Currently a master's candidate, Darleen began her education at Bucknell University , where she graduated in May 2001 with a B.S. in chemistry. During her time at Bucknell, Darleen conducted research with Dr. Alison Draper on the Environmental Impact of Tire Wear Particles .
Here at UMass, Darleen has worked under the supervision of Dr. David Reckhow. Her research, funded by the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR), is focused on the origins of natural organic matter (NOM) in the Wachusett Reservoir Watershed. This research will be the topic of her seminar presentation.
Darleen plans to finish up her M.S. work this fall, and is will pursue a position in environmental consulting. Darleen has many areas of interest within environmental engineering and is keeping an open mind about employment.
Investigation of DBP Precursors in the Wachusett Reservoir Watershed
Natural organic matter (NOM) is a heterogeneous mixture of organic compounds that contribute to both health and aesthetic problems in drinking water supplies. The concentration and composition of NOM depends largely on a watershed's topography, geology, land use, temperature, rainfall and management practices. During disinfection, chlorine and other disinfectants react with NOM to form disinfection by-products (DBP's ). DBP's have been linked to a variety of health related illnesses including reproductive problems, liver, kidney and central nervous system problems and an increased risk of cancer. As a result, drinking water facilities are constantly working to find better and more efficient means of controlling these harmful by products.
An increasing amount of time and effort has been put into exploring the origin and nature of NOM with the goal of controlling it at the watershed level, however a limited number of studies have focused on DBP formation potentials. Interest has developed in correlating NOM to DBP precursors, specifically in targeting the types of NOM which lead to the highest levels of DBP formation. Darleen's research focuses on such issues, and her presentation will include the results of temporal and seasonal variations in NOM and DBP formation potential in tributaries of the Wachusett reservoir watershed .