Short Name:

Molecular Level Characterization of Dissolved Organic Carbon and Microbial Diversity in the WAIS Divide Replicate Core

This award supports a detailed, molecular level characterization of dissolved organic carbon and microbes in Antarctic ice cores. Using the most modern biological (genomic), geochemical techniques, and advanced chemical instrumentation researchers will 1) optimize protocols for collecting, extracting and amplifying DNA from deep ice cores suitable for use in next generation pyrosequencing; 2) determine the microbial diversity within the ice core; and 3) obtain and analyze detailed molecular characterizations of the carbon in the ice by ultrahigh resolution Fourier Transform Ion Cyclotron Resonance Mass Spectrometry (FT-ICR-MS). With this pilot study investigators will be able to quantify the amount of material (microbial biomass and carbon) required to perform these characterizations, which is needed to inform future ice coring projects. The ultimate goal will be to develop protocols that maximize the yield, while minimizing the amount of ice required. The broader impacts include education and outreach at both the local and national levels. As a faculty mentor with the American Indian Research Opportunities and BRIDGES programs at Montana State University, Foreman will serve as a mentor to a Native American student in the lab during the summer months. Susan Kelly is an Education and Outreach Coordinator with a MS degree in Geology and over 10 years of experience in science outreach. She will coordinate efforts for comprehensive educational collaboration with the Hardin School District on the Crow Indian Reservation in South-central Montana.

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