NSF Graduate Fellow
Effects of Thermal Treatment on a Chlorinated Solvent-Degrading Community.
Masters of Science
University Department and/or Lab:
The effects of resistance heating on the microbial flora within a chlorinated ethene contaminated site.
Description of Research:
I am monitoring the shifts in relative abundance and species diversity of a microbial community established within a chlorinated ethene contaminated site. The site is located at Ft. Lewis Army base near Tacoma Washington. The site contains volatile organic compounds, specifically trichloroethene. Trichloroethene is a suspected carcinogen and is in high concentrations within the testing area. I am also using a quantitative technique to monitor the presence of Dehalococcoides spp (a known dechlorinating microbe). The resistance heating is a new mass removal method to clean-up the chemical spill. The method is very effective except for there is still a residual amount of contaminant within the aquifer. I am monitoring whether biostimulation or bioaugmentation of dechlorinating microbes will be necessary after the thermal treatment.
One example of how you integrate your research into your GK-12 experience: