Research Overview and Links
My research theme is materials for alternative energies. The material that we are investigating now is nanocrystalline cuprous oxide (Cu2O). By illuminating nanocrystalline Cu2O in water with sunlight, the photon energy can be absorbed by the nanocrystalline Cu2O and can be converted to electricity. Our ultimate goal with nanocrystalline Cu2O is to generate hydrogen gas by splitting water (i.e., the production of an environmentally friendly energy source in an environmentally sensible manner).
Traditional lawns may be aesthetically pleasing, but their environmental and economic costs can be significant. Our second project deals with an effort to increase the sustainability of our College's landscaping practices, and we have begun a multi-disciplinary study over several years that will examine the cost-benefits of moving from traditional mono-crop lawns to a mixture that includes grasslands and wildflowers. Our initial efforts will be on a ca. half-acre site that will serve as a pilot study to gather data and experience that can be used in other areas of the campus. We will monitor soil chemistry, biodiversity, economics of lawn vs. non-lawn landscaping, and the attitudes of the college community.
Current Research Students
- Summer 2006 Jen Bell (09)
- Spring 2006 Beth Pallo (06), Whitney Thurber (09)
- Fall 2005 Kira Erikson (06), Shikhar Bajracharya (06), Justin Fisher (06)
- Summer 2005 Kira Erikson (06), Shikhar Bajracharya (06)
- Spring 2005 Thomas Polson (05), Meredith Cummings (06), Kira Erikson (06), Shikhar Bajracharya (06)
- Fall 2004 Thomas Polson (05), Meaghan Daniel (05), Jacy Spado (05), Meredith Cummings (06)
- Summer 2004 Thomas Polson (05), Jacy Spado (05)
- Spring 2004 Meaghan Daniel (05), Thomas Polson (05), Ryan King (06), Joseph Livingston (07)
- Fall 2003 Meaghan Daniel (05)
- Summer 2002 (at Grinnell College, Grinnell, IA) Kwame N'ti-Addae