I’ll be the first to admit, science was not my friend in high school. Although I enjoyed it as a kid, when I hit my teens it was a source of anxiety more than anything.
It’s a shame really. I had such a good grasp of the overall subject in elementary school. I can even remember rigging up circuit boards, and creating clouds in glass jars for the annual science fair.
Though our teenage years can take us away from our innate passion and knowledge we are born with, with time, it can be brought back to life. There comes a time when we are presented with the opportunity to return to our roots, and give it another try.
For me, that came in my mid-twenties when I woke up to what was happening here on Earth. The environment was suddenly more important than shopping for the latest fashion fad.
My shift in interests led me back to school for a post-grad diploma in Environmental Management & Assessment. There, I was given a second chance with science.
It was a biology course that I had to complete for the program that rekindled my passion for the broader subject. This course helped me shake my fear and gain back my sense of confidence.
I found comfort in a benthic sampling and taxonomy assignment. Counting things is…well, my thing. Amazed at how much we can learn from analyzing the species not only gave me a new found love for science, it also helped reduce overall anxieties about bugs.
In taxonomy, we are interested in identifying the organisms found. This allows us to classify findings based on quantity and quality in a specified area. Conclusions are drawn by the quality of an organism as well as quantity in which they exist generally, and as a percentage of the entire population captured.
If we have a diverse assortment of organisms that need a healthy ecosystem to survive, we’re in luck and are likely sampling good water.
On the other hand, if our findings show one or two organisms make up the majority – and they can survive in an unhealthy ecosystem – unfortunately, we’ve got low quality water in the specified test area.
While the technical side goes a lot deeper than that, the basics of the science are not so hard to follow. So don’t shy away from the subject out of fear. If you do, you’ll be missing out on a fascinating planet that is out there waiting to be explored.
Embrace your inner child, and open your mind to the wondrous world all around you. For this is the best way to keep your youthful curiosity alive and well.
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