Below is an image of electrode types I made for a one of my lab mates to use in a presentation he gave this past year at the Goldschmidt Conference.  The idea was for the electrode furthest to the left to demonstrate electrochemical measurements in the sediments of the core, while the other two electrodes demonstrate types of electrodes used for measurements in the overlying water.

Electrodes. Image created in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Electrodes. Image created in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Block Diagram for the Prairie Pothole Region

I did a bit of work for a couple of the students in my research group who are studying the water chemistry dynamics of the Prairie Pothole Region.  My job was to create a diagram of the common flow path for water through the often ephemeral water bodies.  I have edited this diagram for them to use as abstract art (see Sleighter et al., 2014) as well as several posters and presentations!

Water Flow Path in the Prairie Pothole Region.  Image created in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Water Flow Path in the Prairie Pothole Region.  Image created in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Environmental Science & Technology Graphical Abstract!!

It's finally out!  My paper on flame retardant partitioning to dissolved organic matter (DOM) entitled, "Partitioning of Polybrominated Diphenyl Ethers to Dissolved Organic Matter Isolated from Arctic Surface Waters," was officially published in Environmental Science & Technology last week.  Many journals, including ES&T, have started requiring a submission of a "graphical abstract" or "table of contents art" with each article.  The goal of  the graphical abstract is to display the poignant points of your article in image form, with minimal text.  I find this change encouraging, as it demonstrates the slow shift in the scientific community towards greater appreciation of communication of information via images and graphics.  The graphical abstract to my paper is displayed below.

Quadrupole Mass Spectrometer

The mass spectrometer (MS) is an incredibly useful tool which you can use to identify compounds through their molecular weights (the analysis actually gives you a ratio of the ion mass to charge or m/z)!  There are many different possible configurations for a MS, but the basic parts are the same as pictured below (ion source, mass filter, and detector).   This is a diagram I created as a study aid for my candidacy exams that pictures the configuration for the MS that I use for my lab work.  I have altered it a little so that I can use it to teach other students that come to work in our lab how our mass spectrometer works.  

An updated version of this graphic was just posted to a developing open-source database for scientific graphics developed by somersault18:24.  Check it out at their website!!

How an Electron Impact (EI) quadrapole mass spectrometer works.  Image created in Adobe Illustrator CS6

Partition Coefficients

The partitioning of organic compounds in the environment is extremely important to understand when examining the transport, degradation, and fate in the environment.  We use partition coefficients (denoted with a K) to describe the relative amount of the organic compound in each environmental compartment.  For example, the K(DOC) describes the relative amount of the organic compound that exists partitioned to dissolved organic matter compared to the amount that remains freely dissolved in water.  This graphic illustrates several important coefficients that we use to describe this partitioning.

Where do organic compounds go in the environment?  Image created with Adobe Illustrator CS4