USGS Columbia Environmental Research Center Project: Lake Mead Endocrine Disrupting Contaminants Investigation: Passive Sampling of Estrogenics, Method Development, Contaminants Analyses


USGS Link:
“Lake Mead – Clear and Vital” is a thirteen minute documentary relating the crucial role of science in maintaining high water quality in Lake Mead. The program was produced coincident with release of the Lakes Mead and Mohave Circular <> a USGS publication covering past and on-going research in the lakes and tributaries of the Lake Mead National Recreation Area. (Rosen, M.R., Turner, K., Goodbred, S.L., and Miller, J.M., eds., 2012, A synthesis of aquatic science for management of Lakes Mead and Mohave: U.S. Geological Survey Circular 1381, 162 p.)

Statement of Problem: Due to land use, recreational activities, and the ultimate destination of wastewater from the City of Las Vegas and surrounding communities, the overall health of Lake Mead has become the focus of numerous scientific investigations.

Objectives: Extracts from passive samplers (SPMDs and POCIS) deployed in Lake Mead, near Las Vegas, NV, will be provided to CERC scientists to determine the potential of sampled chemicals to promote an estrogenic or androgenic response. These responses will be measured using the yeast estrogen screen (YES) and the yeast androgen screen (YAS). A single SPMD and POCIS from each of seven sites will be test by the YES and YAS. In 2007, we joined the collaborative study with USGS- Carson City, USFWS- Las Vegas, and others to determine contaminant levels in Lake Mead fish and sediments.

  • Develop and validate methods at CERC for a targeted list (see Appendix) of legacy and emerging chemical contaminants.
  • Determine historical record of targeted chemical contaminants in Lake Mead bed sediments.
  • Determine concentrations of targeted chemical contaminants in individual male carp sampled from Lake Mead. Determine trophic transfer of targeted chemical contaminants in Lake Mead biota.
  • Develop method for measuring flux of selected chemical contaminants from sediments using passive sampling technologies.
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