First and foremost, I would to like to thank Dr. Crystal Johnson for giving me the
professional and personal guidance I needed to become a successful and professional
environmental scientist. I would also like to that Dr. Aixin Hou and Dr. Ed Laws for serving on
my committee and giving me useful feedback on both of my projects.
My gratitude should also be given to the individuals I worked with in Dr. Johnson’s
laboratory. These individuals are Dr. Rachel Clostio, Vanessa Molina, and Drusilla Cowan.
Their helpful knowledge and friendly assistance was crucial to the success of my two projects.
In addition I would like to thank my enormous family for their unconditional love and
support throughout my life. Finally, I would like to thank my husband, Chris, and my best friend,
Roger, for being my greatest supporters.