Date of Defense




First Advisor

Dr. Michael Swords

Second Advisor

Dr. Kenneth Dahlberg

Third Advisor

Dr. Murray Borrello


This thesis reports upon the original research undertaken May, 2001 -December 2001 to determine the concentrations of total chromium and hexavalent chromium in the riverine sediments of the Pine River and its tributary, Horse Creek, in Gratiot County, Michigan The thesis of this research was that, because of documented releases of the substances by area industry into the Pine River and its tributary, chromium, including its hexavalent oxidation state, might be present at potentially dangerous levels to the river ecosystem and public health. Currently, there is insufficient research to provide consensus in the scientific community regarding the health implications of hexavalent chromium on ecosystem or human health. However, mounting concern in the Gratiot County community and in the public health sector nation-wide, has motivated this investigation. The sampling techniques, protocols, and results of the testing are reported here, along with the environmental, health, and regulatory implications of this work.

The sampling and laboratory work were conducted under the supervision of Drs. Murray Borrello and Melissa Strait of Alma College. The research was compiled with the assistance of Drs. Mike Swords and Kenneth Dahlberg of Western Michigan University. I would like to thank these four professors for lending their time to assist me with this research. I would like to thank Alma College Science Coordinator, Mark Bunce, as well, for the construction of the mechanical extractor used in this experiment.


Fourth Advisor: Dr. Melissa Strait

Access Setting

Honors Thesis-Campus Only