Students to present research projects – Hobart and William Smith Colleges \
The HWS Update

Students to present research projects

Three seniors at William Smith College will talk about their research projects at 7 p.m. Tuesday, April 17 in the Finger Lakes Institute Classroom.

Karen Thorp will speak on “Haze Events and Visibility Variations for Several Sites across New Hampshire.

Air pollution – particles in the air that reduce visibility, negatively impact our ecosystems and cause respiratory ailments in people – is often visualized as haze or smog in metropolitan areas. It is also present in even pristine environments, such as the White Mountains of New Hampshire. Thorp’s study quantified visibility in New Hampshire, identified chemical composition of the air pollution there, and illustrated air pollution source regions. She will explain the issues surrounding air pollution and justify project findings.

Megan Crocker will talk about “Going with the Flow: Evidence for Changes in Circulation in Seneca Lake During the Holocene.

Layered sediment of the Finger Lakes records information about changes in environmental and climate conditions over the past 18,000 years or so. Within Seneca Lake, there are erosional features at water depths of 26 meters. Two hypotheses have been proposed to explain these features: intense lake level fluctuations or increased erosion due to intensified internal wave activity. Crocker will explain how she is able to determine changes in relative current velocity over the past roughly 12,000 years by analyzing two sediment cores collected from the northern region of Seneca Lake, which stretches between Geneva and Watkins Glen, N.Y.

Rachel Sukeforth will offer an “Investigation of Anthropogenic Sources of Chloride in Skaneateles Lake.

Skaneateles Lake is the primary source of drinking water for residents of the city of Syracuse, and preliminary data show increased concentrations of chloride in that lake over the last century, especially since the 1940s. Increased use of salt and other materials to melt the ice on wintry roads, as well as residential growth in the watershed are potential factors contributing to this increase. Sukeforth will outline suggested future research to identify the exact sources and their contributions to the increase in the water’s chloride concentration.

The program is free and open to the public; registration requested by calling ext. 4382 or e-mailing