Jason West Isoscape

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Dr. Jason West presented Isoscapes: the spatial fingerprints of the biology of the Earth’s chemistry. Isoscape is actually a word that he made up to encompass the entirety of what he studies. Basically what this is the subject of the percent abundance of certain isotopes as it pertains to a specific geographic location. This percent abundance will be different depending upon the location of the sample. Isotopes are variations of elements due to differing atomic masses due to altering numbers of neutron in the nucleus. Isotopes chemically behave almost identically, but the keyword in this statement is almost. For example, hydrogen 2 diffuses slightly slower than hydrogen 1 which can make a difference when considering the atmosphere because this …show more content…

In my previous chemistry experience, isotopes had never been given a significant amount of attention. I was under the false impression that there was no true value to investigating them. This presentation corrected my previous view. They actually behave chemically different which leaves lasting effects on our environment. These differences can help us in forensic endeavors, product verification, and many other previous undiscovered ways. While I greatly enjoyed this presentation, I found myself lost a couple of times, unsure of what he was actually talking about. Topics that I had no previous exposure to such as fractionation and C4 plants had me playing catch up during the presentation trying to be sure I was coming to the right conclusions. To prevent this from occurring, I would have enjoyed a presentation on what we were currently learning and its application in the real world of science. Having a presentation on something such as recycling, ocean acidification, or combustion would have resonated better with me. However, I did enjoy this presentation and Dr. West did a fantastic job of simplifying this concept so I would be able to

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