Lake Superior State University
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Alum Success

Rachael graduated from Novi High School in Novi, Michigan. Rachael completed their senior research project by developing a method of detecting blastomyces dermatitidis in soil using PCR. This study lays the foundation for further studying blastomyces dermatitidis in soil samples from endemic regions in northern Michigan. Rachael is a member of the Alpha Chi Honor Society. Rachael recently was selected to go to MSU to train in qPCR techniques and assisted in their cow bacteroides project. Rachael plans to attend graduate school in the future to study biochemistry.

Rachael Cunningham
2010 Outstanding Graduate
Forensic Chemistry

School of Physical Sciences Faculty & Staff

Faculty

Christopher Heth

Christopher Heth

Assistant Professor
B.S.E 1999, Minot State University
B.A. 2004, Minot State University
Ph.D. 2010, North Dakota State University

Analytical Chemistry, Forensic Chemistry, Chemical Education

Alexei Iretski, Ph.D

Alexei Iretski

Professor
M.S. 1981, St. Petersburg Institute of Technology
Ph.D. 1984, St. Petersburg Institute of Technology

Inorganic Chemistry, Physical Chemistry, Biofuels

 

Steven Johnson

Assistant Professor
B.S. 2002, Northern Michigan University
Ph.D. 2010, Michigan Technological University

Biochemistry, Forensic Chemistry

Megan Kelly

Assistant Professor
B.S. 2008, Arizona State University
M.S. 2010, University of Minnesota
Ph.D. 2013, University of Minnesota

Environmental Organic Chemistry, Water Resources Science

Paul Kelso

Professor
B.S. 1986, Lake Superior State University
M.S. 1990, University of Minnesota
Ph.D. 1993, University of Minnesota

Geomagnetics

Adam Mosey

Adam Mosey

Assistant Professor
B.S. 2003, Northern Michigan University
Ph.D. 2010, Michigan State University

Synthetic Organic Chemistry, NMR Spectroscopy

Andrea Munoz-Hernandez

Assistant Professor
B.S. 2001, University of Sonora
M.S. 2003, University of Sonora
M.S. 2008, Michigan Technological University
Ph.D. 2009, Michigan Technological University

Geographic Information Science (GIS), Hydrogeology, Resource Management

Matthew Spencer

Assistant Professor
B.S. 1994, Lake Superior State University
M.S. 1999, Pennsylvania State University
Ph.D. 2005, Pennsylvania State University

Geophysics, Climatology

Marshall Werner, Ph.D

Marshall Werner

Professor
B.S. 1993, Cornell University
Ph.D. 1998, University of Maryland, College Park

Biochemistry, NMR Spectroscopy

Derek Wright

Derek Wright

Associate Professor
B.S. 2001, Lake Superior State University
Ph.D. 2008, Rutgers University

Environmental Inorganic Chemistry, Biogeochemistry

Staff

Roger Blanchard

Roger Blanchard

Adjunct Professor
B.S. 1979, Eastern Michigan University
Ph.D. 1986, University of Akron

Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemistry

Barbara Keller, Ph.D.

Barbara Keller

Dean, Professor
B.S. 1977, Idaho State University
B.S. 1978, Idaho State University
B.S. 1986, Idaho State University
Ph.D. 1995, Montana State University

Analytical Chemistry, Environmental Chemsitry

Ora (Chuck) McCready

Adjunct Professor
B.S. 2010, Lake Superior State University

Geographic Information Science (GIS)

Dave Myton, Ph.D

David Myton

Associate Provost, Professor
B.S. 1980, George Fox College
M.S.T. 1991, Portland State University
Ph.D. 1991, Portland State University

Environmental/Analytical Chemistry, Chemical Education

Thu Nguyen

Thu Nguyen

Adjunct Professor
B.S. 2003, College of St. Benedict
Ph.D. 2011, Michigan State University

Organic Chemistry, Medicinal Chemsitry

Ashley Smith

Ashley Smith

Adjunct Professor
B.S. 2007, University of Toronto
M.S. 2011, Laurentian University

Molecular Biology, Biochemistry

Benjamin Southwell

Benjamin Southwell

Environmental Analysis Laboratory Manager and Instrumentation Chemist
B.S. 2002, Lake Superior State University
M.S. 2013, Central Michigan University

Analytical Chemisty, Environmental Chemistry, Forensic Chemsitry

 

Mary St. Antoine

Mary St. Antoine

Laboratory Manager
A.S. 1987, Lake Superior State University
B.S. 1990, Lake Superior State University

Geology

Donna White

Donna White

Department Secretary (II)

Alternative Management of Anaerobic Landfill Bioreactors for Improved Energy Potential

Josh Kuzimski

Converting municipal solid waste to usable energy is an emergent and growing method for modern waste management. Through microbial facilitation of methanogenesis, methane gas can be extracted from landfill bioreactors to yield a significant amount of usable energy. The hypothesis was that a sufficient addition of sodium acetate to a controlled bioreactor environment would promote larger growth of methanogenic microbes and subsequently promote a greater amount of methane relative to a control (Madigan et al, 2003). In order to simulate an anaerobic bioreactor environment, the method for the study took place in modular sections to cover the design, construction and operation of laboratory scale bioreactors. Upon completion of bioreactor engineering, the biological and chemical components were scrutinized to match ideal conditions of a landfill. Methanosarcina was the chosen genus of the methanogen family to seed the bioreactors, and a total elemental analysis of the waste source was analyzed to approximate methane yield. Over 557 hours, each bioreactor produced approximately 1.3 liters of biogas with less than 1% containing methane. Given analysis through gas chromatography, the bioreactors may have had stunted methane production do to presence of argon gas in the headspace and/or low C/N ratio of the waste. The presence of argon should have been replaced with nitrogen, and the waste source should have contained more carbon per nitrogen. The generation-3 design of constructed bioreactors was successful in containing all gasses, liquids, and solids internally, however did not produce enough methane biogas to accept or reject the hypothesis.

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