Tag Archives: theses

Senior Chemistry Student Presents Honors Thesis Defense on Payson Library Indoor Air Quality

Over the past three years, senior chemistry major Tom Boundy has been researching air quality in Payson Library.  I met him earlier this year when he stopped by Special Collections to check sensors placed in the rare book storage area.  What I didn’t know at the time was that his tests were part of a larger project, spanning three years!

Last week I was able to attend Tom’s Honors chemistry thesis defense seminar held in the Keck Science Center.  Students, professors, and I listened to his presentation, “Determination of Volatile Aldehydes and Ketones in Payson Library Air.”

Tom’s advisor, Dr. Jane Ganske, described his project briefly as addressing “the indoor air quality of a library environment, as well as [providing] a broader understanding of factors that play a role in the air we breathe indoors.”

In his research, he found that other studies explored off-gassing from books and the impact on health and preservation of museum collections, and the studies searched for evidence of ketones (more often aldehydes than ketones) and other chemicals, but not ones specifically known to actually come from books.  The Payson Library study used the passive sampling method of studying primary and secondary volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in library air, by leaving a test strip in one location for seven days.  (Primary VOCs are emitted directly from material surfaces, such as off-gassing from newly installed wood panels.  Secondary VOCs are formed through reactions with air, happening indoors.)

In the study, samples were taken over multiple years and primarily above the book stacks in the circulating collections area on the first floor of Payson Library.  Other air samples were taken around the university to compare against the Payson Library air, including in Special Collections storage in Payson Library (where there is a higher concentration of books in a smaller, more enclosed environment), in the weight room inside Firestone Fieldhouse (materials in the room are primarily metal and rubber), and in classroom 130 of Keck Science Center (a typical classroom).

Formaldehyde was the most abundant aldehyde found; this is commonly found in bonded wood products (such as in construction materials).  Other aldehydes and ketones found were known byproducts of building materials, air fresheners, books and paper products, perfumes, and even human skin oil!

As a result of the research project, 21 compounds were identified and 18 were successfully quantified.  This is the largest range found in any library study, which is a great accomplishment.  While I am personally familiar with certain chemical properties of paper – I took a class about preservation of heritage materials while studying to earn my library degree – I never knew there was such a range of reactions taking place!  The presentation was eye-opening, and I hope that another intrepid student will build on the work done in Payson Library.

Tom is also presenting his research as a poster presentation next week at the American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition in New Orleans.  Congratulations Tom!







Over the past three years, senior chemistry major Tom Boundy has been researching air quality in Payson Library. I met him earlier this year when he stopped by Special Collections to check sensors placed in the rare book storage area. What I didn’t know at the time was that his tests were part of a larger project, spanning three years!

 

Last week I was able to attend Tom’s Honors chemistry thesis defense seminar held in the Keck Science Center. Students, professors, and I listened to his presentation, “Determination of Volatile Aldehydes and Ketones in Payson Library Air.”

 

Tom’s advisor, Dr. Jane Ganske, described his project briefly as addressing “the indoor air quality of a library environment, as well as [providing] a broader understanding of factors that play a role in the air we breathe indoors.”

 

In his research, he found that other studies explored off-gassing from books and the impact on health and preservation of museum collections, and the studies searched for evidence of ketones (more often aldehydes than ketones) and other chemicals, but not ones specifically known to actually come from books. The Payson Library study used the passive sampling method of studying primary and secondary volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in library air, by leaving a test strip in one location for seven days. (Primary VOCs are emitted directly from material surfaces, such as off-gassing from newly installed wood panels. Secondary VOCs are formed through reactions with air, happening indoors.)

 

In the study, samples were taken over multiple years and primarily above the book stacks in the circulating collections area on the first floor of Payson Library. Other air samples were taken around the university to compare against the Payson Library air, including in Special Collections storage in Payson Library (where there is a higher concentration of books in a smaller, more enclosed environment), in the weight room inside Firestone Fieldhouse (materials in the room are primarily metal and rubber), and in classroom 130 of Keck Science Center (a typical classroom).

 

Formaldehyde was the most abundant aldehyde found; this is commonly found in bonded wood products (such as in construction materials). Other aldehydes and ketones found were known byproducts of building materials, air fresheners, books and paper products, perfumes, and even human skin oil!

 

As a result of the research project, 21 compounds were identified and 18 were successfully quantified. This is the largest range found in any library study, which is a great accomplishment. While I am personally familiar with certain chemical properties of paper – I took a class about preservation of heritage materials while studying to earn my library degree – I never knew there was such a range of reactions taking place! The presentation was eye-opening, and I hope that another intrepid student will build on the work done in Payson Library.

 

Tom is also presenting his research as a poster presentation next week at the American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition in New Orleans.

Over the past three years, senior chemistry major Tom Boundy has been researching air quality in Payson Library.   I met him earlier this year when he stopped by Special Collections to check sensors placed in the rare book storage area.  What I didn’t know at the time was that his tests were part of a larger project, spanning three years!

