The project that I’m doing this summer is actually a continuation of work I’ve done since last September, and it builds off of fieldwork that a Ph.D. student in my lab completed in the summers of 2015 and 2016. Here’s the rundown of everything that’s happened so far:
The plants and sediment core were shipped from Greenland to our lab on the Evanston campus, frozen, and stored.
Since September, I’ve freeze-dried and solvent-extracted the plants, developed a method for filtering and chemically separating the extracted compounds, and prepared the extracts for analysis.
Step by step, I’ve been working to prepare the samples for analysis (via gas chromatography/mass spectrometry—GC-MS—and isotope ratio mass spectrometry—IRMS). Only after those measurements are complete will I be able to reach any conclusions about Little Sugarloaf Lake’s paleoenvironment.