Austin John Dosh's blog

Making the Sun do our Dirty Work

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How can we use the sun’s energy to clean our water of hazardous materials? This summer, I have had the opportunity to study that question working in the labs at the Universidad de Puerto Rico Mayagüez (UPRM) doing research in the Civil Engineering Department, specifically in the Environmental area, under the mentorship of graduate student Alba Lacen and the advisement of Dr. Pedro Tarafa. There are a variety of dangerous chemicals that get into our water from many sources and removing pollutants becomes a problem for wastewater treatment plants to handle. Atrazine, an organic compound, is one such substance. Atrazine is a potent endocrine disruptor in humans and animals alike.

Jumping into a Summer of New Experiences

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I dove headfirst into this summer not knowing what to expect. It is hard to believe that one month ago I was stepping off a plane in Puerto Rico not knowing anyone. Over the past four weeks, I have made friendships and professional research connections that will last a lifetime. I came to Puerto Rico knowing very little about what sorts of adventures this summer would hold. Due to the strike within the UPR system at the time, everyone was feeling their fair share of uncertainty regarding the summer’s plans. I am incredibly grateful for all the steps that were taken to accommodate for such circumstances and to provide us all with the best experience possible; it has been incredible.

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