Carley Cavanaugh Investigates Water Contaminants


[Carley Cavanaugh presents her research at the National Meeting of the Geological Society of America in Baltimore]

We all expect our drinking water to be clean, but what about the waterways we use for fishing, swimming, and other recreational activities? When we do find pollutants, who is to blame? Can we identify the culprits responsible for tainting our valuable natural resources? Research by CCSU Geological Sciences major Carley Cavanaugh (with help from 2015 department graduate Matthew Costa and faculty mentor Dr. Oluyinka Oyewumi) sought to answer these questions concerning the Farmington River. Carley’s work uncovered that the likely sources of lead, cadmium, chromium, and arsenic contamination of riverbed sediments are local farms and a gas station. She and her collaborators hope to submit their research for publication in the near future. Carley’s work received an award at the Undergraduate Research and Creative Activity Day at CCSU in May, and she received a $3000 scholarship from the Environmental Professionals of Connecticut earlier this year.

Student research changes lives CCSU. For more information on how you can be a part of it, contact Geological Sciences Chair Dr. Mark Evans at





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