Wednesday, March 14, 2012

Call for Field Sampling Assistance


This post will be a brief departure from the usual stuff I write about. Basically, I am hoping to spread the word that I need some help with my summer sampling this year. I feel a bit weird about asking you, my readers, for help, but I am getting desperate to find someone so I thought I might as well give this a shot.

For the past two years I have been sampling major and minor watersheds in the Yukon and Northwest Territories looking for radioactive iodine-129. The results so far have shown that substantial quantities of 129I released from nuclear fuel reprocessing have been transported to the Arctic via a combination of direct atmospheric transport or volatilization from the ocean and subsequent atmospheric transport. The iodine then deposits on the landscape through precipitation or settling of particulate matter and is then transported via runoff or groundwater to the rivers where I sample it. The results from the summer of 2011 showed a sharp increase in the fallout of 129I leading us to surmise that Fukushima had released some 129I that had then made its way into the Arctic. However, more work is needed to confirm this, and this summer we are going to look at a time series of data as opposed to a single sample representing the entire summer. Essentially we want to look at the entire cycle of iodine and radioactive 129I in and out of a given watershed for an entire summer.

To this end I am soliciting the internet and the readers of my blog to spread the word that I am looking for someone who is in the Yukon and northwest NWT for the summer to take weekly water and rain samples for me over the course of the whole summer. So if you know anyone who might be able to help me out please let me know and spread the word! 

Thanks everyone for your help.

North Klondike River. Tombstone Territorial Park. Yukon (May 2010)

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