Monday, June 22, 2015

Mercury Moss Project

Rachel and I are working on a mercury moss project that deals with determining the amount of airborne mercury near an incinerator that's located near us. This project was first brought up to us by Dr.Anthony Carpi, he’s a professor at John Jay College in New York, and he had already performed this experiment so he was here at the museum with us last week helping us with our project. Today, we got our gloves on and started working with Lynne and she helped us rinse containers with mild ivory soap, which the containers we rinsed will be filled with distilled water and the sphagnum moss will soak in this distilled water for 24 hours. Once we did that we closed the container with its lid that was also rinsed with the ivory soap. For the poles that will be placed on the sites located in our map, we made measurements on the poles to indicate where we wanted the construction shop to drill the holes, the shorter pole that goes across the longer pole is 14 inches long and will have a ¼ inch hole through it to attach it to the longer pole, and it will have 2 ⅛ inch holes on each side of it to have the strings go through them and hold the moss. I drew a picture of how the poles should look like to give to the construction shop, and these poles are going to be placed near residents home that live near the incinerator, so Rachel and I also made phone calls to these residents in order to get their permission to place these moss samples. I’m super excited for the turn out of this project, I feel like the initiation of this project is off to a great start.

Moss Project

Me and Brigitte are doing an internship that is focusing on the amount of mercury in the air around the incinerator in New Haven. We will be placing poles with moss bags attached to them around the East Haven area. The bags are going to capture whatever is in the air allowing us to now how much mercury is in the air. So far we have prepared the moss and are making adjustments to the poles. Our first step was to make sure everything was clean. To accomplish this we used distilled water and ivory soap. The next step was to place the moss in a container filled with distilled water. After we did this we made phone calls to make arrangements with some Evo kids about placing our poles around their homes. Once we complete the prep work, we will hang the poles and leave them for 3 weeks. Once the moss is collected we are going  to take a trip to visit Dr. Carpi. Our project is based on his research. He is a professor at John Jay College of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry. He was kind enough to offer us guidance for this project and is even doing the analyzing for us.