The accomplishment is “extremely impressive,” said Kennedy research adviser Barbara Franklin at the time, because Jellinek was a junior competing in a field composed mostly of seniors.
Jellinek is president of Kennedy’s drama club, the concert choir and the women’s choir, and she is a member of the French, math, science, thespian, music and national honor societies.
She plans to study psychology or pre-medicine in college.
November, 17, of Merrick, said he was proud and happy simply to compete in the Intel talent search. “Being a semifinalist is the icing on the cake,” he said.
November, who plans to study engineering in college, conducted an environmental study at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton, in Suffolk County, last summer. For it, he analyzed plant samples gathered by his mentor, Dr. Allistair Rogers, in Barrow, Alaska, which falls within the Arctic Circle.
November looked at concentrations of carbon, hydrogen and nitrogen in the samples, which were mainly bushes.
What November found was that previous studies had underestimated the amount of carbon that Arctic plants were able to absorb and “fix” –– that is, remove from the atmosphere through respiration.
It was an important finding on a number of levels. Many scientists believe that climate change, a.k.a. global warming, is caused by increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. The more carbon dioxide that plants are able to remove from the air, the more stable the climate will remain.
Scientists base their projections of future climate change on data such as the amount of carbon dioxide that plants are able to take from the atmosphere. If such data is skewed, their models could be off, November said.