2021 Student Research Conference:
34th Annual Student Research Conference

Microplastic Abundance in the Chariton River: A Research Proposal

Trey A. Maddaleno
Dr. Barbara K. Kramer, Faculty Mentor

Microplastics, plastic particles shorter than 5mm in their longest dimension, are ubiquitous in aquatic environments and are known to be harmful to life. Despite this, few studies have been conducted on microplastic abundance in freshwater bodies in the United States, with even fewer outside of population centers near the Great Lakes and Northeast. To address this lack of knowledge of rural areas, microplastic abundance in the Chariton River of Northeast Missouri will be investigated.  The rural and agricultural watershed of the Chariton River provides new context for microplastic distributions in freshwater systems. Microplastic particles will be extracted and isolated, sorted, characterized by type, and analyzed with Raman and FTIR spectroscopy. Through these analyses, severity and possible origin of microplastic pollution in the area will be better understood. This information could be critical in determining necessary regulatory action, as well as giving crucial context to global microplastic pollution.

Keywords: proposal, microplastics, water research, environment, river

Topic(s):Environmental Studies

Presentation Type: Asynchronous Virtual Oral Presentation

Session: 1-3
Location: https://flipgrid.com/0d87f987
Time: 0:00

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