We are using a common method to isolate dissolved organic matter from water called solid phase extraction (SPE) cartridges. Each of these cartridges is a plastic collumn with a small amount of porous material at the bottom that bonds to organic material (ours contain 5g of solid phase, but they come in all different sizes).
|Our extraction set-up!|
As the organic matter is loaded onto the collumn, a dark band appears at the top of the solid phase. Throughout the process we monitor the water that comes out of the collumn to determine when a significant amount of the organic matter is no longer bonding to the collumn and is actually just flowing through the solid phase (this is known as "break through"). At this point, we stop dripping water through the collumn and it is time to get our organic matter out!
|Two completed C18 Cartridges after 15L of water were passed through each collumn|
|The beginning of the extraction|
|The band of organic matter is moving down!!|
|... almost to the syringe...|
|Here it comes! Look at that golden color :-)|
|... and out comes the organic matter!|
At the end of this long process, we have a gorgeous amber brown material that will later be dried down to a powder for all of my experiments at OSU!!
|The syringe at the end of the extraction full of our precious organic matter|
Okay, so now for the promised animal pictures :-). Allison and I headed out a couple of days ago to the Oksrukuyik Creek (pronounced Oxy-curic) to collect more water. As we were driving, we spotted a muskox, which looked like a mass of fur moving along the river!
|Unfortunately the muskox is a little out of focus, but he looked like a walking long haired wig!|
|While scoping out field sites we also spotted an Alaskan Lake Trout!|