OSSINING, N.Y. -- Ossining High School junior Soon Il Higashino won a 2015 Young Naturalist Award for her research project on amphibian decline, the American Museum of Natural History has announced.
Higashino was one of two winners for 11th-grade in the national competition for students in grades 7 through 12. The American Museum of Natural History selects the most outstanding research projects in the United States that are linked to the environment.
For the past year, Higashino has investigated the possible reasons for the drastic amphibian decline. She has conducted field work and laboratory investigations that may provide insight into the problem. The title of her project is, “The Identification of Cutaneous Bacteria on Salamanders that Inhibit the Chytrid Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis.”
This summer, Higashino will continue her research at the Louis Calder Center, Fordham University’s Biological Field Station in Armonk, under the supervision of Professor James Lewis.
The Young Naturalist Award includes a $2,000 prize, a night in New York City and a behind-the-scenes tour of the museum.
Higashino and junior Kimberly Badger were among eight finalists in the competition for 11th-graders. Badger's research project is on woodpeckers in various locations in New York City.
Two other Ossining High School juniors were national semifinalists for the Young Naturalist Award this year -- Jennifer Meikle and Kiran Goveas.
The students are part of OHS’ Fundamentals of Science Research Program, in which students conduct independent research from their sophomore through senior years.
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