Shristi S. Prakash

Shristi S. Prakash, 2009











Portia Leigh, 2009







Ji Yeam, 2010



Shristi S. Prakash
B.S., Environmental Science, 2009
Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids in the Puget Sound


Shristi is currently investigating Perfluorinated Carboxylic Acids (PFCAs) which are synthetic chemicals applied in carpet, paper and textile industries to render products water and oil repellant. She will be collecting and testing water samples from various locations around the Puget Sound for various chain lengths of PFCAs. These compounds are also used as processing aids in the production of fluoropolymers typically used as non-stick coatings in items such as pots and pans.  PFCAs are characterized by a carboxylic end-group and hydrophobic perfluorinated chain of various lengths. The widespread detection and bioaccumulation of PFCAs in the environment is of increasing concern. Perfluorooctanoate (PFOA) the 8 carbon version of PFCAs has been detected in various environmental samples including sediment, biota, ground and surface waters as well as human serum. The potential toxicity of these compounds is also of concern.  This study is important in evaluating all chain lengths of PFCAs since there have been no previous studies examining the presence and concentrations of these emerging class of persistent organic pollutants (POPs) in the Puget Sound.




Student: Portia Leigh
BS., Environmental Science, 2009
Fate of Telomer Alcohols in Terrestrial Environments

Portia is studying the fate of fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs) in terrestrial and plant systems.  FTOHs like many organic chemicals are likely to be found in biosolids resulting from their applications. Soil is a complicated matrix, where organic compounds such as FTOHs typically remain bound.  Extent of binding to soils is a function of the partitioning of these chemicals to organic matter (KOC).  She will be performing experiments using plants native to the Pacific Northweste grown in FTOH spiked soils.  The soil composition that she is using is similar to composition used in rain gardens.  Currently she is developing a method to extract FTOHs from this particular soil type.  Future studies will try to determine plant uptake, loss or biotransformation.

Student: Ji Yeam
Hydrolysis of Fluorotelomer Monomers

Ji is currently investigating the hydrolytic stability of telomer-based monomers as a function of pH and temperature.  He will be testing various chemical linkages tested including ester, ether and urethane linkages. The kinetics and mechanism of hydrolysis as well as identification of products will also be examined.  The hydrolytic stability of these compounds is of importance as they may enter aquatic systems through various routes including urban run off, drainage, waste disposal and industrial effluent. Thus, these compounds may be subjected to hydrolytic reactions that may release fluorotelomer alcohols (FTOHs), compounds found to be precursors to perfluorocarboxylic acids (PFCA) such as perfluorooctanoic acid (PFOA).  This study is critical in evaluating all potential sources of this emerging class of persistent organic pollutant (POP) in the environment.



Student:  Chris Pyke

Water and Sediment Quality Monitoring of First Creek in Tacoma WA: A service learning project in collaboration with City of Tacoma and First Creek Neighbors.

Description to come.