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Undergraduate Research Project Management System

Remediation of Metal Contamination Along Alaska's Roadways: A Hydroponic Feasibility Study

Status Current
Seeking Researchers No
Start Date 12/01/2011
End Date 06/01/2012
Funding Source Fran Ulmer Transformative Research Award
Funding Amount
Community Partner
Related Course
Last Updated 03/25/2012 01:03AM
Keywords metal contamination, remediation

People

Faculty
  John Kennish

Student Researchers
  Emily Secrest

Abstract

Soil pollution is becoming a greater threat to the environment, especially as populations and industrial economies expand. There are studies to suggest that several plant species may be useful ¡n reducing the migration of such pollution further down the soil column or perhaps even into the ground water. Given its widespread natural habitat, dandelions (Taraxacum officinale) are an appealing prospect for such soil remediation. The bentgrass family (genus Agrostis) is
also an attractive candidate for study, as some species of this group have also been studied for metal uptake. Uptake of metals by a plant is when the plant takes the metals out of the soil and somehow stabilizes it away from the rest of the soil matrix.

This experiment will examine the ability of either dandelion or a native-Alaskan strain of bentgrass to uptake metal contaminants from its growth medium, which is most often soil. For purposes of the control of extraneous variables, the soil will be replaced by a hydroponic nutrient solution and glass wool for stabilization.

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