Legacy contaminants such as PAHs, or polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons, can continue to persist within the environment long after they are no longer used. Over time, these chemicals can change form into degradation products, but their chemical properties and movement can still be harmful. My work focuses on the sources of personal exposure and how these change with personal habits, temporal and temperature patterns, and proximity to legacy sources of concern. To do this we use both gas chromatography-mass spectrometry to find what chemicals an environment may have been exposed to, and we've begun to use gas chromatography isotope ratio mass spectrometry to separate out specific sources of exposure via their isotope ratio signatures. The overall goal of my work is to find where specific exposure sources in the environment are and how they relate to local populations, so that they can be better informed about their risk.
The best thing about Superfund research for me is the interconnectivity. Across the department, the region, and the country, the network of others working within superfund programs is communicative and collaborative. It's fantastic to be able to work closely with other researchers that I might not have gotten to otherwise
I would like to make my research and science in general more accessible and less something to be afraid of for the average person. Understanding works against distrust
My parents are scientists, and I was always surrounded by a love of learning and curiosity about the world around me. I was never pushed into science- none of my siblings are scientists, but I've always been supported and encouraged to ask questions, and I found a love for the environment and smaller communities through a service year experience I had after college. The relationship between people and world around us is fascinating and so beautiful
My goals are to work within the Government and emergency response and policy, but I'm open to any and all open doors throughout my education
Some other trainees and I participate weekly on a local trivia team, and I love finding small events like this in whatever community I'm in to participate in. I love to go to concerts, from symphonies to garage bands, hike new trails to collect flowers, and to knit hats. Every hobby I love to do focuses on creating or experiencing some kind of creative outlet.