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Deborah Sills

2003 - 2004 CSIP Fellow

Research Interest:
Civil and Environmental Engineering

I am excited about the idea of teaching school children how to use science andmathematics as a tool to investigate issues in environmental engineering, environmental risk analysis, and sustainable development. My research interests lie in the field of bioremediation of synthetic organic pollutants, the fate and transport of pollutants in the environment, the environmental risk from human exposure to dangerous pollutants, and pursuing ways to reduce environmental degradation with sustainable technologies. I am currently conducting experiments with bacteria that degrade dichloroethene and vinyl chloride. I am investigating how the bacteria utilize and transform these organic pollutants into innocuous substances. I am also interested in pursuing research in the field of biofuel (such as methane ethanol and hydrogen) production.

I would like to teach the application of math and science to both understanding and improving the environment. I can imagine, for example, developing instructional modules illustrating the way in which pollutants migrate in groundwater and how engineered strategies for their remediation might be evaluated. Additional possibilities include conducting a risk assessment study about how migrating pollutants might cause cancer in humans, or teaching how a systems approach could be used to evaluate the generation of biogas from waste materials.





Copyright 2006 CSIP, Cornell University