Stress on the System: Implications of Stormwater Runoff in Wellesley’s Botanic Gardens and Potential Remediation Techniques
Through SERP I investigated the concentration of heavy metals along transects at sites with varying gradients and distance from the road. I sought to understand how correlations between elements could reveal whether or not they shared point sources and informed their current and past behavior within the system. My motive for working on this project was to gain a better understanding of what variables affected the bioaccumulation and transport of heavy metals in the soil as I studied hydrology and toxicology on a small scale. This project allowed me to gain a better statistical, sampling and analytical understanding of the system. Through site analysis and experimentation on [EOI] X-Ray Fluorescence readings, we verified the presence of lead arsenate years after the end to the use of lead arsenate fertilizer on the apple orchard trees in the Botanical Gardens. The project goals were to develop methods for analyzing [As, Fe, Pb, Zn] along transects near line source (road) and establish In-situ Niton XRF method for analyzing metals in soils. In the future, the narrative could gain an evaluation of seasonality of road salt (Cl measurement), a mass balance approach to evaluating the fate of heavy metals as well as increasing sample sizes to better the statistical results.
Collaborators/advisors: Louisa Crane ‘19 (Paulson Initiative), Dr. Dan Brabander (Geosciences), Dr. Jenn Yang (Botanic Gardens/Paulson Initiative)