DONSAM Symposium 2021
Welcome to the 2021 celebration of DONSAM student research! Below are links to posters and presentations. After you look through them, please tell us your favorites using the survey below.
Author: Rachael Boyd
This poster describes a GIS app developed to assist with data collection for a 17-year (and continuing) citizen science winter raptor study covering four states. In addition, it describes the lessons learned working with the project developer and the citizen scientists collecting the data.
Authors: Salvador Hernandez, Rosario Morales, Theresa Jeske
Pharmaceuticals and personal care product (PPCPs) contamination is an environmental concern as little is known about the impacts on the environment. PPCPs enter into the ecosystem from wastewater and discharge. Humans and animals process pharmaceuticals to a degree, however, what is not processed is released as waste. Overtime, PPCPs have been detected in lakes, rivers, streams, and groundwater and can negatively affect water quality and aquatic species. Studies are ongoing on how to remove PPCPs from wastewater and discharge safely with little effects to the ecosystem. Cyclodextrins have been tested as a way to remove PPCPs from contaminated soils. After several trials, the encapsulation of caffeine into beta cyclodextrin was accomplished. To confirm the encapsulation, 1HMR and IR was used to confirm caffeine was not present in the precipitate.
Author: McKenzie Bowey
The Lewis-Clark Valley is currently defined as an urban area and receives approximately 2.1 million federal dollars for its urban classification. These funds are an essential part of transportation projects and public transportation for Lewiston, Clarkston, and Asotin. The 2020 census proposes to change the methodology of how urban areas are classified. Using ArcGIS Pro, we analyzed how these changes would affect the LC Valley. The proposed changes would essentially cut the urban area in half, making the area ineligible for the urban area designation and the accompanying federal funding.
Author: Brayden Graves
Antibiotics are one of the most widely prescribed drugs, as the body only uses some of the drug much of it finds its way into the water supply. It may be possible to break down these wide spectrum antibiotics by introducing oxidants like OXONE into the aqueous solution. When the reaction of penicillin with OXONE was measured with UV VIS there was a disappearance of the peak at 225. When Penicillin reacted with OXONE a solid product was formed, when characterized by NMR the spectra of the solid was vastly different from the spectra of penicillin. OXONE shows to be effective at degrading penicillin, and could serve to be an effective treatment for wide spectrum antibiotics in the water supply.
Author: Brittni Herzog, Gabrielle Dickinson, Josip Belavic
Pseudoephedrine, brand name Sudafed, is a decongestant commonly used to temporarily treat sinus pain and pressure, stuffy nose, and other respiratory centered irritation. Health care facilities, as well as other sources, dispose of various pharmaceuticals down the drain. Due to the lack of adequate wastewater filtration methods, pharmaceuticals like pseudoephedrine can end up in local water sources. Through the extraction of pure pseudoephedrine and subsequent calibration on an HPLC, pseudoephedrine was found to exist in six out of six water sampling sites around the Lewis-Clark Valley. The highest concentration was found at Lindsay Creek, with the lowest concentration being from Mann Lake.
Authors: Brooke Chase and Reanna Martinez
Lemna minor is a common aquatic plant known as duckweed, found throughout the United States. It is currently being studied by bioengineers as a bioremediator of water sources, meaning it has the potential to synthesize harmful molecules present in its environment and use them as an energy source. The possibility of L. minor having this quality would be important for filtering out non-natural compounds present in ground water systems, such as pharmaceuticals and personal care products. With this idea in mind, the experiment was designed to evaluate if Lemna minor is a suitable aquatic plant for phytoremediation. The target molecules to be studied were caffeine and acetaminophen. Each of these compounds were dissolved separately into different aqueous solutions, in which L. minor was then introduced. UV/Vis spectrophotometry was taken at time = zero and time = seven days to compare the concentration differences. This process was repeated for several different trials, each with different molarities of concentrates. L. minor was inconclusive on synthesizing caffeine, however acetaminophen showed to be toxic to L. minor and the aquatic plant did not survive the trials with acetaminophen. There was an unknown molecule released by L. minor that overpowered the caffeine, preventing seeing any changes in concentration for multiple trials. These results provided questions that could be tested in future experiments.
Authors: Katie McCown, Jason Quimby, and Whitney Sonnen
The accumulation of pharmaceuticals and personal care products in waterways is a growing environmental concern. In this study, three different plant systems algae (Scenedesmus obliquus), peat moss (Sphagnum peat moss), and moss (Taxiphyllum barbieri) were analyzed for their effectiveness of removing common pharmaceuticals such as caffeine and ibuprofen from local water sources. All three systems were separately treated with 20 mg of dissolved ibuprofen, a nonpolar compound, and 20mg of dissolved caffeine, a polar compound. Applying UV/Visiblelight spectroscopy, the concentration of compound in solution was measured and compared against the initial concentration of the compound. Of the three plant systems tested, Sphagnum peat moss most effectively reduced the concentration of both ibuprofen and caffeine in solution. Taxiphyllum barbieri demonstrated a significant reduction in the concentration of caffeine. However, neither Taxiphyllum barbieri or Scenedesmus obliquus demonstrated a statistically significant reduction in the concentration of ibuprofen. This suggests that peat moss is capable of adsorbing both polar and nonpolar compounds through intermolecular forces. The removal rate of the caffeine compared to the ibuprofen suggests that the polar molecule is more capable of hydrogen bonding to the peat moss and can be removed from water sources using this method. However, algae did not demonstrate any significant reduction in the concentration of either compound while moss was able to reduce the concentration of only caffeine.
