Sep
18

Element Analysis in Vegetation: The Sample Prep Process

Although my last post focused on the frustrations of broken instruments and the pace of research, I have, in reality, covered a lot of ground this summer with respect to method development. My research project has given me experience in two different types of research that I plan to pursue further in graduate school: environmental field sampling, and analytical chemistry.…
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Sep
18

The Train Kept A-Rollin’…while I kept troubleshooting

Environmental research often occurs at the nexus of science and politics. It is interesting for this very reason, but also frustrating, because the outside world moves at a breakneck pace compared to that of the laboratory, for good reason. The scientific process is full of challenges that prevent it from achieving quick answers –   confounding…
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Jun
24

Arsenic and Coal Trains

Summer (in the astronomical sense) has just begun, and my Honors project, Land Use Impacts on Heavy Metal Accumulation in Vegetation, is three weeks underway. My hypothesis for this project is that various land uses, particularly the transport of loads of coal through the city of Williamsburg from Western Virginia to the ports at Hampton Roads, lead…
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Apr
30

Land Use Impacts on Heavy Metal Accumulation in Vegetation

Hello! My name is Sharon Hartzell, and I am a Chemistry and Environmental Science major at William & Mary. My research project, Land Use Impacts on Heavy Metal Accumulation in Vegetation, will investigate the impact of dust from coal-bearing trains that travel through Williamsburg on vegetation near to the tracks. BNSF Railway is one company that…
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