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year, they began collecting and analyzing the data with the help of two graduate students, Christopher Saber ’05 and Jay Dahl ’05. “There are three collection sites that I visit several times per month,” Saber said; “I collect both rainwater and air samples from each site that have been captured in foam sponges and filters, and I bring the collection back to the lab for Dr. Tallmadge and Jay to measure and analyze.” The three sites are located both upwind and downwind of the City of Erie with the intent of quantifying the extent and characterizing the transport of the PAHs to the bay and lake. “These chemicals are routinely emitted into the atmosphere from industry and automobiles, with their primary sources being

incomplete combustion of coal, wood, oil, and gasoline,” Homan said. “A lot of the pollution comes from vehicles and industry, and the PAHs tend to settle into the lake, which acts like a sink.” It is believed that the amount that is present in the air and the way that these chemicals travel have a direct impact on health issues associated with air quality around the Great Lakes. Once the filters have captured the PAHs, Dahl uses an extractor to rinse the contaminants off the sponge, turning them into a liquid form. “After extraction,” Dahl said, “the liquid is put through a drying column into the concentrator apparatus.” According to Tallmadge, once the contaminants are concentrated, they are injected into a Gas Chromatography/Mass Spectrometry (GCMS) that compiles the data into a form that can be analyzed.

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Christopher Saber ’05, Michelle Homan, Ph.D., Weslene Tallmadge, Ph.D., and Jay Dahl ’05.

Profile for Gannon University

Annual Report of the President 2005  

Read all about the amazing changes taking place throughout the year at Gannon! The Annual Report of the President is a year-in-review docume...

Annual Report of the President 2005  

Read all about the amazing changes taking place throughout the year at Gannon! The Annual Report of the President is a year-in-review docume...