Research Projects

Title: Development of a data framwork for selecting a high elevation site for measurement of gaseous oxidized mercur, halogens and other atmospheric compounds

Objective: Measure atmospheric mercury at high elevation sites across Nevada , California, and Florida using passive sampling systems and newly developed active systems. Use this information to understand the forms of Hg in the air and compare with other data being collected at these sites.

Duration: July 2012- Dec 2013

PI- Mae Gustin

Funding: Electric Power Research Institute

 

 



Title: Refining and testing methods for identifying and quantifying gaseous oxidized mercury  (GOM) in air

Duration:9/12-2/14

Objective-

This project will continue to build on the work that has demonstrated that the species of GOM varies over space and time, and that the currently applied atmospheric measurement system does not measure all species of GOM.We will continue to refine a method for measurement of the amount and chemistry of GOM. We hypothesize that use of different materials and methods will allow us to concentrate specific GOM compounds and further resolve desorption peaks that are unique for individual GOM compounds. GOM species present in ambient air may be different than synthetic mercury compounds permeated thus far; to characterize these we will expand our work and permeate other species.  We will load permeated and ambient mercury compounds into a GC-MS to determine their identity. We will compare these new collection methods with conventional GOM measurement methods (i.e. Tekran) to better understand past GOM measurements and use these data to develop algorithms that will allow for correction of past data.  We will also develop a field-deployable GOM collection and calibration system allowing us to verify ambient GOM measurements, including those made with conventional methods.

Funding: National Science Foundation

 

Co-PIs Mae Gustin; Seth Lyman Utah State

 



Collaborative Proposal: UNR contribution to the RAMIX-Reno Atmospheric Mercury Intercomparison Experiment

Duration: 2/11-2/12

Objective- Compare current and newly developed methods to measure gasesous mercury in air at the same location-University of Nevada Agricultural Extension Farm, Reno Nevada by doing free standing ambient air measurements, ambient and spiked air with all groups sampling on the same sampling manifold.

Funding: National Science Foundation

PI Dan Jaffe UWashington- Co-PIs Mae Gustin UNR; Bob Talbot-U Houston, Anthony Hynes U Miami-  Daniel Obrist DRI-CoPI

Nevada Rural Ozone Intiative

Duration: 1/1/11-12/31/14

Objective: Characterize the spatial and temporal variations of ozone across Nevada. Determine the sources. that is whether anthropogenic and natural and derived from local, regional and/or global sources? Use information to help the state determine what air quality control measures are important for the State of Nevada to reduce ozone concentrations.

Funding: Nevada Division of Environmental Protection
PI: Mae Gustin Co- PI Dan Jaffe

Nevada Renewable Energy Consortium: Municipal Wastewater for Microalgae Biofuel Feedstock Production.

Duration: 10/1/10-9/30/11

Objective: Investigate potential for metal concentration in algae derived using centrate from municiple wastewater and potential feedstock developed

Funding: Department of Energy
PI: John Cushman Co- PI Mae Gustin

Investigation of Potential for Methyl Mercury Production and Inputs From Irrigation Drains in Nevada

Duration: July 2010 to July 2012

Objective: Investigate the potential impacts of agricultural drains on methyl mercury concentrations in surface waters

Funding: USDA HATCH
Co- PIs Gustin, M.S., Donaldson, S.

Measurement of Hg dry deposition and air concentrations from the Pacific Coast to the Basin and Range

Duration: Awarded 06/14/10 –12/31/12

Objective: Apply passive samplers to better understand the distribution of gaseous oxidized mercury across western United States from the Pacific Coast to the Basin and Range.  Sampling locations include-Point Reyes National Seashore, Sequoia, Yosemite and Great Basin National Parks,  a coastal mountain site, and Elkhorn Slough
Location: California and Nevada

Funding: NPS and EPRI
PI Gustin, M.S.
Characterization of fugitive emissions from naturally Hg enriched mining disturbed and undisturbed substances

Duration: Awarded: April 2007 End Date: June 2012

Objective: This project focused on quantifying fugitive Hg emissions from active gold mining operations in Nevada. Fugitive emissions were determined for representative substrates at two active gold mines and scaled up for the area to allow for comparison with point source emissions and emissions occurring from naturally Hg enriched substrate that has not been disturbed. Ongoing work is focused on determing if specific remediation procedures can reduce Hg emissions and whether flux can be estimated using previously developed relationships between substrate characteristics and environmental conditions.

