Trainees

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 of 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. This work sparked a passion for geochemistry as I grew more familiar with lab technique and sharing 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. Our work is focused on subsurface diesel contamination 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 organic rich sediments and accurately apportion soil gas contributions from contaminant degradation.  In addition to degradation studies, a new in-field sample preparation technique will be tested in this study. Some of the CO2 samples will be obtained in the field as an inert barium carbonate compound. This small solid sample will require minimal processing before radiocarbon analysis by Accelerator Mass Spectrometry. 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.

Being a member of MAGNET has provided me with a wealth of unique and formative experiences as a geochemist. I consider myself to be fortunate to have worked with fellow geochemistry students and leaders. All of the other trainees have taught me so much about what they study and how they are helping to move this exciting field forward. Not only have I learned about the multiples facets of geochemistry, I have been able to make professional relationships which I know will serve us throughout our bright careers.