Lindsay Reynolds

MSc student
University of Ottawa

I completed my B.Sc. Geology at Mount Royal University in Calgary, Alberta in 2016. I began my undergraduate degree with a dream of pursuing a career in environmental geology. While the program at Mount Royal allowed me to gain diverse experience and knowledge, I graduated even more passionate about developing a career which would contribute to the science environmental geology.  The year I graduated I was fortunate enough to gain employment at Mount Royal University where I worked for one year as an Instructional Assistant in the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences. This position provided me the experience of operating of the faculty’s X-Ray Diffraction and X-Ray Fluorescence equipment while working with both students and faculty. This work sparked a passion for geochemistry as I grew more familiar with lab techniques, and learned to teach and share my knowledge with students and colleagues.

I am working under the supervision of Dr. Ian Clark and Dr. Uli Mayer on my master’s thesis at the University of Ottawa. We will be working with Environment Yukon’s Site Assessment and Remediation Unit (SARU) as a part of the Yukon government’s ongoing work to clean up legacy contaminated sites. We will be working on an airport maintenance fuel facility in the remote community of Old Crow, Yukon. Our program will utilize and adapt sampling techniques developed at a site in Bemidji, Minnesota for this permafrost setting. This northern site presents unique challenges which require the adaptation of sample techniques in order to factor in natural organic carbon input from the regions non marine sediments, as well as monitor seasonal biodegradation rate changes associated with permafrost regions. In addition to method development, a new in-field sample preparation technique will be tested in this study. Some of the CO2 samples will be prepared in the field to form a barium carbonate compound for atomic mass spectrometer analysis. A comparative analysis of both the traditional graphitization method and the new barium carbonate method will be conducted to determine efficiency of this new technique. Samples will be analysed in the A.E. Lalonde AMS Lab at the University of Ottawa. Our work will assist the Yukon Government in cleaning up contaminated sites as an effort to protect both the environment and human health.