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A New Project: The Paintshop Pond

(Cassie Porter and Caroline MacVicar taking mud samples from Upper Waban Brook)

Last week, two of our undergraduate lab assistants, Cassie and Caroline, and our new lab manager Shelley McCann went to take samples from four different locations. They collected mud samples from Morses Pond, Paintshop Pond, Upper Waban Brook, and Lake Waban.

Paintshop Pond was once the site of a paint factory that at its peak, made "six tons daily" (Ostfeld). Over the years, there have been expansive remediation efforts, but many chemicals still remain. Our researchers will focus on the Paintshop Pond and explore the role microbes play in the pond ecosystem. In order to study their collected samples, the team created Winogradsky columns.

They used old newspapers as their carbon source and boiled egg yolks as their sulfur source. Over the course of a couple weeks, the columns will separate out into distinct layers with a variety of colors.

Writer: Hannah Dong

Pictures courtesy of Shelley McCann

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