Public Lab Research note

Sprint Fellowship Application: Aquatic hydrocarbon sample preparation for Oil Testing Kit

by Shannon | May 13, 2015 13:56 13 May 13:56 | #11811 | #11811

Application due: May 27, 2015
Dates of Fellowship: mid-June to mid-September 2015
Location: Remote, with preference for Portland (OR), Boston area, New Orleans or Raleigh-Durham
Fellowship stipend: $3,000 USD

This research fellowship involves methods development to enable the analysis of oils in environmental aquatic samples using the Public Laboratory spectrometer, largely focused on sample preparation. It is anticipated that adequate sample preparation will involve sample concentration and solvent switching. Methods used will need to be replicable by citizen scientists without access to laboratories, and therefore should avoid hazardous chemicals and utilize widely available, low-cost equipment. The successful fellow will design and conduct sample preparation experiments, document experimental results, and write protocols for appropriate techniques.
The fellow should have a background in chemistry, with environmental chemistry and analytical chemistry experience preferred. The fellow should have experience conducting independent laboratory-based studies and be familiar with data quality assurance and quality control metrics. The fellow will work closely with the Data Ambassador and the Director of Production throughout the fellowship tenure, and will have support particularly in study design, material sourcing, and trouble-shooting.

Successful completion of this fellowship will produce:

  • A robust sample preparation method for aquatic oil samples for analysis by the Public Laboratory spectrometer.
  • Written documentation of trial methods, denoting successes and failures.
  • A comprehensive portfolio of spectra from experimental sample analysis, annotated and uploaded to Spectral Workbench 2.0.
  • Integration of procedural wiki pages with Spectral Workbench 2.0 (e.g. through pop-ups or wizards).
  • Coordination with three contributors to independently test the developed methods.


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