Environmental Chemistry of the Arctic
Are you interested in learning about and preserving the environmental quality of Alaska? In this ASRA module, you will spend two weeks examining the Environmental Chemistry of the Arctic. We will investigate both natural and anthropogenic processes occurring in the rapidly changing Alaskan environment through hands-on research, including field-sampling and water quality analysis of local surface waters in Fairbanks. You will get to design and execute your own experiments to examine the reservoirs and fluxes of water, nutrients, and contaminants between environmental compartments: air, soil, and water. You will have the opportunity to collect data using sophisticated analytical laboratory instrumentation, gain experience monitoring and modeling air quality, conduct a mock town hall style meeting to debate current Alaskan issues, various career paths in the environmental arena, and many other awesome and fun activities to discover the interrelationship between chemistry, environmental quality, and society.
Come and join us and unlock your creative and scientific potential!
Jennifer Guerard is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry at the University of Alaska, studying the intersection of water quality and the fate/transformation of contaminants and natural organic matter in surface waters. She combines outdoor fieldwork, lab work, and data analysis in her research methods, and enjoys introducing students to research and helping them develop independence, taking charge of experiments in the lab.
KC Nattinger is a graduate student at the University of Alaska, Fairbanks in the Environmental Chemistry program. His favorite part of research is using chemistry to understand natural phenomena, specifically air pollution. Working as a TA in the general chemistry lab is the highlight of KC’s work week, where he challenges students to understand the applications and importance of the labs they are doing. While many teachers would be disappointed when students mess up their experiment – KC takes those opportunities to guide the students to use their understanding of chemical principles to decipher how and why they made the mistakes – this is where, according to KC, the greatest student learning happens.
Prior to arriving at UAF, KC worked for 7 years teaching and coordinating Field Science programs at NatureBridge (see photo). KC loves working with students outdoors to learn more about how science can explain the amazing world around us, and is looking forward to teaching an ASRA course this summer on water quality to learn what our team can discover about local water quality in Fairbanks!
Sarah Hayes is an Assistant Professor of Chemistry researching how toxic elements move around in the environment and how their toxicity is influenced by mineral weathering, climate, and other factors. Since coming to UAF in 2012, she has developed and taught a variety of courses, each with its own twist to enhance student learning and make the subject fun.