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Research Interests - Dr. Graham F. Peaslee

Characterization of Metals in Lake Sediment Samples

My research group uses two sophisticated research tools to study the extent of metal contamination in the environment. We use the Hope College Ion Beam Analysis Laboratory to perform quantitative elemental analysis on solid, liquid and even aerosol particulate samples. Particle Induced X-ray Emission (PIXE) spectroscopy is ideal for multi-element detection of heavy metals in the environment, and this summer we will combine the results of this technique with the Hope College Inductively-Coupled Plasma (ICP) Spectrometer to expand our studies of the local watershed sediments. Students will help design environmental research questions to address, prepare samples for analysis and then perform the measurements and data analysis. Students are trained to run the instrumentation and data acquisition systems, as well as the data analysis software. Specific projects this summer will include metals analysis of Lake Macatawa and Lake Michigan sediments, as well as development of new metals analysis techniques for lake sediments and samples of biogeochemical interest.