EMPOWER Students Take to the Field

EMPOWER held it’s second Domestic Field Course on Sunday August 4th through Friday August 16th. Throughout the two week class, participants worked collaboratively to design research questions, execute a field campaign, analyze water samples in the laboratory and interpret their findings at several regional sites, including Hubbard Brook Long-term Ecological Research Site and Fayetteville Green Lake.

Week one was directed by SU Engineering Professor and EMPOWER PI Charley Driscoll. The class traveled as a group to Hubbard Brook in Conway, New Hampshire. There, students designed nitrate addition experiments and conducted streamflow measurements using salt dilution and velocity-area measurements.

Week two was led by Laura Lautz and Chris Junium. Students learned about the geochemistry of both Fayetteville Green lake and Meadowbrook in Syracuse. While at Green Lake, students conducted water chemistry profiles, water sample collection and field observations. Laboratory techniques including ion chromatography were performed in the Lautz lab back on campus.

Through self-designed research projects, students brought complimentary expertise in field work, analytical chemistry, data analysis and public speaking to their experiences at Hubbard Brook and Green Lake. Experience working on collaborative, interdisciplinary projects is an important component of our trainees professional development training. Next summer, EMPOWER will again hold an international field course in Rwanda to visit a shale gas basin in the process of formation and to explore unique energy systems in the developing world.