Summer Field Camp – Environmental –

Day 1 | Day 2 | Day 3 | Day 4

Day 1

Morning

Soil Geochemistry

The group was involved in a contaminated soil remediation experiment in the Treme neighborhood of New Orleans. Using a new in situ intervention exercise that involves roto-tilling high phosphate products (Crystal Green) into two soil test plots, the students were able to evaluate a cost effective, in situ, soil lead (Pb) remediation method. A typical method used to resolve high levels of Pb in soils is excavation and removal. However, this form of hazard intervention is expensive. The aim of the phosphate addition method is to combine phosphorus (P) with soil Pb to form a sparingly soluble Pb-phosphate mineral in situ. It is known that the extremely stable and insoluble Pb-P mineral called pyromorphite can form in soils with excess Pb and P present. At this residential location in the Treme neighborhood with high levels of Pb (typically > 2000 ppm) in the yard soil a previously untried phosphate product was applied to the soil by the students.

The students spent their time clearing the land, adding the phosphate, adding muriated potash, and broadcasting grass seeds to subsequently stabilize the soils (photographs 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, & 6.) They also collected soil samples that that examined in the electron microscope in order to understand the speciation of Pb in the soil that is being remediated.

Afternoon

Hurricane Katrina Aftermath

First, the students viewed examples of the levees built to protect New Orleans from water inundation. Next, the group toured the Ninth Ward of New Orleans, which was particularly hard hit by Hurricane Katrina and many residences remain uninhabited (photographs 7 & 8) The group also visited a new sustainable neighborhood (with affordable housing and a community center) in the Lower Ninth Ward of New Orleans, at Holy Cross. Here Global Green, in partnership with Brad Pitt, sponsored an international design competition during the summer of 2006. The resulting Holy Cross Project was designed for five single-family homes, an 18-unit apartment building, and a community center/sustainable design and climate action center (photographs 9, 10, 11, & 12.)

 

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