Project location-Nevada

Funding: NV-SDOCNR-DEP
PI Gustin, Mae S

Measurement of Hg dry deposition and air concentrations using surrogate surfaces and passive samplers to aid development of a TMDL for Hg for the State of Florida; and assessment of data collected during 2007-2008

Duration: June 2009 End date Dec 2012

Objective: Determine the spatial and temporal distribution of mercury dry deposition across Florida using surrogate surfaces and a dry deposition model, compile the data into two manuscripts discussing the performance of the samplers and the overall observed trends and sources of observed Hg.

Funding: EPRI

PI. Mae Gustin

Population dynamics of the native fishes in the mainstem Truckee River

Duration: 6/1/2007- 12/31/2011

Objective: Determine the spatial and temporal distribution of mercury and methyl mercury in the Truckee River as well as understand if there are specific flow and water quality conditions that promote methyl mercury formation.
Project location-Nevada

Funding: United States Fish and Wildlife Service
Peacock, Mary (Principal), Gustin, Mae (Co-PI)

Measurement of Hg release from FGD amended soils

Duration: 6/1/2009-12/31 2011

Objective:
Determine the potential for mercury release to the air and irrigation water for FGD amended agricultural soils
Project location
-Nevada

Funding: EPRI
PI-Gustin, Mae 
Integrating multiple methods to understand the atmospheric chemistry of Hg and Hg dry deposition from the Pacific coast to the semi-arid Basin and Range

Duration: 10/2009-9/2012

Objective: This project focuses on investigating identifying the chemical form of reactive gaseous Hg in the air.

Funding: NSF
P.I. Mae Gustin
Workshop on reducing the uncertainty in the measurement of atmospheric Hg Seattle WA Oct 23 to 25, 2008

Duration: 10/2008-10/2009

Objective: This project entailed convening a workshop to discuss uncertainties in the measurement of atmospheric mercury as well as with respect to atmospheric chemistry of mercury.

Funding: National Science Foundation
C0-P.I.s
Dan Jaffe-University of Washington and Mae Gustin
Development of broadly deployable methods for quantifying atmospheric Hg speciation in urban and rural settings in Nevada

Duration: 10/1/2006-12/30/2009

Objective: This project entails the development of passive samplers for determination of reactive and total gaseous Hg concentrations in air as well as surrogate surfaces to be used for monitoring Hg dry deposition. This project involves methods development and laboratory and field testing.

Funding: U.S. EPA through Nevada Division of Environmental Protection and EPRI
P.I.
Mae Gustin Co-PI Eric Prestbo, Frontier Geosciences.
Investigation of causal factors for elevated mercury concentrations in fish tissues in Nevada's reservoirs and state wide education on fish consumption advisories for mercury

Duration: 7/1/2007-6/30/2009

Objective: This project will address the issue of elevated fish Hg concentrations in Nevada reservoirs where there are no clear known legacy mining impacts through 1) generation of a data set that will provide information on the factors responsible for high Hg concentrations in fish tissue, and 2) development of a stakeholder educational program for two audiences: fish consumers and watershed/wildlife/reservoir managers on Hg in fish tissues. The hypothesis for the research component of this project is: reservoir management criteria and watershed inputs affecting water quality are the dominant factors associated with elevated Hg concentration in fish tissue.

Funding: HATCH grant College of Agriculture, Biotechnology and Natural Resources
P.I.
Mae Gustin Co-PI Susan Donaldson NV Cooperative Extension
Quantifying Hg dry deposition

Duration:6/1/2007-5/30/2009

Objective: This project focuses on advancing our understanding of Hg dry deposition through deployment of surrogate surfaces and modeling efforts. This project will expand our work with dry deposition surrogate surfaces to collection of data at a rural location in the western United States and to the southeastern United States. Surrogate surfaces are being developed to quantify dry deposition of reactive gaseous Hg. Different materials as surrogate surfaces will be tested as will the importance of the deposition of atmospheric elemental Hg will be investigated. Reactive gaseous mercury uptake by surrogate surfaces will be investigated in the laboratory under different environmental conditions and reactive gaseous mercury exposures. Field data will be developed to compare modeled reactive mercury deposition and surface uptake.