Last week I was able to attend Tom’s Honors chemistry thesis defense seminar held in the Keck Science Center.  Students, professors, and I listened to his presentation, “Determination of Volatile Aldehydes and Ketones in Payson Library Air.”

Tom’s advisor, Dr. Jane Ganske, described his project briefly as addressing “the indoor air quality of a library environment, as well as [providing] a broader understanding of factors that play a role in the air we breathe indoors.”

In his research, he found that other studies explored off-gassing from books and the impact on health and preservation of museum collections, and the studies searched for evidence of ketones (more often aldehydes than ketones) and other chemicals, but not ones specifically known to actually come from books.  The Payson Library study used the passive sampling method of studying primary and secondary volatile organic compounds (VOCs) found in library air, by leaving a test strip in one location for seven days.  (Primary VOCs are emitted directly from material surfaces, such as off-gassing from newly installed wood panels.  Secondary VOCs are formed through reactions with air, happening indoors.)

In the study, samples were taken over multiple years and primarily above the book stacks in the circulating collections area on the first floor of Payson Library.  Other air samples were taken around the university to compare against the Payson Library air, including in Special Collections storage in Payson Library (where there is a higher concentration of books in a smaller, more enclosed environment), in the weight room inside Firestone Fieldhouse (materials in the room are primarily metal and rubber), and in classroom 130 of Keck Science Center (a typical classroom).

Formaldehyde was the most abundant aldehyde found; this is commonly found in bonded wood products (such as in construction materials).  Other aldehydes and ketones found were known byproducts of building materials, air fresheners, books and paper products, perfumes, and even human skin oil!

As a result of the research project, 21 compounds were identified and 18 were successfully quantified.  This is the largest range found in any library study, which is a great accomplishment.  While I am personally familiar with certain chemical properties of paper – I took a class about preservation of heritage materials while studying to earn my library degree – I never knew there was such a range of reactions taking place!  The presentation was eye-opening, and I hope that another intrepid student will build on the work done in Payson Library.

Tom is also presenting his research as a poster presentation next week at the American Chemical Society national meeting and exposition in New Orleans.

A garden for San Quentin: Today’s featured digital object

Gardening is, it must be agreed, an inherently fecund activity. In 2003, San Quentin State Prison began an experimental, rehabilitative gardening program in an attempt to improve the social climate of the prison and reduce recidivism rates. Was it effective? That’s what student Kathryn E. Waitkus sought to determine through her master’s thesis completed at Pepperdine University’s George L. Graziadio School of Business and Management. You can read the results yourself in her complete thesis, which is just one of the many scholarly works available in our Electronic Theses and Dissertations digital collection.

Inmates at work in the San Quentin garden

Waitkus, who filed her thesis in 2004, interviewed inmate program participants, an inmate control group, and prison staff before and after the garden was planted to determine varying perspectives on the expectations of stakeholders and the actual impact of the program. She found evidence that the prison garden program was beneficial to the inmates in many ways, providing a focused activity, a sense of refuge, a source of stress reduction, and a “neutral” territory in the otherwise segregated prison yard. Waitkus also evaluated the gardening program from a managerial perspective, providing recommendations for expanding the program. She remains deeply involved with the Insight Garden Program at San Quentin, and you can follow the progress of the program at her blog The Avant Gardener.

The Electronic Theses and Dissertation digital collection currently focuses on recent work from Pepperdine University’s graduate programs; however, plans are underway to digitize older theses and dissertations as well, bringing to light the long tradition of graduate level scholarship at Pepperdine University.

Pepperdine Digital Collections now online

Pepperdine College CheerleaderPepperdine University Libraries announces the opening of its new online digital collections. Through the digitization and display of rare or unique materials, each extraordinary collection provides a unique perspective on the history and scholarship of Pepperdine University and the cultural legacy of Malibu.

View the Pepperdine Digital Collections here.

Inaugural collections include:

The Pepperdine Yearbook Collection: A complete and searchable collection of the Pepperdine University yearbooks through its various incarnations as a bound publication (1939-2006).

The University Archives Photograph Collection: This ever-growing collection presents high-resolution digital renditions of the thousands of photographic prints, slides and negatives that compose the Pepperdine University archival image collection, dating from its founding in 1937.

John Mazza Historic Surfboard Collection: Featuring over thirty surfboards from the personal collection of Malibu resident John Mazza, this collection represents the evolution of surfing and surfboard technology in the twentieth century. Examples range from the 1910’s to living legends; even Gidget’s surfboard is represented. Digital imagery allows the viewer to focus on various angles and aspects of each board.

The Bruce Herschensohn Collection: This expanding collection features the personal papers of this important politician, scholar, and filmmaker, including his notes, correspondence, media clippings, films, and other ephemera.

Electronic Theses and Dissertations: The ETD collection includes recent graduate level theses and dissertations from a variety of schools and programs within Pepperdine University.

Pepperdine Digital Collections are open to the public to encourage discovery and scholarship at the widest possible breadth. Furthermore, the materials that compose our digital collections are optimized for online information seeking and archived for long-term digital preservation.