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Hydrology Group Tracks Mercury Mine Pollution in Central CA

February 24, 2020

Over 115 years of mining (1854 - 1972) at the former New Idria Mercury Mine resulted in extensive and persistent environmental contamination. Mercury, a global pollutant, is a bioaccumulative neurotoxin that adversely impacts human and ecosystem health. Rachel Hohn, a MS student in the Department of Geological Sciences and Water Science Program at CSUN, is working under the direction of Drs. Ganguli and Hauswirth to characterize seasonal variability in mercury concentrations in water and sediment downstream from New Idria, which was designated a Superfund Site in 2011. Additionally, Ms. Hohn is assessing potential downstream impacts to sensitive habitats (e.g., San Luis National Wildlife Refuge) by calculating the mass of inorganic and bioaccumulative organic forms of mercury transported from the site. This multifaceted project would not be possible without support from a dynamic team of more than 15 researchers, including graduate, undergraduate, and high school students, as well as post baccalaureates. To learn more about our work and ways to get involved, please visit our website! ( http://www.priyaganguli.com/)

02/15/2020
From left to right: Kyle Ikeda (CSUN Post-Bac), Philippe Leguellec (high school senior), Rachel Hohn (CSUN MS Student), and Cindy De Jesus Bartolo (CSUN Post-Bac) at the San Joaquin River in the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos, CA

02/16/2020
Rachel Hohn (right) training Kyle Ikeda (CSUN Post-Bac, left), and Philippe Leguellec (high school senior) how to conduct discharge measurements in San Carlos Creek, New Idria, CA.

02/16/2020
Rachel Hohn (brown jacket) training Kyle Ikeda (left), Cindy De Jesus Bartolo (middle) (CSUN Post-Bacs), and Philippe Leguellec (high school senior) how to collect trace metal clean samples in San Carlos Creek, New Idria, CA.

02/16/2020
Cindy De Jesus Bartolo (left, CSUN Post-Bac) and Priya Ganguli (right, CSUN Assistant Professor) measuring basic water quality parameters in San Carlos Creek, New Idria, CA.

02/16/2020
Cindy De Jesus Bartolo (left, CSUN Post-Bac) and Priya Ganguli (right, CSUN Assistant Professor) filtering porewater from San Carlos Creek, New Idria, CA.

02/16/2020
Kyle Ikeda (CSUN Post-Bac) collecting porewater from San Carlos Creek, New Idria, CA.

02/15/2020
From left to right: Priya Ganguli (CSUN Assistant Professor), Philippe Leguellec (high school senior), Kyle Ikeda (CSUN Post-Bac), Cindy De Jesus Bartolo (CSUN Post-Bac), and Rachel Hohn (CSUN MS Student), at the San Luis National Wildlife Refuge, Los Banos, CA.