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Public Lab Research note

Sprint Fellowship Application: Public Lab Oil Sheen Testing

by klie | July 13, 2015 19:52 13 Jul 19:52 | #12055 | #12055

Application due: September 25, 2015
Dates of Fellowship: mid-October 2015 to mid-January 2016
Location: Remote, with preference for Portland (OR), Boston area, New Orleans or Raleigh-Durham
Fellowship stipend: $3,000 USD

With the Public Lab Oil Testing Kit, we have been working with up to grade prepared samples and have a test that works in a controlled setting. We need your help taking this test into the field to collect oil on water -- this fellowship will support a community researcher to explore and pioneer techniques for collecting and concentrating oil sheens from the surface of bodies of water for analysis in the Oil Testing Kit.


Methods published (primarily on the site) during this fellowship should avoid hazardous chemicals and utilize widely available, low-cost equipment in order to ensure that the techniques are accessible to members of the public without special equipment or expertise. The fellow will design and conduct sample preparation experiments, document experimental results, and write protocols for appropriate techniques.


The fellow should have a background in chemistry, with environmental chemistry and analytical chemistry experience preferred. The fellow should have experience conducting independent laboratory-based studies and be familiar with data quality assurance and quality control metrics. The fellow will work closely with the Data Ambassador and the Director of Production throughout the fellowship tenure, and will have support particularly in study design, material sourcing, and trouble-shooting.

Successful completion of this fellowship will produce:
  1. A robust and easily replicable sample preparation method for analysis of oil sheens using the Public Lab Oil Testing Kit
  2. Documentation of trial methods, successes and failures on the Public Lab website
  3. A collection of spectra from experimental sample analysis, published on Spectral Workbench
  4. Integration of the documented techniques with the upcoming Spectral Workbench 2.0 (e.g. through guides or wizards).
  5. Coordination with three contributors to independently test the developed methods


A note to applicants - @mathew published an exploratory note on this topic:

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