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New Frontiers Seminar Series: Organic Contaminants and Snow

All faculty and students are invited to attend the next New Frontiers Seminar Series lecture. The speaker will be Professor Frank Wania, Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences, UTSC. His talk is entitled "Organic Contaminants and Snow".  

Abstract: Effects of contaminants on organisms are most likely to occur when concentrations and therefore exposure are high. While most processes in the environment lead to a dilution and degradation of contaminants, there are also mechanisms that concentrate and amplify contaminants in space and time. Understanding those mechanisms is not only an intriguing puzzle, but also important in efforts to minimise the potential for unexpectedly high exposure of organisms to contaminants. Snow has a remarkable ability to contribute to contaminant amplification. For example, on a large scale, a seasonal snow cover collects and stores atmospheric contaminants over the winter, only to release them in concentrated pulses during a short spring melt season. On a smaller scale, processes are operating within a melting snow pack that can further amplify contaminant concentrations early or late within the melt season. This presentation will illustrate how we use a combination of laboratory experiments, field studies and computer simulations to get a detailed mechanistic understanding of the contaminant amplification processes occurring during snow melt. Our ambition is to develop a predictive capability: Which contaminants are most amplified during snow melt? What snow and melt conditions favor contaminant amplification in melt water?  

Date: Thursday February 9th, 2012
Time: noon-1pm
Location: AA-160

This seminar is a great way to learn about great research that is taking place at UTSC. The New Frontiers Seminar Series is organized by the Graduate Students' Association at Scarborough (GSAS). This talk is supported by the Office of the Vice-Principal, Research and the Department of Physical and Environmental Sciences at UTSC.

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