By Madeline Zschiesche | Jan 8, 2020
UW Tacoma Environmental Chemistry and Hydrology Lab field team

The Environmental Chemistry and Hydrology Lab at UW Tacoma hosts undergraduate research projects with an emphasis on freshwater ecosystems, along with a long term Superfund project looking at metal contamination in water and organisms in local lakes. As a result of their environmental health related research, sustainability is at the forefront of the minds of the lab’s researchers.

Lab manager Erin Hull notes that in keeping sustainability in mind at work, many researchers make it a habit at home too. Their UW Green Laboratory Gold Certification reminds them why sustainability practices are important, and encourages lab occupants to keep up sustainable habits.

“There aren’t many green certified labs at UWT yet, so we want to inspire others to go through the process,” explains Hull.

Hull challenges other labs looking to go green to brainstorm how to cut waste, especially with other labs. Besides being better for the environment, it could save you a lot of money too!

The Environmental Chemistry and Hydrology Lab has many innovations to show for its own creative thinking, such as building their own sampling devices to incorporate free reused materials and to fit their specific research needs, for cheaper than a patent design.

Although not everything can be recycled at UWT facilities, one of the lab coordinators goes the extra mile to collect materials not accepted at UWT and bring them to local recycling centers. UWT is on the rise for sustainability, as it researches how to promote proper waste sorting and raising awareness on similar environmental issues. For more info on the Environmental Chemistry and Hydrology Lab, contact lab manager Erin Hull at hulle@uw.edu.

Photo of the lab field team, from left to right: Kenneth Burkart (Environmental Science student), Marco Barajas (Research Tech), James Gawel (Lab PI), Samantha Fung (UW Seattle graduate student), and Erin Hull. Photo by Ryan Moriarty.