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SFSU Public Affairs Press Release

Published by the Public Affairs Office at San Francisco State University, Diag Center.

Contact: Merrik Bush-Pirkle
phone:(415) 338-1665

The following are highlights of presentations by San Francisco State University faculty at the American Geophysical Union meeting:


With higher levels of arsenic showing up in groundwater and drinking water, scientists and natural resource agencies are scrambling for new ways to remediate this toxic problem. Like integrated pest management, which uses naturally occurring organisms to control pests in agriculture, some researchers are turning to nature to combat arsenic.

In a presentation scheduled for Tuesday at 2:45 p.m., SF State chemistry professor Dr. Bruce Manning, et al, will discuss ongoing research that employs naturally occurring minerals like iron and manganese oxides, and "engineered" materials such as zero-valent iron, to extract arsenic from water. While iron metal itself does not bind arsenic, the iron oxide corrosion product has a high arsenic binding capacity. Applications include creating "reactive barriers," like sand mixtures, that are heavily laced with reactive metal oxide materials. The sand functions like a sieve, or filter. When contaminated water passes through, the arsenic is left behind.

Of his new findings, Manning says, "We're starting to understand how to take advantage of the natural tendencies metal oxide-based materials have to immobilize pollutants such as arsenic. In addition, we're trying to control the redox state of arsenic to keep it in the most immobile, and least toxic form."

Presentation Title: EXAFS Analysis of As(III) and As(V) Reactions with Fe and Mn Oxides.

Abstract No: H22F-05; Author Contact:; (415) 338-1292

Date/Time/Location: Tuesday, 2:45 p.m., MC 302


The equatorial Pacific upwelling ecosystem is known to be low in silicate, relative to nitrate, and to be a major source of CO2 release into the atmosphere. Phytoplankton like diatoms feed on inorganic carbon, preventing it from "upwelling" to the atmosphere, but carbon consumption depends on how much silicic acid the water contains-the more silicic acid, the more carbon these tiny marine algae consume.

SF State biological oceanographer Dick Dugdale, et al, has been studying silicic acid levels in the equatorial Pacific, finding great discrepancies among areas. Dugdale and colleagues will present research on Monday at 4:05 p.m. showing the complex interaction of upwelling systems throughout the equatorial Pacific, its impact on silicic acid distribution, and the subsequent effect on carbon release into the atmosphere.

Presentation Title: Sources of Silicate and Nitrate to the Pacific Equatorial Upwelling System and Effects on Ocean/Atmosphere CO2 Flux

Abstract No : OS12E-10; Author Contact:; (415) 338-3518

Date/Time/Location: Monday, 4:05 p.m., MC-104

Other posters/presentations, by date, include:

Poster Title: Effect of Temperature and Salinity Gradients on Ultrasonic Velocity Meter Measurements

Authors: Bland, RW, Physics and Astronomy Dept., SF State; Simpson, M R., US Geological Survey; Abraham, J., Physics and Astronomy Dept., SF State.

Contact Information:

Abstract No: H52A-23

Date/Time/Location: Friday, 1:30 p.m., McHall D

Presentation Title: Planetary Climate Change," A Geosciences Course for Pre-Service Secondary Science Teachers (and others)

Authors: Dempsey, D, SF State Dept. of Geosciences; O'Sullivan, K, SF State Dept. of Secondary Education; Grove, K., SF State Dept. of Geosciences; White, L., SF State Dept. of Geosciences; Schultz, G., UC Berkeley Center for Science Education; Dutton, D., SF State Dept. of Geosciences.

Contact Information:

Abstract No: PA61A-09

Date/Time/Location: Saturday, 11:25 a.m., MC 121

Poster Title: Ship-based Observations of Wind-Driven Oceanographic Variability Over the Shelf near Bodega Bay, California During June 2000

Authors: Garfield, N., SF State Dept. of Geosciences/Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies; Largier, J., Scripps Institution of Oceanography, UC San Diego.

Contact Information:

Abstract No: OS72B-08

Date/Time/Location: Sunday, 1:30 p.m., McHall D

Poster Title: Wind-Driven Experiment of Shelf Transport (WEST): The Role of Wind-Driven Transport in Shelf Hydrography, Nutrients and Chlorophyll off Bodega Bay, CA

Authors: Wilkerson, Dugdale, Garfield, Marchi, Hogue, SF State's Romberg Tiburon Center for Environmental Studies; Largier, J., Scripps Inst. of Oceanography, UC San Diego; Kudela, R., Ocean Sciences Dept., UC San Diego.

Contact Information:

Abstract No: OS72B-09

Date/Time/Location: Sunday, 1:30 p.m., McHall D

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Last modified April 24, 2007, by Office of Public Affairs