Ocean acidification research opportunity: advancing pH measurement technologies in the Delaware Estuary and Delaware’s Inland Bays

The Delaware Environmental Institute is accepting applications for an undergraduate research opportunity for a project called, “Advancing pH measurement technologies for coastal ocean acidification monitoring in the Delaware Estuary and Delaware’s Inland Bays,” with Prof. Wei-Jun Cai’s research group.

A significant portion of atmospheric CO2 is absorbed by our oceans. While this removes large portions of CO2 from our air, potentially reducing global warming, it gradually acidifies our oceans. Furthermore, these changes in acidification occur at a greater rate in nearshore waters as compared to the open ocean.

This gradual increase in ocean pH interferes with the ability of many ocean organisms to develop shells and skeletons, having disastrous effects on oyster reefs, coral reefs and ultimately the human food chain. Delaware’s shellfish aquaculture industry is still in its infancy so understanding the impacts of acidification on local ecosystems is crucial for this industry to thrive. Despite the urgent threats that acidification poses to Delaware’s estuarine and coastal ocean waters and the resources therein, we currently lack the appropriate tools to properly measure and assess its impacts in state waters. Without acidification monitoring, the development of effective adaptation and mitigation strategies in these areas is impeded.

The undergraduate student selected for this opportunity will learn practices and methods associated with mCP-based spectrophotometric pH analysis and with sensor operation and deployment.

To apply send a cover letter, resume and transcript to Yolanda Williams-Bey at yolanda@udel.edu no later than Friday, Dec. 10, 2021.

University of Delaware, 2 December 2021. More information.

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