Student Research Projects

Reducing Mercury Contamination with Green Roofs

Student Ivy M. Ozmon
Faculty Mentor(s)
Department Earth and Environmental Sciences
Course EES 489: Research in the Natural Sciences


Mercury pollutants released into the atmosphere may fall to the ground in precipitation thereby entering sensitive watersheds. This mercury can be taken up by living organisms, accumulating in the tissues of animals, such as fish. The dangers associated with this contaminated storm water may be alleviated with the use of green roofs.

Green roofs retain storm water that would usually become runoff, carrying pollutants to ground water or other local bodies of water. This research compares the quantity of mercury that drains from simulated green roof plots versus normal tar and gravel roof plots, that mimic the roofs found on campus. Using the results from this experiment Virginia Wesleyan will hopefully install green roofs on top of dorm buildings, and the new science building in the coming years.

Supported by: U.S. Environmental Protection Agency P3 Award