CSI: TOWN COMMON
Students crack contamination cases in new geology course
April 15, 2013
By Alexa DeCarr
ECU News Services
Ten East Carolina University students are investigating hazardous waste sites this spring, seeking to uncover who or what is responsible for hazardous materials and pollution recently discovered at the Greenville Town Common.
A new environmental forensics course taught by geology professor Dr. Siddhartha Mitra is the first of its kind at ECU, funded through a National Science Foundation grant. Mitra’s students are examining the underground hazardous waste site by tracking the route of the chemicals and examining this site by sampling soils, water and air.
According to Mitra, there is hydrocarbon contamination in the soils in downtown Greenville, which seeps into the nearby creek and eventually ends up in the Tar River where it can affect wildlife.