Sisi Peng, 2019, Geosciences

This project aimed to determine the effects of sea-level rise and associated environmental changes — in particular, the presence of additional ions, the availability of oxygen, and pH levels — on soil with bromide ions in the New Jersey Pine Barrens. During the summer, I ran reactions that varied the concentrations of bromide, sulfate and bicarbonate ions, then made pellets of half of the samples after the reactions finished. My data demonstrated that in the presence of sulfate under anoxic conditions, both chloride and bromide levels in Pine Barrens’ soil drop. I learned how to use and prepare samples for a benchtop X-ray fluorescence machine, and I also improved my organizational and data-analysis skills. I continued the project for my fall semester junior independent work by making pellets of the other half of the samples and by analyzing and comparing the data to those already analyzed to determine how or whether soil type impacts these bromide reactions.

* This internship is connected to the PEI Water and the Environment Grand Challenges project, “Adsorption of Emerging Organic Contaminants on Clay Surfaces.”