Jennifer Santoro ’11 Conducts Summer Research at Tulane

Jenn Santoro '11 inserts samples into the
Jenn Santoro '11 inserts samples into the "dirt burner."
Environmental studies major Jennifer Santoro '11 explored another avenue of science when she did organic geochemistry research at Tulane University this summer. She worked under the direction of Dr. Brad Rosenheim at Tulane, with the support of an NSF Office of Polar Programs (LARISSA) grant to Eugene Domack, Hamilton’s J.W. Johnson Family Professor of Geosciences.

Domack and Rosenheim have been working on a Programmable Ramped Pyrolysis Analyzer for carbon dioxide extraction (dirt burner) for a few years and it promises to change the way in which radiocarbon samples are run on bulk organic materials, such as sediment samples.

Santoro also had the chance to take her samples (taken from Antarctic materials collected this year) to the WHOI NOSAMS lab at Woods Hole where they were converted to graphite for radiocarbon analysis. The system helps to eliminate older reworked carbon particulates and concentrates the younger material in order to obtain a more accurate age assessment for the time of sedimentation.
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