The Gary L. Chamberlain Student Research Fellowship honors Dr. Gary Chamberlain who taught at Seattle University from 1979 until 2009 in the Theology and Religious Studies Department. Dr. Chamberlain was a beloved teacher who contributed to the growth of the Environmental Studies Program and encouraged countless students to pursue their passion for environmental advocacy. He also connected theology and ecology through his many works including his books Because Water is Life: Catholic Social Teaching Confronts Earth’s Water Crises and Troubled Waters: Religion, Ethics and the Global Water Crisis.
The 2020-2021 Gary L. Chamberlain Fellowship recipient is Piper Klinger ('21) who is majoring in Environmental Science. Piper’s research seeks to develop a comprehensive and inexpensive methodology to prepare biochar adsorbents from wood pellets for use in the treatment of arsenic contaminated drinking water. This research will develop a protocol for producing biochar from readily available, top-lit, under-draft cookstoves. In addition to producing biochar, these cookstoves are extremely clean-burning which makes their implementation in the developing world critical to the reduction of deaths due to indoor air pollution. The worldwide mortality rate related to indoor air pollution is nearly eight times the rate for deaths related to unsafe drinking water. The proposed work will produce enhanced biochar by modifying the surface of poplar tree pellets with calcium sulfate from discarded wall board (calcium sulfate). Piper’s faculty mentor will be Dr. Phillip Thompson, CEJS director and professor of civil and environmental engineering.