Analytical Chemistry Seminar: Eve-Lyn Hinckley
Analytical & Environmental Chemistry Division and Atmospheric Chemistry Program Seminar
Jointly sponsored by the Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, CIRES, and the Environmental Program
Immediate fates of the world’s oldest pesticide in California’s most lucrative crop
By Eve-Lyn S. Hinckley - Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies, Fellow of the Institute of Arctic and Alpine Research University of Colorado Boulder
Elemental sulfur (S0) has been used as an effective pesticide in agricultural systems since ancient Egyptian civilization. Today, in California’s winegrowing regions, applications of S0 dust are used as a preventative against powdery mildew infestation. Throughout the growing season, average applications are 150 kg S ha-1 yr1, and over Napa Valley vineyards alone, the applications total 810 Mg S0. Based on decades of research in northeastern U.S. forests that documented devastating ecosystem consequences of inadvertent reactive S and nitrogen deposition, I was inspired to understand how intensive, widespread, purposeful additions of S0 affect local-to-regional scale soil and water quality in agricultural systems. In Napa Valley vineyards, I have explored (1) What are the immediate fates of S0 locally in soils? and (2) What are the unintended consequences of its intensive, widespread use for downgradient ecosystems? In this talk, I will show the connection between hydrologic controls and the fate of S0 in California vineyards, and discuss how the pattern and consequences of continued applications might change under current drought conditions in the State. Ultimately, decisions about S pesticide management and water use in California’s winegrowing regions have implications for the sustainability of this industry, as well as the function of surrounding terrestrial and aquatic ecosystems.