Students in Professor Mez Baker-Medard’s Fall 2014 ENVS 401 senior seminar focused on lead poisoning prevention hosted 5 Wellesley College students and Professor Dan Brabander for a collaborative exchange of ideas, data gathering techniques, and analysis methodologies. Professor Brabander’s research focuses on lead in soils and compost in urban environments, which was a perfect complement to thi
nking about these issues in the more rural context of Vermont. Through comparative concept mapping of lead in urban and rural systems we were able to dig into policy implications, stakeholder analyses, and remediation approaches. Professor Brabander also brought his portable XRF to measure lead content in soil and compost samples that Middlebury students collected. This provided a third measure of lead content (other readings taken from a rented handheld XRF as well as provided by Middlebury’s CHEM 311 class GFAAS measurements) to compare the results across these three techniques. This peer-to-peer exchange of ideas across colleges was a great compliment to the collaborative teamwork of ENVS 401.