Last week Science Extension student Kristina participated in an excursion to Caltex Terminal at Kurnell where she met with her mentor and site remediation manager, Damien. Kristina is continuing to develop her Science Research Project as part of this course and has chosen to study the impact of sulfates on anerobic hydrocarbon-reducing bacteria native to the sub-surface soils. Kristina had to participate in a Safe Work Method Statement Review and sign on to the work permit before she was able to draw samples of the groundwater and sediment for further laboratory study.
Kristina hopes to culture the anaerobic bacteria back at school and determine whether additional sulfate generates more growth in these bacteria which are helping remediate the contaminated site. Kristina is fortunate to have support from teachers at school, a microbiologist at UNSW and Damien (an environmental engineer and remediation specialist). She is learning to collaborate with many experts from different backgrounds in order to achieve scientific progress in her chosen area of study.
- Mrs Lucas