Funding: EPRI
P.I.
Mae Gustin Collaborators- John Jansen and Eric Edgerton and SEARCH site operators.
Population dynamics of the native fishes in the mainstem Truckee River

Duration: 6/1/07-12/31/10

Objective: This project focuses on developing information on population ecology and population genetic structure of nongame fish species in the Truckee River. The impact of water quality and movement barriers on the native species distribution as well as the potential restrictions on Lahontan Cutthroat Trout will be investigated. Total and methyl mercury concentrations in water and fish along the reach of the river will be investigated. Water quality parameters that may influence methyl mercury production will be characterized. Mercury in fish and carbon and nitrogen stable isotope concentrations will also be determined. This information will be useful for determining if managed flow regimes and riparian restoration projects will promote nongame fish populations in the river and improve water quality.

Funding: U. S. Fish and Wildlife Service Region 6
P.I.
Mary Peacock University of Nevada CoPI Mae Gustin
Assessment of natural source emissions: Speciation, mechanisms and significance

Duration: 11/02 -12/07

Objective: This project focuses on addressing gaps in our understanding of the role of natural sources in the atmospheric cycling of mercury through a variety of field and laboratory studies. Research will focus on quantifying mercury emissions from geologic sources, the speciation of the emitted mercury and the potential for local deposition, evaluation of the fraction of recently deposited mercury being re-emitted from such sources and the mechanisms of mercury release and emission from surface soils. The complication of vegetation emissions and of wildfires as natural sources of atmospheric mercury will also be investigated.

Funding:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR Grant
P.I.
Mae Gustin
Co-PI's Dale Johnson,Peter Weisberg
Collaborators: Steve Lindberg, Hong Zhang
Mercury emissions from coal combustion fly ash and FGD materials

Duration: 9/01-2/08

Objective: Coal fly ash and FGD materials are used for a variety of products. This study investigates the potential for mercury release from these materials via volatilization and leaching.

Funding: EPRI

P.I.: Mae Gustin
Scaling up Natural Source Mercury Emissions at Local and Regional Scales

Duration: 5/99-12/07

Objective: Constrain mercury emissions from sites of natural enrichment of mercury. Scale up emissions using Geographic InformationSystems. Develop local and regional mercury emission estimates.

Funding: EPRI
P.I.: Mae Gustin
Past Research
Measurement of mercury emissions from fill materials

Duration: 4/05-6/07

Objective: This project entails the measurement of air mercury exchange between soils amended with fly ash, sewage sludge, sludge incineration ash and fill materials made with the above. Air-substrate fluxes will be measured and an attempt will be made to develop a surrogate method for predicting emission.

Funding: Minnesota Pollution Control Agency
P.I.: Mae Gustin
Measurement of mercury speciation and the potential for Hg dry deposition in Reno and at two National Mercury Deposition Network Sites in Nevada

Duration:7/05-6/07

Objective: This project entails the measurement of air mercury speciation and the potential for dry deposition at three sites. One located at Desert Research Institute Reno NV and the others at two remote rural National Mercury Deposition Network Monitoring sites.
Funding: Nevada Agricultural Experiment Station
P.I.: Mae Gustin
Reduction of nutrient loading and impacts of mercury contamination from nonpoint source pollution through wetland management, Steamboat Creek Watershed, NV

Duration:
9/03-8/07


Objective: This project uses 10 constructed wetland trains to investigate the potential for methyl mercury production and reduction of sediment and nutrient loading associated with Steamboat Creek Nevada. Steamboat Creek is contaminated with mercury and the largest source of nonpoint source pollution to the Truckee River. Wetland manipulations will be done to mitigate methyl mercury production. A model will be developed that may be applied to mercury contaminated watersheds to predict conditions that would exacerbate or reduce methyl mercury production.

