Introducing Applied Ecology’s first Dragonfly Pond Works scholar, April Sharp!
April is an Applied Ecology minor, studying environmental sciences and entomology. She is researching the composition and distribution of aquatic macroinvertebrates (like dragonflies and caddisflies) in Dragonfly Pond Works stormwater control areas by comparing the biodiversity of artificial wetlands and retention ponds to naturally occurring water features.
“Macroinvertebrates are environmental indicators, so analyzing the biodiversity of aquatic fauna in relation to their pollution sensitivities can give insight towards the health of aquatic ecosystems,” says Sharp. “My research adds to the body of knowledge of how managed stormwater discharge resulting from residential development impacts the health and ecology of freshwater systems through the lens of macroinvertebrate biodiversity.”
Dragonfly Pond Works scholars receive a $1,000 stipend and $500 toward project materials. This competitive scholarship partners with NC State undergraduates to study water quality, or other measures of health, associated with their management sites.
“The Dragonfly Pond Works scholarship program has allowed me to explore different methods of sampling macroinvertebrates, as well as water quality tests for additional data,” says Sharp.