Environmental Sciences Ph.D. Program

Dual successes for Hammerschmidt for E.S. Ph.D. faculty member

Dr. Chad Hammerschmidt, an assistant professor in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences has received word that a proposal, entitled "Mercury Biogeochemistry on the Continental Shelf and Slope." will be funded by the National Science Foundation-Chemical Oceanography program.

Little is known about the sources and cycling of toxic methylmercury in marine systems. Methylmercury is the form of mercury that bioaccumulates and biomagnifies in marine food webs, especially piscivorous fish, and represents the primary human health concern related to mercury in the environment. Benthic mercury methylation on the continental shelf and slope is a potentially significant contributor of methylmercury to the marine environment, including biota and the open ocean. This three-year investigation will focus on processes and reactions affecting the seasonal cycling of methylmercury in sediments and waters over a broad region of continental shelf and slope of the northwestern Atlantic Ocean.

In addition, Dr. Hammerschmidt was recently informed that his alma-mater, University of Wisconsin-La Crosse, chose him to receive the 2008 Rada Distinguished Alumni Award.

Congratulations to Dr. Hammerschmidt! What a way to start the New Year!