Funding: United States Department of Agriculture
P.I.: Mae Gustin-PO, Keith Dennett, Laurel Saito, Susan Donaldson
Interactions of atmospheric elemental mercury with vegetation and soils

Duration: 10/02-10/07

Objective: This project will use the large mesocosms at Desert Research Institute, smaller multiple plant exposure chambers and a single plant gas exchange chamber to investigate atmospheric uptake and emissions associated with vegetation. The mesocosm study will focus on atmospheric mercury interactions with an uncontaminated tall grass prairie ecosystem. Additional data will be collected using smaller chambers on other plant species.

Funding: National Science Foundation
P.I. Mae Gustin Co-PI's Dale Johnson, Jay Arnone, Alan Gertler
Should constructed wetlands be incorporated into proposed flood control projects for the Truckee River?

Duration: 7/02-12/05

Objective:This project uses constructed wetlands to understand the potential for nutrient removal by the proposed wetlands for the mouth of Steamboat Creek. The wetland system will also be used to assess the potential for mercury methylation within the wetlands. Ten wetlands will be used to assess the above using different sediment and waters.

Funding:U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Wetlands Project
P.I. Keith Dennett Co-PI's Mae Gustin, Eric Marchand
Arsenic in Churchill County domestic water supplies

Duration:9/02-9/05

Objective:This project investigates arsenic speciation associated with ground waters in Churchill County. The project includes an exposure assessment and investigation of irrigation procedures effects on arsenic speciation.

Funding:U.S. Department of Agriculture
P.I. Mark Walker Co-PI's Douglass Shaw, Mae Gustin, Jay Davidson
Mercury Emissions from Hard Rock Mining

Duration: 8/02-7/05

Objective:Construct and operate two Mercury Deposition Network monitoring sites in Nevada.

Funding: United States Environmental Protection Agency Region 9
P.I. Glenn Miller-PI, Mae Gustin, Bob Hall, Dave Jones, Joel Pedersen
Risk analysis and management for Churchill County, Nevada private water supplies

Duration: 6/02-6/04

Objective: Investigate the distribution and potential for prediction of the occurrence of Arsenic in well waters in the Fallon area. Determine the speciation of the arsenic associated with specific environmental settings.

Funding: USDA Cooperative State Research Extension and Education Office
P.I. Mark Walker-PI, Douglas Shaw, Mae Gustin
Mercury release from coal combustion products North Dakota Field Study

Duration: 8/04-11/04

Objective: Constrain mercury emissions from sites of natural enrichment of mercury. Scale up emissions using Geographic InformationSystems. Develop local and regional mercury emission estimates.

Funding: Energy and Environmental Research Center-University of North Dakota
P.I. Mae Gustin
Assessment of the potential for mercury methylation in a representative reach of Steamboat Creek

Duration: 3/04-2/05

Objective: Measure total and methyl mercury concentrations along with other water quality parameters six times over a year for a reach of SBC.

Funding: Cities of Reno and Sparks
PIs: Mae Gustin-PI, Keith Dennett, Laurel Saito
An investigation of nonpoint source mercury pollution in Steamboat Creek and the Truckee River, NV

Duration: 9/01-12/02

Objective: Identify sources of Hg to Steamboat Creek. Investigate mercury and methyl mercury transport under different flow regimes. Identify sites of mercury methylation.

Funding: Nevada Department of Environmental Protection and Washoe County, NV
P.I. Mae Gustin
Processes controlling the chemical/isotopic speciation and distribution of mercury from contaminated mine sites

Duration: 9/99-12/03

Objective: Investigate the processes controlling the mobilization and chemical speciation of mercury associated with mine sites. UNR will characterize mercury emissions and the speciation ofemissions from the mine sites.

Funding: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR Grant
CO P.I.'s Gordon Brown (Stanford University) Mae Gustin (Univ. of Nevada)
Mercury Emissions from Mine Waste

Duration: 10/99-12/03

Objective: Characterize mercury emissions from mine waste prior to andfollowing site remediation. Characterize mercury emissionfrom McLaughlin-Geysers-Clear lake Geothermal area in detail and constrain the parameters most important in controlling emissions.

Funding: USGS
P.I. Mae Gustin
Mercury effects to aquatic invertebrate communities in Stillwater National Wildlife Refuge

Duration: 6/99-12/04

Objective: Investigate the mercury distribution in wetlands inStill Water National Wildlife Refuge. Asses the effects on aquatic invertebrate communities and help with the develop of management plans that reduce the exposure of organisms to mercury.

