservation - Ornamental Aquatic Trade Association. (n.d.). Retrieved September 10, 2014, from

Conservation Fisheries :: Home. (n.d.). Retrieved September 22, 2014, from


Hinman, K. (2001). BOOSTING PUBLIC AWARENESS OF FISH. Saltwater Sportsman. Retrieved September 22, 2014, from
    A flyer posted in 2001 with very obvious intent. The date's significant because it's before Finding Nemo, a movie that boosted awareness of marine fish significantly for a while. This flyer argues people don't consider fish as animals worthy of respect, and only a source of food in rivers and oceans. However, it mentioned a significant improvement in conservation efforts at the time. This article is about marine sport and food fish, so isn’t as directly involved with my thesis as other sources. Since I’m concerned with the general public’s opinion in such matters, though, it’s still valuable.