Sunday, July 1, 2012

Deonte’ Thomas's Research Experiences for Undergraduates, Summer 2012 - Part 1

Hello everyone, 

My name is Deonte’ Thomas and I am an undergraduate student who will be attending Missouri University of Science & Technology in the upcoming fall semester, with Morehouse College as my alma mater. I have been participating in research at the National High Magnetic Field Laboratory (NHMFL) for four weeks so far, working with Virginia Eller, PhD candidate, and Vincent Perrot, postdoctoral associate, all under the direction of Dr. Vincent Salters, director of geochemistry at the NHMFL.

Being that I have a physics background, working in a geochemistry lab has been a completely new experience. I find myself taking those simple techniques from my freshman chemistry lab and using them to make solutions that were often too “dangerous” for school. A few weeks ago, working in a clean room with hazardous materials seemed like something out of a movie, but I am doing it today and now in the process of performing Multiple Collector – Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometry (MC-ICP-MS) on fish samples that I prepared using acid matrix digestion procedures. Deep in thought, whilst reading countless papers, I’ve often said to myself, “This sounds too much like science fiction to be real,” but this will be my life for the next few weeks and I have been enjoying every bit of it.

I look forward to sharing some of my findings with you on the fractionation Mercury in my fish samples pre and post gulf oil spill.

Best, 
Deonte’ Thomas

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