2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
Paper No. 118-1
Presentation Time: 1:30 PM-5:30 PM

A COLLABORATIVE RESEARCH PLAN BETWEEN FACULTY, UNDERGRADUATE, AND HIGH SCHOOL STUDENTS TO INVESTIGATE AND MAP THE LOCATIONS OF HEAVY METALS IN URBAN SOILS: AN EXAMPLE FROM JERSEY CITY, NJ

FREILE, Deborah, Department of Geoscience and Geography, New Jersey City University, 2039 Kennedy Boulevard, Jersey City, NJ 07305, dfreile@njcu.edu

Old industrial cities on the East coast have accumulated toxins for centuries within their highly disturbed urban soils. Jersey City, NJ is an excellent case study of some of the urban environmental issues facing many of these older cities. Jersey City was the end of the track for numerous railroads transporting manufactured goods due to its proximity to the port cities of Newark, NJ and New York. Industry was central in Jersey City for centuries; this left a legacy of contaminants behind, particularly heavy metals including lead and chromium.

The area surrounding New Jersey City University is economically depressed; low-income housing is co-mingled with working class and working poor, multi-family dwellings. Many of these building are built atop fill that was used to create new land or to raise the topographic elevation. The exact chemical and mineralogical composition of the fill is generally unknown, but regionally it is known to contain chemical waste as well as ore processing waste.

In the spirit of community relations, a pilot project began in the spring of 2007 to test soil samples collected from public parks, playgrounds, and ball fields within a 2 km radius of the university. The aim of this project is to analyze the soils for lead and chromium, as well as to conduct a complete sedimentological and mineralogical assay.

The project involved 5 undergraduate students and the collaboration of faculty from Chemistry and the GIS lab at NJCU. In the summer, three high school students from Union Hill High School (Union City, NJ) were added to the project. These students come from the American Chemical Society SEED program. Project SEED is designed to encourage economically disadvantaged high school students to pursue careers in the chemical sciences. These students work in the laboratory doing hands on research for 8 to 10 weeks and are awarded a $1750 fellowship. The undergraduate students not only serve as mentors to the high school students, they will also present their work at the 2007 GSA annual meeting. The high school students write up their findings and present their work at numerous events including science fairs.

2007 GSA Denver Annual Meeting (2831 October 2007)
General Information for this Meeting
Session No. 118--Booth# 174
Involvement in Geological Research: Close Collaboration among the Faculty and Undergraduate and K12 Students (Posters)
Colorado Convention Center: Exhibit Hall E/F
1:30 PM-5:30 PM, Monday, 29 October 2007

Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 39, No. 6, p. 326

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