Nikki Andrzejczyk is an undergraduate at Hobart and William Smith Colleges (’16).
How did you become involved in the Finger Lakes Hg Project?
I became involved with the project through a summer research opportunity with Susan Cushman. The project seemed interesting to me and fit well with my interests, so I applied for the position!
What is your role?
My role for the project was stream sample collection. More specifically, Susan and I travelled to streams throughout the Finger Lakes region collecting macroinvertebrates, fish, periphyton, and water samples for the project. I also helped with some lake sampling.
What has most interested or surprised you so far?
Having fly fished in Finger Lakes streams throughout my undergraduate years, I’m most interested to see the level of impact Hg has had on fish in the region. Along with this, I’m interested in seeing how Hg accumulation in Finger Lakes species compares to Hg levels of fish from different areas of the country. If significant concentrations of Hg are found in fish from the region, it would be interesting to see if these Hg concentrations have caused negative physical impacts on the fish (such as gill and liver damage found in other studies).