Training Days

by Britta Voss
Tuesday, October 26th, 2010

An important aspect of the Global Rivers Project is acquiring a time series. For weekly samples from the Fraser Basin, we are indebted to our colleagues at the University of Fraser Valley — Steven Marsh, Sharon Gillies, Alida Janmaat, and seven of their brightest undergraduate students. Yesterday, we met up with them at Fort Langley to demonstrate the newest, streamlined sampling procedure. After being rained on, and having our equipment peed on (by a dog), we were delighted to retire to a real laboratory (as opposed to our motel bathroom) and have a dedicated workforce in waiting…

Undergraduate students! They took the reins, using the two pressurized filtration units to filter 60 L of water. Today, they helped us run the filtered water through resin-filled cartridges that catch dissolved organic matter (including lignin compounds). Back at WHOI, the organic matter will be eluted off the cartridges and the lignin compounds separated for radiocarbon analysis by Yvonne Feng (a postdoc with Tim Eglinton), to constrain the rate of terrestrial organic matter cycling within, and export from, the Fraser River watershed.

Amazingly, the UFV students have agreed to repeat this lengthy lignin extraction three times a year (at high, intermediate, and low flow) as part of the time series. A big thank you to these budding scientists.

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