"Last year I was looking for a challenge. I wanted to do an undergraduate research project and compose a thesis paper. When I found the University Scholars Program it was exactly what I was looking for. I hope to learn as much as I can about Spodosols, our state soil as well as carbon sequestration, sea-level rise, coastal forest retreat, and subaqueous soils. I also want to gain experience collecting samples in the field and running them in the lab. My goals for this year include presenting my research as a poster presentation at the 12th Annual UF Soil and Water Science Forum and the 2011 International Annual Meeting of the Soil Science Society of America in San Antonio, TX. I also plan to submit my thesis to an academic journal for publishing."
Soil and Water Science, Environmental Science
I am primarily interested in global climate change, carbon sequestration, and Earth's global systems. There is a substantial amount of carbon stored in the Earth's soil. What happens to this sequestered carbon after it is drowned by rising sea-level is of particular interest as well as the implications of this carbon on the global budget.
- Florida Opportunity Scholarship (2007-2011)
- Florida Medallion Scholar (2008-2010)
- National Smart Grant (2011)
- Florida Academic Scholars Award (2007)
- Dean's List (2009)
- UF Wetlands Club
- Agronomy and Soil Club
I volunteer with the Gainesville Community Foundation, a non-profit organization focused on connecting donors in the community with non-profit agencies to build sustainable funds. I also participate in environmental clean-ups (Santa Fe River, Tumbling Creek, Apollo Beach, etc.)
Hobbies and Interests
- Kayaking, fishing, boating, camping, hiking trails, interior design, photography and spending time with my dog.
Drowned Spodosols as a Result of Sea-Level Rise
The concentration of carbon dioxide as well as other greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is increasing. As a result global climate patterns are changing and sea-level is rising. In Florida, the effect of rising sea-level is important because of the relatively flat topography; a small rise in sea-level will have a significant influence on the retreat of coastal forests (Desantis, et al. 2007) as well as the associated soils supporting those systems. Spodosols occupy approximately 27% of the land area of Florida and are estimated to contain about 20kg/m of carbon (Stone, et. al, 1993). Spodosols have a spodic horizon in which subsurface carbon and metals accumulate and are stored (Villapando, and Graetz, 2001). However, it is unknown what happens to the carbon in these soils once the forest is drowned and currently there is no information on how much carbon has been lost from these soils. It is anticipated that drowned spodic horizons will retain some of their terrestrial carbon, Iron and Aluminum. The soil samples were collected from St. Augustine, FL and Seahorse Key, FL. Methods used in this experiment include (1) analysis of imported data of Florida Spodosols from the Florida Characterization database, (2) determining the location of drowned Spodic horizons (3) obtaining soil samples using traditional hand tools and a virbracore, and (4) analyzing the soil samples by Walkley-Black chromic acid wet oxidation, total carbon and total nitrogen using an analyzer, weight loss-on-ignition, pH in water (1:1), electro-conductivity, Munsell color comparison, and sodium pyrophosphate extraction. The characteristics of these soils (%C, %Al, pH, color, etc.) are compared to the criteria of a Spodosol in Soil Taxonomy.