Two ENVS Talks at the Science Symposium

At this week’s science symposium we enjoyed two talks from our ENVS majors. Joe Ruggiero presented work on his research on pyrrhotite in Connecticut metamorphic rocks and how it affects the stability of concrete. Pyrrhotite acts as a source of sulfate which can lead to internal sulfate attack (ISA) in concrete foundations. ISA due to pyrrhotite-containing aggregate is the cause of premature concrete failure which affects thousands of homes in northeastern Connecticut.Sarah Messenger, an ENVS / BIOL double major, presented her work on permeable reactive barriers and their role in controlling nitrate inputs into estuaries. Sarah’s thesis started out as a semester-long research project with MBL at Woods Hole. She continued her study on the efficacy of these barriers and is currently working with Dr. Lisa Foster identifying the bacterial communities involved in nitrate reduction.

Both, Joe and Sarah, did an outstanding job. Congratulations!

Over a Decade in the Making: ENVS and CHEM Hire an Environmental Chemist

The last few months were a little bit busy, which is reflected in the absence of recent blog posts. A lot of cool things have happened, so let’s start with the most exciting piece of news first: we hired an environmental chemist!

A long, long time ago, when I was hired to Trinity College I was told that “… and next year we’ll hire an Environmental Chemist”. 17 years and three proposals to the Educational Policy Committee later we finally succeeded. Last fall we advertised for a tenure-track position in environmental chemistry to be split between the Environmental Science Program and the Chemistry Department. We selected Arianne Bazilio from a very strong candidate pool, and we are really excited that she accepted our offer.

Arianne is currently a postdoctoral fellow at the Department of Civil & Environmental Engineering at The University of Texas at San Antonio, where she works on various projects involving the use of nanotechnology in water quality monitoring, as well as physiochemical interactions of contaminants to the built environment. She holds a PhD in environmental engineering from the University of Massachusetts – Amherst, where she studied the role of manganese oxide in the formation of disinfection byproducts in drinking water treatment.

Arianne has also been a visiting instructor at Bates College where she taught various chemistry courses and supervised independent study projects and a senior thesis. Arianne will co-teach ENVS 375 (Methods) together with Amber in the fall and during the spring semester she will offer a course on environmental chemistry.

We’re looking forward to welcoming Arianne in the summer or fall. Her office will be in Clement, so make sure to say hello!