Mr. Amaury Betancourt, a DOE Fellow with the Department of Energy (DOE) Science and Technology Workforce Development Program at Florida International University, collaborated with a team of scientists at the Savannah River Site (SRS) during a summer internship in 2011 to evaluate the effects of an innovative mercury remediation strategy on a real ecosystem. During his 10-week internship at SRS, Mr. Betancourt assisted SRS scientist Dr. Brian B. Looney in taking samples of the sediments and water to determine the distribution of tin along Tims Branch. Furthermore, fish samples from 2006 and 2010, which represent times before and after the initiation of the tin chloride treatment, were analyzed for tin and mercury. Mr. Betancourt’s activities during his summer internship supported the scientists’ findings that mercury concentrations in fish have decreased significantly at all downstream sampling locations. This research supports the innovative and inexpensive treatment concept and the potential for implementation at similar sites that are contaminated with mercury, including the East Fork Poplar Creek (EFPC) in Oak Ridge, Tennessee.
For more information read the “Interim Results from a Study of the Impacts of Tin(II) Based Mercury Treatment in a Small Stream Ecosystem: Tims Branch, Savannah River Site” report.
For more information about the DOE-FIU Science and Technology Workforce Development Program visit their website at fellows.fiu.edu