Presenters and attendants at the 2018 Poster Session

Environmental fate of aquatic pesticides

Project Title Environmental fate of aquatic pesticides
PI Name Christy Remucal

PI Affiliation UW-Madison
Project Description Pesticides are routinely added to surface waters, such as lakes and rivers, to control invasive species. For example, 3-trifluoromethyl-4-nitrophenol (TFM) is added to tributaries of the Great Lakes to control the parasitic sea lamprey. Our team is studying the environmental fate of TFM, including degradation processes and physical transport. During the summer of 2022, we will study the fate of TFM when it is applied by US Fish & Wildlife staff to at least one tributary of either Lake Michigan or Lake Superior. We will also conduct field experiments using well-characterized chemical tracers at the treated site. Samples will be collected and brought back to UW-Madison for analysis, where we will also conduct laboratory photodegradation and sorption experiments. This project is a collaboration between Prof. Christy Remucal (UW-Madison; chemical analysis and degradation) and Prof. Adam Ward (Indiana University; hydrologic modeling). The undergraduate student will work closely with a UW-Madison graduate student and will spend part of the summer in the field working alongside 2-3 other students. This project is an opportunity to gain experience both in the field and in the laboratory, as well as to work on an interdisciplinary team to study chemical fate in aquatic systems.
Qualifications Required The undergraduate should be pursuing a degree in environmental engineering, environmental science, chemistry, or a related field. A driver’s license and good driving record (>2 years) is required to drive field vehicles. Prior laboratory and/or field work is helpful, but not required; we will teach all needed sampling and analytical skills.
In-Person Tasks The undergraduate student will be part of a team studying TFM fate in at least one river during the summer of 2022 Part of the summer will be spent at the field site (location and timing TBD, but likely in the upper peninsula of Michigan in the first part of the summer); housing will be provided through the research project while in the field. Specific field tasks include water and sediment sample collection, as well as assisting with field tracer experiments. The rest of the summer will be spent on the UW-Madison campus in the Water Science and Engineering Laboratory, with housing arranged by the student using SROP funds. The student will assist with analyzing field samples for TFM and the tracers using high-performance liquid chromatography, as well as with conducting laboratory photodegradation and sorption experiments.
Virtual / Remote Tasks The research opportunity is meant to be fully in person. However, there will be opportunities for flexible work location when processing data and reading papers.
Approx. Work Hours / Week 40
Keywords Pesticides, environmental fate, water quality, invasive species, chemistry