Greenhouse gas emissions from a novel technology for efficient use of manure nutrients (2014)

he Pacific Field Corn Association Hires Project Intern

Lillian Fan is currently working as an intern for the Pacific Corn Field Association, where she participates in a project investigating the relationship between nitrous oxide emission and fertilizer and manure application. Lillian assists in the collection, preparation and analysis of air, groundwater, plants and soil samples. This internship will give Lillian valuable hands-on experience working in her field of interest; more importantly, it helps her develop greater determination for becoming an environmental biologist.

Lillian, a registered Biologist in Training and Environmental Professional in Training, is a recent graduate of Simon Fraser University with a double major in Biological Sciences and Physical Geography. While engaged in her studies, Lillian worked two years as a research assistant in various professional environments, including a greenhouse, an avian ecology laboratory, and a soil laboratory. With a strong academic background and passion for ecology and natural sciences, Lillian aspires to become an environmental biologist.

Lillian sampling in the field.

Air samples are collected from chambers that are installed throughout the field. Depending on the trial, each chamber is sampled three times at 10-15 mintues intervals. The samples are then placed in a Gas Chromatography machine, which allows us to determine the nitrous oxide concentration. Nitrous oxide is a greenhouse gas with a high global warming potential. Agricultural activities such as manure and fertilizer application contributes a large amount of nitrous oxide into the atmosphere. By collecting air samples, we can determine how much nitrous oxide is being emitted by various treatments of manure and fertilizer. Moreover, results can be used in agricultural soil management, with goals to improve plant growth and decrease greenhouse gas emission.