By Sean Grim ’14
Civil engineering major Emily Crossette ’15 (Glennfield, Pa.) is contributing to the cleanup of the local ecosystem by helping to develop an improved metric for quantifying compounds that may cause mutations in fish.
Crossette has received a $50,000 Environmental Protection Agency fellowship to fund continued work on wastewater testing that she has conducted with Art Kney, associate professor and head of civil and environmental engineering. The award provides tuition and research assistance on campus and will support her summer internship with the EPA, where she will continue her research.
Kney co-developed the existing methodology for calculating the estrogenic compounds released by wastewater treatment plants. Crossette has been working through Lafayette’s EXCEL Scholars undergraduate research program to enhance the efficiency and accuracy of his test. Her experience has sparked a keen interest in society’s “estrogen footprint,” an issue of increasing importance to the ecosystem.
Research suggests that high levels of estrogenic compounds in wastewater may cause mutations in fish. Specifically, there may be a link between increased estrogen levels and the growing population of intersex fish. However, further biological research requires more efficient and effective techniques for measurement of estrogenic compounds.
President of Lafayette’s Society of Environmental Engineers and Scientists (SEES), Crossette is dedicated to preserving the health of the environment through improving stewardship of the Earth. After graduation, she plans to attend graduate school for an advanced degree in civil and environmental engineering. She hopes to promote sustainable urban development by designing innovative stormwater and wastewater infrastructure.
For information on applying for scholarships and fellowships, contact Julia A. Goldberg, associate dean of the College, (610) 330-5521.