Scaling of Marine Biodiversity in Bocas del Toro, Panama



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In the Summer of 2017, interns at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History traveled to Panama in order to learn about the contribution of four ecosystems – seagrass, mangrove roots, coral reefs, and sediment – to the marine biodiversity in Bocas del Toro, Panama. They collected samples of each and prepared them for pictures by taking off any organisms living on them. As part of the Honors College Smithsonian Internship, I joined the researchers at the National Museum of Natural History in the summer of 2018. My mission for the research project was to measure the surface area of mangrove roots using a scientific imagining software known as FIJI and to organize, visualize, and analyze this data using a statistical and graphical program called RStudio. This project was completed with contributions from Nancy Knowlton from the Smithsonian National Museum of Natual History.