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All about chemistry

It’s been all about the chemistry at Landserv over the last couple of months.

On 25 July, Jessica, Michael, Matt and Katrina attended the ‘Introduction to Environmental and Analytical Chemistry’ module hosted by the Australian Contaminated Land Consultants Association (ACLCA). The session was facilitated by Dr. Brent Davey of Monarc Environmental and Alan Bull of Edge Group and focussed on the chemistry of the contaminants, soil and groundwater which underly site assessments. The team got some good tips about the origin and fate of contaminants they are sure to use in their project work. Thank you ACLCA and the module conveners for providing an extremely relevant evening of contaminated land-focussed chemistry.

On August 3, Jessica and Katrina attended the grand opening of Envirolab’s new facility in Croydon. It was a fun evening of food and drink, complete with a tour of the fantastic new laboratories which included lab-based games. We mustn’t have guessed any answers correctly or our prizes are in the mail! It was great to meet the people and see the instruments behind the results we rely on to complete our work. Thank you very much to Envirolab for having us, and for the beaker mugs!

Finally, the Health, Safety & Environment division of Royal Australian Chemical Institute held a symposium on “The Hidden Menace of Contaminated Land” which Heather, Jessica and Katrina attended. Tom McGrath of RMIT gave an interesting presentation of the magnitude and distribution of PDBEs (polybrominated diphenyl ethers, otherwise known as brominated flame retardants) associated with e-waste recycling. Dr. John Cumming spoke about contamination associated with the history of the Sunshine area – another topic of great interest to the Landserv team given some of the projects we’ve ben working over the past year. Finally, Jean Meaklim of Greencap gave the audience a crash course in contaminated land with a talk entitled “Contaminated Sites 101”. The team would like to thank the RACI and speakers for an interesting symposium and also Analisa from Envirolab who went above and beyond, offering to drive the team home after the event.

“You see, technically, chemistry is the study of matter, but I prefer to see it as the study of change: electrons change their energy levels. Molecules change their bonds. Elements combine and change into compounds. But that’s all of life, right? It’s the constant, it’s the cycle. It’s solution, dissolution. Just over and over and over. It’s fascinating really. It’s a shame so many of us never take time to consider its implications.”Walter White.