Expected Graduation: Spring 2010
Project Dates: February 2009 – April 2010
I will be conducting research under the direction of Dr. Candace L. Kairies Beatty in collecting soil and water samples from small seeps originating from an abandoned mine site (location pending) for analysis. Water samples will be collected and analyzed for pH, conductivity, and elemental concentrations. Analysis of the soil samples will include total metal content, organic matter, color, and moisture. Based on the initial tests, leaching experiments will be conducted to see how easily the metals are released from the soil. Through this, metal availability, mobility and effects in the environment can be evaluated. X-ray diffraction of the soil may also be utilized to assist in determining specific mineral fractions present in the soils. Mineralogy can influence metal retention and availability in soils. This research will be presented through a poster, department presentations, and possibly at the Geological Society of America conference. Upon graduation, I hope to attend graduate school in a field of geochemistry or work in an area of environmental geology; ideally with the Environmental Protection Agency.