Funding: Fish and Wildlife Service
P.I. Mae Gustin
Determining the role of plants and soils in the biogeochemical cycling of mercury on an ecosystem level

Duration: 9/99 -12/03

Objective: Use large scale microcosms at Desert Research Institute to look at the biogeochemical cycling of mercury on an ecosystem level. One of the primary goals is to develop a quantitative understanding that vegetation plays in the uptake and emission of the atmospheric mercury.

Funding: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency/EPSCoR
P.I.Mae Gustin Co-PI's Dale Johnson, James Coleman
Mercury sources and methyl mercury production in Nevada streams and rivers

Duration: 8/99-7/02

Funding: National Science Foundation EPSCoR seed grant
P.I.Mae Gustin-PI, Jerry Qualls
Anassessment of mobility and bioavailability of arsenic in surface water, porewater and sediments of the lower Humboldt River System

Duration: 9/99-4/02

Funding:Bureau of Reclamation
P.I.Mae Gustin
Arsenic in Churchill County, Nevada, Private Water Supplies

Duration: 7/01-6/02

Funding:NAES-UNCE
P.I.Mark Walker-PI, J. Davidson, Mae Gustin
Mercury emissions from Lahontan Reservoir

Duration: 6/01-8/01

Objective: This project monitors the diel emissions of mercury from the surface water of Lahonatan Reservoir and the dissolved gaseous mercury concentration in the water.

Funding: CH2M Hill and EPA Region 9
P.I. Mae Gustin
Atmospheric Hg speciation at Sulfur Bank Superfund Site

Duration: 9/01-3/02

Objective: This project investigated the total and reactive gaseous mercury concentrations in the air of the Sulfur Bank Superfund Site and quantified the total mercury flux from the site.

Funding: EPRI
P.I. Mae Gustin
Assessment of the source and forms of mercury in Steamboat Creek and the potential effects of stream restoration on mercury biovailability

Duration: 4/99-3/01

Objective: Determine the mercury concentration in water and sediments of Steamboat Creek and assess the potential effects ofplanned restoration on mercury biovailability.

Funding: Nevada Department of Environmental Protection
P.I. Sue Donaldson, Sherman Swanson, Mae Gustin
International field intercomparison of measurement of mercury emissions from naturally enriched substrate- Nevada STORMS Project

Duration: 4/98-12/00

Objective:

Funding: Electric Power Research Institute
P.I. Mae Gustin
Study of Deposition of trifluoroacetic acid and evaporation and exposure to plants in seasonal wetlands

Duration: 6/97-12/99

Objective: Investigate the uptake and affect of trifluoroacetic acid on vernal pool plants and microbial communities.

Funding: National Science Foundation
P.I. Jim Seiber/Mae Gustin
Development of a budget for mercury in water of the Upper Carson River Watershed

Duration: 3/99-2/00

Objective: Determine the mercury concentrations in water, sediment andmacro invertebrates and methyl mercury concentrations in sediments of the Upper Carson river watershed to assess thePotential for natural sources to impact a watershed.

Funding: Department of the Interior-Geological Survey through Desert Research Institute
P.I. Mae Gustin
Light enhanced mercury volatilization from substrate

Duration: 19/97-12/00

Objective: Investigate the factors associated with light enhanced mercury emissions from substrate using a laboratory gas exchange chamber and in situ using micrometeofological methods. Develop some understanding of how mercury speciation in soils is linked with light enhanced emissions.

Funding: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency STAR Grant
P.I. Mae Gustin
Development and application of field methods and models to quantify the emissions of mercury from natural resources

Duration: 4/98-12/98

Objective: Investigate and measure the emissions of mercury fromnatural sources. Data collected in situ will be used todevelop regional emission inventories. This data is neededto access the importance of natural sources of mercury relative to anthropogenic sources.

Funding: EPRI/UARG
P.I. Mae Gustin
Atmospheric transport and deposition of organophosphate and other pesticides as input to Sierra Nevada Surface waters

Duration: 1996-1999

Funding: USDA
P.I. Jim Seiber, Glenn Miller, George Taylor, Mae Gustin
Mercury field Method demonstration Plan

Duration: 6/97-5/98

Funding: EPA
P.I. Mae Gustin