Environmental Science Undergraduate Theses

Date of Award

Spring 6-13-2022

Document Type

Undergraduate Thesis


Environmental Science

First Advisor

Julie Masura

Second Advisor

Sandy Weakland

Third Advisor

Dany Burgess


The Marine Sediment Monitoring Team at the Washington State Department of Ecology observed damage to mollusk shells while studying the benthic communities of Puget Sound. A pilot protocol was written to allow researchers to quantify the damage. Two researchers independently followed the protocol, including reference photos, for a set of samples collected in 2019 from an urban bay, East Possession Sound. Two scores were given to each specimen: highest-level damage and extent of highest-level damage. An additional score was given to bivalve species: rust/stain. The sets of scores were compared to determine if the protocol yielded similar values between the two researchers. The mean for highest-level damage (0.750, P-Value2in marine waters, potentially interfere with the ability of mollusk species to build and repair their shells.