Over the summer I began work on my senior thesis, which is looking at the isotopic signatures of carbon and oxygen in hurricane and non-hurricane years in Loblolly Pine form North Carolina. Therefore, I set up and tested an α-cellulose extraction method on some Loblolly pine. This process is essential to my thesis as it isolates the cellulose from each sample, which closely correlates with climate. I was able to run my trial cellulose samples through the mass spectrometer, and learn how to trouble shoot some issues that can arise.
The last week of my summer research I went to North Carolina to collect my Loblolly Pine samples. Four sites were chosen with increasing distance from the water. At each location three trees were cut down, as well as two soil samples from near each tree were taken (a shallow soil sample and a deeper soil sample). Pine needles were also taken from each of the trees that were cut down. In addition to these samples, three older trees were cored.