Visit to the New Bolton Center and Dairy Farm

Yesterday, a small group of fellow researchers from Drexel and UPenn visited a dairy farm in Chester County to take a tour of the facilities.  Jake Price, Kaitie Sniffen, Dr. Mira Olson, Dr. Wen Shieh, and Dr. Chris Sales drove down to the University of Pennsylvania’s Veterinary School’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square to tour the Marshak Dairy Farm.  The visit and tour were primarily to discuss novel ways of improving nitrogen and phosphorus (nutrient) management and recovery.  Although, some of the photos below show that seeing the cows themselves wasn’t so bad either.

Thanks to Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center for the tour!

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Jake Price Presents Research Poster at AWWA Conference in Hershey

On April 22, at the American Water Works Association’s (AWWA) PA section of their Annual Conference in Hershey, PA, Jake Price was selected to present his poster on “Nitrogen Removal Dynamics by a Photosynthetic Microbial Community Under High Cell Densities.”  In general, the topic discusses how an algal community’s nitrogen removal responds to different ratios of feed nitrogen sources (ammonium and nitrate).

Congratulations on your research and good luck on your continued work!


Site Visit to Saul Agricultural High School

On Wednesday, April 8, Dr. Sales, Jake, and Tommy with Dr. Stefanie Kroll from the Academy of Natural Sciences visited the Walter Biddle Saul High School of Agricultural Sciences.  The school is a magnet school in the Roxborough neighborhood of the city.  The purpose of the visit was to collect soil and water samples from the farmland and ponds for DNA extraction and sequencing.  Some photos of the site are given below.

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Top-Left: An overview shot of the land with some dairy cows watching us back.
Bottom-Left: Numerous rows of various crops planted in the soil.  Nine soil samples were taken beyond these fields for soil bacterial composition analysis and comparison.
Top-Right: One of the small ponds that exist on the site.  Water samples were taken from this pond as well as two others for comparison.
Bottom-Right: The very large pile of composting manure from on-site farm animals as well as some farm animal residents of the Philadelphia Zoo.  A sample of leachate (partially seen in a puddle towards the left side of the photo) was taken and analyzed as a soil sample as well.


Dr. Sales Receives Bartels Award

This past Fall Quarter, Dr. Chris Sales was presented with the Harry C. Bartels Endowed Faculty Engineering Development Fund.  It is described that this award is given to “a promising junior faculty member with the goal of enhancing the ability of the recipient to present at scholarly meetings and conferences and to enrich teaching and research opportunities of the recipient.”

Congratulations on your faculty award, Professor Sales!

Jacob Price Selected as a Fellow in the GAANN Program

Continuing his string of major awards, Jake Price was selected to participate in the GAANN Grand Challenges program and has won the Fellowship award that goes along with it.  Graduate Assistance in Areas of National Need is a program that assists well-deserving graduate students in fulfilling their academic careers.  The specific program that Jake was chosen for is “Graduate Fellowships in Education with a Focus on the National Academy of Engineering Grand Challenges,” and is meant to help improve the education and experiences of both the Fellow as well as the engineering/science undergraduates to whom the Fellow offers his or herself as a Teaching Assistant.

Congratulations Jake on all of your current and still upcoming successes!

Ph. D Candidate Jacob Price Receives Koerner Family Award

Graduate student Jacob Price was one of the nine College of Engineering recipients of the prestigious Koerner Family Awards for the 2014-2015 academic year.  The fund, founded by Dr. Robert Koerner and his wife, Paula Koerner, allows for further research into each student’s respective field which in this case is Jake’s study of bioreactor kinetics of algae.

Announcement: New Research Paper by Dr. Sales Published Recently

A new article co-authored by Dr. Chris Sales along with Dr. Patrick KH Lee from the University of Hong Kong has been recently published by the scientific journal Current Opinion in Biotechnology.  Entitled “Resource recovery from wastewater: application of meta-omics to phosphorus and carbon management,” the paper discusses the numerous possibilities of biological applications to wastewater treatment.  The article is to show up the June 2015 volume of the journal

A PDF version of the article as well as its original source on the journal’s website can be found at the links provided below:

Journal Website

PDF Version

Dr. Sales and graduate student Kaitie Sniffen took a trip to Penn Vet’s New Bolton Center in Kennett Square for their Food Animal Day on April 5. We were able to check out the operation of the Marshak Dairy and collect samples from their lagoon for our collaboration with some Penn Vet professors and researchers to come up with novel algal biotechnologies to treat dairy cow wastewater.

Check out these cute calves we saw on our visit.

Announcement: Drexel University – IExE Speaker Series – Gov. Bill Ritter on a Clean Energy Economy (April 8)

APRIL 8, 2014 – 3:30 PM | 3RD FLOOR ATRIUM

Bossone Research Center | 3140 Market Street | Philadelphia, PA 19104

Conversation between Dean Hughes, Founding Director of the Institute for Energy and the Environment (IExE) and former Gov. Bill Ritter Jr., the Director of the Center for the New Energy Economy at Colorado State University. The inaugural IExE Speaker Series will be held on Tuesday April 8th at 3:30 pm in the 3rd Floor Atrium of the Bossone Research Center. 

The Center for the New Energy Economy works directly with governors, legislators, regulators, and policymakers to provide technical assistance in creating policies and practices that will facilitate America’s transition to a clean-energy economy. 

Ritter was elected as Colorado’s 41st governor in 2006. During his 4 year term, Ritter established Colorado as a national and international leader in clean energy by building a New Energy Economy in the state. As a result of that work, Colorado created thousands of new jobs and established hundreds of new companies. In total, Governor Ritter signed 57 clean energy bills into law including a 30% Renewable Portfolio Standard and the nation’s first statutory plan to convert aging coal units to natural gas. 

Ritter is a member of the Board of the Directors of the Energy Foundation; and also a Senior Fellow and member of the Board of Directors of the Advanced Energy Economy Institute.

Drexel University – Event Details View – IExE Speaker Series – Gov. Bill Ritter on a Clean Energy Economy.

YouTube Vid: Can Microbes Clean Up Our Oily Mess?

Great video for the masses describing the ability of microorganisms to degrade components of oil spills. The bit about synthetic biology being used for bioremediation is a little misleading, as it is not being used in practice yet (at least that I know of).

Can Microbes Clean Up Our Oily Mess? – Instant Egghead #58 – YouTube.