Patterns Hold the Clues: Solving Spring Moralities in Oysters

I’ve created a story board for the outline of my project.  I envision creating a stop-motion animation which details the problem my project is tackling and what I hope is a “sticky” analogy for characterizing oyster reproduction.   The main problem detailed is that when oysters die, there typically is no corpse to biopsy for cause of death, just an empty shell.  Therefore, we need to ask questions about the survivors-what about them is different than the oysters that died?  More specifically, what is the important difference when it comes to mortality.  Given oysters are dying in the spring, it probably has to do with reproduction.  I want to show the variance in the oyster sexual development, and I plan to do that by making the analogy of an oyster’s reproductive system with a tree.  In the winter, the oyster’s reproductive system is dormant, and therefore the “tree” is a pruned back and has no leaves.  As the water warms up the “branches” (follicles) grow outwards and then leaves(eggs) start growing off of the branches, until you are left with a tree full of branches and leaves (ripe oyster).  Using this analogy, I detail the different sexual patterns we have seen in commercial (and supposedly sterile) oysters, and end the video with the point that in order to find out why the oysters are dying, we need to know the proportion of the population that exhibits each pattern before and after the mortality event, which is what I’ve done for my project.

In the story board, each large square represents the image and the text below is the narration (N) or the sound effect (S).  For now, the whole thing does not operate as a stop motion, as the first few slides are stand-alone.  I am thinking that I could try to do the stop motion on the computer with something as simple as having a picture in powerpoint, tweaking it a little, and taking a picture or just saving the picture of the adjusted image.  I am planning to try this out in the very near future to assess if this is a feasible route.



Leave a Reply