Requirements at 2022 Merit Badge College
Most of the requirements for this merit badge were completed at the Troop 457 Merit Badge College 2022. The merit badge college was held on March 3, 2022. The items here are the remaining requirements to complete the merit badge.
Requirement 3c - Water Pollution
Describe the impact of a waterborne pollutant on an aquatic community. Write a 100-word report on how that pollutant affected aquatic life, what the effect was, and whether the effect is linked to biomagnification.
A common water pollutant in the South is Ammonia from agricultural fertilizers. Fertilizers are sprayed on crops in the fields and when it rains, ammonia is washed into nearby water sources. If the runoff goes into a lake, it can affect fish habitat. A high concentration of ammonia is toxic to most fish. Factors like water temperature, ph, and mineral content of water can affect the toxicity of ammonia to the fish population. For fish that can survive large concentration of ammonia, the fish will have lots of ammonia in its bloodstream. These surviving fish may not be able to reproduce well, may have stunted growth, and may not live as long as they should.
Requirement 3e - Endangered Species
Do research on one endangered species found in your state. Find out what its natural habitat is, why it is endangered, what is being done to preserve it, and how many individual organisms are left in the wild. Prepare a 100-word report about the organism, including a drawing. Present your report to your patrol or troop.
One species in Tennessee that is highly endangered is the Hellbender (Cryptobranchus alleganiensis). The Hellbender is a species of aquatic giant salamander that can be found in Tennessee. The Hellbender is the largest salamander in North America. The Hellbender was once abundant in the streams of Tennessee but has declined significantly because of stream impoundment and pollution. The usage of dams in the rivers of Tennessee can reduce the water flow downstream, which can reduce the habitat of the Hellbenders.
List of Endangered Species:
Requirement 3f - Pollution Prevention, Resource Recovery, and Conservation
Look around your home and determine 10 ways your family can help reduce pollution. Practice at least two of these methods for seven days and discuss with your counselor what you have learned.
Working with my family, we discussed these items to help reduce, recycle, and reuse:
Requirement 3g - Pollination
Using photographs or illustrations, point out the differences between a drone and a worker bee. Discuss the stages of bee development (eggs, larvae, pupae). Explain the pollination process, and what propolis is and how it is used by honey bees. Tell how bees make honey and beeswax, and how both are harvested. Explain the part played in the life of the hive by the queen, the drones, and the workers.
The worker bee is smaller than the drone bee.
The development stages for a bee begins with the queen laying an egg in a cell. After four days, the egg hatches and the larvae stage starts. At 10 days, the larvae spins a cocoon and the pupa stages begins. Around day 20, the pupa becomes an adult a chews out of the cell.
A worker bee is attracted to a flower and crawls into the flower to collect nectar (the food for the bee) and pollen sticks to the bee's feet. The bee lies to another flower and repeats the same activities. The pollen from the first flower rubs off the bee onto the second, which will cross-pollinate the flower.
Propolis is bee saliva + beeswax + nectar. The propolis is also known as bee glue, because it is used to seal open spaces and cracks in the bee hive.
Young bees start the secretion of wax when they developer the special wax-producing glands in their abdomen. The wax is extruded through small pores and it develops as small wax-flakes on the abdomen of the bee. The other worker bees collect these wax flakes and start with the chewing process. With the chewing, the bees add salivary secretions to the wax and this makes it softer and ready for further use.
To harvest honey from a hive, you will:
In the hive, the Queen bee must lay eggs. She will not leave the hive unless the hive begins to fail. When a new queen bee is born, she must start a new hive.
Requirement 3h - Invasive Species
Learn to identify the major invasive plant species in your community or camp and explain to your counselor what can be done to either eradicate or control their spread.
Kudzu is an example of an invasive plant species in the Southeast. Kudzu was introduced to the South on purpose in an attempt to stop soil erosion in the 1930's. Unfortunately, kudzu adapted very well to the Southeast, spread rapidly, and began to hurt other native plants.
Requirement 4 - Study Areas
Mark off a plot of 4 square yards in each study area, and count the number of species found there. Estimate how much space is occupied by each plant species and the type and number of nonplant species you find. Report to your counselor orally or in writing the biodiversity and population density of these study areas.
I went to the Johnson Park area in Collierville, TN on March 27th around 1 pm to find two areas to study. I picked the Johnson Park because it has many different area, including a wetland, lake, forest, and river.
Study Location - Wetland Area
Wetland Area Plant Species
Wetland Area Non-plant Species
Study Location - Forest Area Near Lake
Forest Plant Species
Forest Non-Plant Species
Report to your counselor orally or in writing the biodiversity and population density of these study areas.
The biodiversity I observed was lower than expected based upon the season. The end of March is coming out of winter and many plant species have not fully grown back, so there was a lot of dead matter, such as leaves and fallen branches. The plants that were found are mostly weeds and opportunist plant which will grow before others.
Sign-Offs from Class