Student researchers will learn how to use essential methods in water quality testing. They will assist undergraduate research students in projects involving roadside water springs and runoff from agricultural land in the Cayuga Lake watershed.
Throughout New York State there are dozens of documented and undocumented roadside springs that people use for drinking water. This project was inspired by a desire to understand the quality and safety of these springs for human consumption. Students at Ithaca College under the direction of Professor Sinton have been analyzing several springs for bacteria, dissolved solids, and pesticide contamination. Visit the IC Roadside Springs Data Hub.
Professor Sinton writes:
Since 2011, I have been teaching and conducting research in the Environmental Studies and Sciences Department at Ithaca College. My goal is to prepare my students for success in graduate school and/or the workplace upon graduation. At the same time, I want to instill a sense of responsibility toward the environment with the hope that they will lead society to a better, more sustainable place.
For motivated students, I provide opportunities for exciting and relevant research. My research group uses the local area to assess water quality and test for heavy metal contamination in the sediments of Fall Creek. Other students have been helping me with understanding geology and oceanography of the seafloor surrounding the Galapagos Islands. Energy and materials are important for a sustainable future and my students are using the production of maple syrup as an exercise in studying energy intensity of commercial products. This is done with funding from the Dominion Energy Foundation and in collaboration with ENVS South Hill Forest Products.
I maintain a lab in CNS 272 that contains an extensive rock and mineral collection, an Olympus polarizing microscope, a Dionex IC-900 ion chromatograph, and a muffle furnace. The lab is well equipped to analyze water for a variety of common inorganic species.