Andrea Ottesen, a botanist and molecular ecologist at the University of Maryland, College Park, won first place (tie) for the fifth annual Science and Engineering Visualization Challenge. The fractal otherworldly image is of Irish moss (Chondrus crispus), a common seaweed species on the Atlantic coast. This particular specimen was captured off Cape Breton Island, Nova Scotia, while cataloging the use of kelp products as fertilizers for a sustainable agriculture experiment. As we have seen before, kelp is showing up as an intriguing product that literally harvests itself by washing up on shore. Used in everything from shampoo to energy generation, kelp literally takes our breath away by fixing CO2.
This year the competition received 200 entries from 34 states and 23 countries. The idea of the competition is to bring excitement, awe, and a broad appreciation to scientific information. See the other incredible winners by following the link.