“The chemistry department is awesome!” said James Madison University chemistry student Allison Wickham. “We work on undergrad projects that other chemistry students – even across the U.S. – don’t get a chance to do.”
She carefully emptied a shovelfull of soil gathered from the White House Farm Foundation property into a plastic ziplock bag. She planned to use a different technique to compare the nitrate and phosphorous results of Dr. Dan Downey’s environmental field camp which came to farm this past May.
We walked down the driveway, discussing the naturally eroded terraces, the land use and history of the property and picked out several other sites to gather soil. We then followed Kauffmans Mill Road along the riparian buffer to gather a water sample from a new wellhead.
She reiterated her satisfaction at being able to conduct the field research at the farm.
“I picked the right school for chemistry,” she said, “we get to go out and do projects like this in the field – it is hands-on learning.”