Authors: Kaden Hammond and Kenedi Freeman
Pharmaceuticals being disposed of into water systems may not be widely discussed but can have potentially deadly effects on the inhabitants of aquatic environments. In attempts to decrease pharmaceutical pollution a process called oxidation is used but the products of oxidation can be more hazardous than the initial pollutant. Acetaminophen, a common over the counter drug, can be oxidized by using Oxone. The process of extraction using ether and then drying using anhydrous magnesium sulfate was done in order to obtain the products of the oxidation reaction. By using NMR spectroscopy, it was determined that a benzoquinone peak at 6.8 ppm was present and was the major product. Prolonged exposure to Acetaminophen can cause embryonic development issues and behavioral changes in fish. The oxidation product of acetaminophen, Benzoquinone, is a known acute toxin and carcinogen. Benzoquinone can cause defects in the blood and organs of aquatic life as well as physical deformities all of which can potentially lead to death.
Authors: Kyra Lockett and Abbey Marler
Studies on pharmaceuticals and personal care products (PPCP’s) in wastewater are done to explain how to break them down without harming the environment. This experiment started with the oxidation of Red dye, Indigo Carmine dye, and Sunset Yellow dye with Oxone and TEMPO as the reagents. The products were observed under UV/vis and showed that Sunset Yellow had the most products when reacted with Oxone. To get more conclusive results, Sunset Yellow was reacted with Oxone at concentrated levels and the reactants were observed under HNMR. The HNMR spectrum showed the absence of aromatic rings which were originally thought to be a part of the products after oxidation. Three possible explanations for these findings are that the aromatic rings are being blocked by another product on the spectrum, the aromatic rings could have dropped out of solution, or oxone was able to keep reacting with the aromatic rings and broke them down.
Authors: Hathaway, Gabrielle
Abstract: Place-based learning (PBL) is a method rooted in teaching students the content using their relationship to place. Earth science (ES) and PBL have a natural overlap from examining the relationship between humans and natural systems. This method has benefits for students in general classrooms and especially for indigenous students. Native Hawaiians often have a strong sense of place and the students who have these connections to the land would significantly benefit from a PBL approach.
Authors: Hirschler, Cira
Abstract: The Coeur d’Alene mining district is in the Silver Valley in North Idaho where more than 100 years of mining for metal rich sulfide ores in Mesoproterozoic sedimentary rocks of the Belt Supergroup has contaminated the South Fork of the Coeur D’Alene River. Currently 85 percent of the bottom of Lake Coeur d’Alene is enriched in heavy metals. A general decline in the lake’s aquatic ecosystem was indicated by extensive studies on the productivity of the lake.
AUTHORS: Dylan Miller and Nancy A. C. Johnston Ph.D.
Uptake rates (UTRs) are an essential component for air sampling by diffusive techniques. Diffusive sampling offers time-weighted average concentrations for durations of extended length. UTRs were measured using various combined methods of pumped and diffusive sampling, and rates were determined for sample periods of 24 hours, 1 week, and 2 weeks. UTRs for 26 compounds over these sample lengths were measured and will be subsequently used for application in human health risk assessment.
AUTHORS: Gabrielle N. Dickinson, Dylan D. Miller, Elias J. Pukkila, Aakriti Bajracharya, Timbre Durbin, Elijah P. Moser, Parke J. Sutton, John K. McGarry, Laurel A. Nuñez, Phillip S. Scott, Nancy A.C. Johnston
FIREX-AQ was a NASA/NOAA sponsored collaborative project carried out during the summer of 2019. Dr. Nancy Johnston’s air chemistry research group assisted in these efforts to help relate wildfire smoke back to human health risk. Benzene, a known carcinogen, and particulate matter were found in elevated concentrations in air samples. The benzene concentrations found in the Nethker Fire would add six extra cancers per one million people if repeated exposure throughout one’s lifetime.
AUTHORS: Timbre A. Durbin, Elijah P. Moser, John K. McGarry and Nancy A. C. Johnston
Located in the Lewis-Clark Valley is a paper pulp mill that is a major pollution source for odorous sulfur compounds. A fluorescence sulfur analyzer was used to measure the concentration of sulfur dioxide (SO2) & total reduced sulfur (TRS) over time, and at different locations of the valley. Sulfur concentrations were found to increase with increased elevation, as well as with proximity to the paper mill, but were well under the EPA standard.
AUTHORS: William Bruchard, Aakriti Bajracharya and Nancy A. C. Johnston
During the COVID pandemic, many people have been constrained at home for safety reasons while the use of multiple cleaners have increased to prevent the virus. These cleaners can contain harmful compounds such as bleach (sodium hypochlorite), as well as scents and alcohols that have potential effects on people’s health when inhaled or prolonged exposure. Air samples during cleaner use were analyzed by TD-GC-MS. Notably, bleach cleaners emitted both chloroform and carbon tetrachloride.
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AUTHORS: DeShaun Sutton and Nancy A. C. Johnson
HiSorb solid phase extraction probes were used in the headspace of several air freshener products to extract the components found in each of the aerosols. Samples were then analyzed by thermal desorption-gas chromatography-mass spectroscopy (TD/GC/MS) to determine what chemical components were found in the products. The most abundant components in the air fresheners were Limonene, Linalyl acetate, and Dihydromyrcenol. Alcohol, a disinfectant, was also found in the fragrances and ranged from 0.03% to 2.5%.