Metta Nicholson completes senior honors thesis
May 2021 “Analyzing Methane Emissions from a Restored Bay Area Wetland” by Metta Nicholson
Metta Nicholson (‘21, Haas scholar 2020-21) completed her ESPM senior honors thesis in the Atmospheric Biogeochemistry lab. Her research investigated how soil moisture, the presence of vegetation, and other environmental factors impact methane and CO2 emissions from wetland soils. For this research, Metta collected soil cores at Sherman Island, a former agricultural area restored to a wetland in 2015. This is a site where net ecosystem fluxes of methane and CO2 have been measured by the Baldocchi lab. To understand specifically where these greenhouse gases are being produced, Metta investigated emissions at three different microenvironments: wet channel, moist channel, and dry upland. Samples were incubated in the laboratory under different conditions and carbon gas fluxes were measured using a Los Gatos Ultraportable Greenhouse Gas Analyzer. Metta was able to complete this work despite slowdowns associated with the very limited access to the research laboratory and field site. Metta conducted this research as one of the Distinguished Haas scholars, which involved two major presentations over the year. Congratulations Metta!