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Research Spending & Results

Award Detail

Awardee:UNIVERSITY OF MARYLAND
Doing Business As Name:University of Maryland College Park
PD/PI:
  • Neil V Blough
  • (301) 405-0051
  • neilb@umd.edu
Award Date:12/09/2019
Estimated Total Award Amount: $ 230,000
Funds Obligated to Date: $ 230,000
  • FY 2020=$230,000
Start Date:01/01/2020
End Date:12/31/2021
Transaction Type:Grant
Agency:NSF
Awarding Agency Code:4900
Funding Agency Code:4900
CFDA Number:47.050
Primary Program Source:040100 NSF RESEARCH & RELATED ACTIVIT
Award Title or Description:A Targeted Approach to Delineating the Source(s) and Optical Properties of CDOM
Federal Award ID Number:1924595
DUNS ID:790934285
Parent DUNS ID:003256088
Program:Chemical Oceanography
Program Officer:
  • Elizabeth Canuel
  • (703) 292-8359
  • ecanuel@nsf.gov

Awardee Location

Street:3112 LEE BLDG 7809 Regents Drive
City:COLLEGE PARK
State:MD
ZIP:20742-5141
County:College Park
Country:US
Awardee Cong. District:05

Primary Place of Performance

Organization Name:University of Maryland College Park
Street:
City:
State:MD
ZIP:20742-5141
County:College Park
Country:US
Cong. District:05

Abstract at Time of Award

A Targeted Approach to Delineating the Source(s) and Optical Properties of Chromophoric Dissolved Organic Matter The colored components of dissolved organic matter (DOM) absorb light to varying degrees in all natural waters. This material, known as colored or chromophoric dissolved organic matter (CDOM), plays an essential role in determining the color of natural waters and influences the amount of ultraviolet and visible light that penetrates into water bodies. Because CDOM absorbs strongly in the ultraviolet, it can protect aquatic organisms from damaging radiation, whereas its absorption in the visible can reduce the amount of light available for photosynthesis, thus potentially affecting aquatic ecosystems. The absorption of light by CDOM also initiates a series of photochemical reactions, which produce reactive oxygen species that can transform CDOM and other compounds, and affect the availability of essential trace metals to aquatic organisms. Despite its established importance in aquatic chemistry, the compounds and structures that give rise to light absorption and emission and produce the photochemical reactions are still poorly understood. This work will use a series of laboratory tests to identify chemical groups within the CDOM that influence its optical and photochemical properties and how these vary with source. These tests (and the information they can provide) include: 1) the effect of sodium borohydride reduction on the optical absorption and emission properties (contribution of ketones/aldehydes to optical properties); 2) pH dependence of the spectral absorption and emission before and after borohydride reduction (identify contributions of carboxylic acids and phenols and possible electronic interactions between these groups and ketones/aldehydes); 3) the effect of anoxic dithionite reduction on the optical properties (content and impact of quinones to optical properties); 4) molecular size dependence of the optical properties of CDOM from differing sources/locales and how this may be affected by borohydride reduction and pH. This work will focus on laboratory studies of humic substances and of archived samples of CDOM acquired in past field work from diverse oceanic and freshwaters sites, but will be augmented by samples collected from the Chesapeake Bay through a complementary collaboration with a NASA project that aims to examine water quality in shellfish beds through direct sampling and optical remote sensing. This proposal will further support plans to initiate a program for talented and gifted students at Kenmoor Middle School in the Prince George’s County Public Schools in Maryland. Plans for this program include presentations/demonstrations to the students and faculty at the middle school that are related to the goals of this project, followed by a visit of an interested, select group of students to the PI’s laboratory where they will be allowed to see and operate some of the scientific instruments employed in this project and be involved in additional hands-on demonstrations. This award reflects NSF's statutory mission and has been deemed worthy of support through evaluation using the Foundation's intellectual merit and broader impacts review criteria.

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