Allen Dai, ’22, Undeclared
I investigated methane emissions from wastewater treatment plants, which, along with agricultural-waste systems, produce a significant and rapidly increasing percentage of global methane, nitrous oxide and ammonia emissions. I participated in fieldwork to help quantify these emissions by driving a mobile lab topped with trace-gas sensors around wastewater treatment plants for several transects on a weekly basis. After gathering these raw data, I parsed and organized them for ease-of-use before post-processing in MATLAB. I also wrote scripts to visualize the data in Google Earth. I gained a lot of valuable experience in data analysis, conducting field experiments, observing and analyzing atmospheric processes, and working as part of a team. The work I participated in has made me curious about how research informs and drives policy, and I definitely want to learn more about how to support policy changes aimed at creating a cleaner environment.