During my time as a “jack of all trades” intern for QUEST Science’s Ohio team, I continued fostering an interest in water-oriented journalism. However, rather than explore drought conditions and the difficulties they bring to western states, I investigated the Great Lakes Region’s somewhat naive treatment of its water resources. The Great Lakes hold 21 percent of the world’s freshwater resources, and almost all of North America’s. Midwesterners aren’t as aware of global drought threats as those along the Colorado River, and because of that, don’t treat it as something they could possibly lose — conservation measures are seen as options, not imperatives. Because I’ve spent significant time researching the dangers of ignoring a resource’s limitations — and because I’ve seen the lengths to which cities will go to ‘steal’ someone else’s freshwater — I became of particular use to QUEST when I took on stories that highlight ways in which the Midwest could have monitored its water resources better, protecting it from ourselves and examining our claim to it.
This piece focuses on the problem of keeping invasive Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes, with emphasis on choosing appropriate technologies for the job. It brings to light missteps and miscalculations arising from poor understandings of biodiversity and interspecies competition, how best to combat invasive species and how to overcome short-term political and social interests when remediating long-term environmental issues.
In order to illustrate this technically complicated issue, I taught myself how to make infographics with Adobe Suite. I visualized and constructed the infographic on my own, using a drawing tablet to do more intricate detail work.
Please click here to see the article on the QUEST Science website.