Intern Projects

Throughout the years, The M.e.t. has had many research assistants and interns work diligently to answer questions and solve problems in our local environment.

If you have done research, want to serve as a volunteer research assistant or intern through your school, please send us an email.  We are always eager to hear what is important to you and educate the community on important issues!

 

Featured below is one of our many projects:

Mercury in Your Home
Safeguarding Your Family and Home

From the Thermometer to the Dinner Table

When a mercury thermometer is broken, liquid mercury begins to turn into a gas.  If the spill is not cleaned up, the gas will contaminate the home. If mercury is thrown in the trash and taken to the curb, it will eventually be burned with the rest of the trash and go into the air.  Rain carries mercury from the air to the ground where it flows to a body of water.

Bacteria in the water absorb the mercury and turn it into a more dangerous organic type of mercury, methyl mercury.  Fish eat the bacteria and it accumulates in their flesh. This is called bioaccumulation.  Accumulation of mercury is dangerous because mercury is more concentrated at the top of the food chain. The larger and older the fish, the more mercury it is likely to have.

Exposure to mercury can cause nervous system damage and birth defects in humans as well as devastating effects on wildlife. Birds hatch fewer eggs, and populations shrink. Mercury exposure can cause deformities such as missing limbs and altered hormone levels, and fish can pass mercury on to humans.

Oklahoma depends on fishing as a major part of its tourism and recreation industries. Recreational fishing contributes $196 million a year to our economy. Contaminated fish make our lakes and rivers less attractive to visitors and therefore hurt the Oklahoma economy.