Superfund Research Program
Curtis Hansen, a recent graduate of Dartmouth College, spent summer 2010 participating in the ARRA Summer Research Experience. He studied the trophic transfer of metals through aquatic food webs and ecosystems, and was able to exercise and improve his laboratory skills. He prepared a variety of samples of fish, crabs, worms, and other aquatic organisms for metal analysis after they had been collected from field sampling sites. Curtis also worked with laboratory populations of Fundulus Heteroclitus, a species of killifish more commonly known as the mummichog. In addition to taking care of the fish on a daily basis, he also assisted in conducting of an ongoing series of experiments to explore how factors such as temperature and diet quality can affect the way in which the fish take up metals from their environment, in order to better understand how metals move through food webs in natural ecosystems. Curtis was already very familiar with this research, as he had been involved in it ever since his freshman year at Dartmouth, working part-time during the academic year, and full-time during his off terms.
The ARRA Summer Research Experience has not only allowed Curtis to work on exciting research projects such as these, but it has also given him the opportunity to develop laboratory skills and knowledge that are sure to remain useful in the future.