My research is based on the pollutants that are found within the different bodies of water that surround New York City. In order to determine these types of pollutants, water samples must be chemically analyzed. To complete this research we are collaborating with the members of the Billion Oyster Project, as they will help us collect water samples and sediments from the sites where they have placed their oyster beds.
Thus far, I have read the Billon Oyster Project manual which explains the protocols that they use to collect data from each of their different sites. I have also read several other scientific documents that provide me with background knowledge on the subject. I have been to Governor’s Island with Dr. Mojica alongside one of my research team members to see how the oyster beds are kept and to get an idea of how we will be collecting our water and sediment samples. While some of our tests will be done on site, such as the dissolved oxygen test, we will be bringing water samples back to the laboratory where the samples will be analyzed using atomic absorption spectroscopy (AAS), high performance liquid chromatography (HPLC) and gas chromatography-mass spectrometry (GC-MS). We will be heading back out to Governor’s Island this Wednesday to collect our first samples and then we will collect samples from different sites around the city in the upcoming days.