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Students interested in environmental chemical analysis have the opportunity to pursue formal course work and research projects that will prepare them for careers in government, private industry, and academia. Besides the well-equipped chemistry research and teaching laboratories in Smith Hall, a biogeochemistry laboratory and water quality analysis laboratory exist in the recently renovated Lennon Hall. The Water Quality Analysis Laboratory is certified through the Environmental Laboratory Assessment Program (ELAP) and by the National Environmental Laboratory Accreditation Conference (NELAC).Analytical equipment available for undergraduate research and training encompasses a large array of spectroscopic instrumentation, laser diffraction particle size analyzer, x-ray fluorescence, flame and graphite furnace atomic absorption, autoanalysers, and many types of chromatographic equipment, as well as control equipment for experimental conditions (high vacuum line, inert
Faculty and students interested in environmental chemical analysis have conducted numerous research projects, including pesticide reduction in Lake Ontario game fish, movement of herbicides through ground and surface waters, movement of pesticides through aquatic food chains, distribution and bioavailability of heavy metals in sewage sludge amended soils, the cycling of anthropogenic heavy metals in various terrestrial and aquatic systems, reductions in phosphorus in lakes, and phosphorus entrainment in lakes. Students have participated in "green-chemistry" research, studying alternative, environmentally benign solvent systems and exploring alternative synthesis methods that minimize hazards and prevent pollution. Since the 1970s, this active research program has received funding from the National Science Foundation, the U.S. Geological Survey, New York Sea Grant Institute, the Great Lakes Program of the Environmental Protection Agency, and the Camille & Henry Dreyfus Foundation.Students involved in these hands-on research activities have presented their work at the annual meetings of the Great Lakes Research Consortium, the Pittsburgh Conference of the American Chemical Society, the National Council of Undergraduate Research, and at research symposia of the Rochester Section of the American Chemical Society.
As a result of these student-faculty interactions at SUNY Brockport, about half of the chemistry undergraduates of the past 10 years have continued their education at Ph.D.- granting institutions such as SUNY Buffalo, Johns Hopkins University and Pennsylvania State University. The Department of Chemistry also enjoys close ties to local companies including Eastman Kodak Company, Midland Corporation and Sabin Metal, that provide students with important internship opportunities. Hence, students in environmental chemistry have obtained employment with private analytical laboratories such as Columbia Analytical and Larsen Engineers, companies such as Eastman Kodak Company and Xerox Corporation, and government analytical laboratories such as Monroe County Environmental Health and the Van Lare Pure Waters laboratories.