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Final Progress Reports: University of California-Berkeley: Training Core

Superfund Research Program

Training Core

Project Leader: Catherine P. Koshland
Grant Number: P42ES004705
Funding Period: 2000 - 2011
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Final Progress Reports

Year:   2010  2005 

Training and mentoring activities during 2010 directed graduate students and postdoctoral scholars to explore environmental fate and transport data from hazardous waste sites. The context for the training was both the analysis of field data collected at hazardous waste disposal sites and the development of improved monitoring technology for the assessment of human exposure to environmental mercury.

Though assigned primarily to a single project or core, trainees continue to be encouraged to communicate with their peers in the program. Where possible, trainees rotate between laboratories to gain additional experience, to work with different methodologies, and to better understand the work of the program across fields of study.

One Graduate Student Researcher studying Molecular Toxicology, recipient of a Research Supplement to Promote Diversity in Health-related Research, continued her research, splitting lab time between Biomarkers of Chemical Exposure and Leukemia Risk and Functional Profiling of Susceptibility Genes. In addition to her research work, this student is actively involved, as both a member and an invited speaker, in groups geared toward encouraging minority students to pursue higher education.

The trainees have been actively involved in the development of peer-reviewed manuscripts and presentations. Trainees are invited to speak about their work at regular lab meetings, where they can practice and gain confidence in their presentation skills and discuss their findings with peers and mentors. Our trainees have also been invited to present talks and posters at scientific meetings.

The 25 plus years of Superfund remediation have generated a database of pre- and post-remediation monitoring that can be used to assess the field-scale transport of contaminants and the effectiveness of implemented remediation activities. Monitoring data from hazardous waste sites are extensive but not necessarily logically organized and not always in digital format or compatible with geospatial information. Thus, activities involved extensive analysis of data from a selected hazardous waste site at the Savannah River Site to quantify source terms, natural transport, and how remediation altered the migration of tracers and achieved contaminant recovery. An additional graduate student trainee continued to make advances on the development of isotopic mercury analysis for understanding the sources of mercury found in the food chain.

The Core personnel are in the process of connecting all the trainees with the Superfund Research Program SPAN initiative.

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