The Metals, Environmental and Terrestrial Analytical Laboratory (METAL) is a dual-location analytical facility with the instruments and resources to support research across many fields, including anthropology, chemistry, biology, forensics, geology, environmental studies, and ecology. Our laboratories — formerly known as the W. M. Keck Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry and the Goldwater Environmental Laboratory — accommodate sample processing and analyses from industry, academia, and government researchers. Our staff are committed to providing the intellectual support and technology necessary to meet the research needs of students and investigators while creating a valuable educational experience for users. Although most users prefer to receive individualized hands-on training enabling them to perform their own analyses, complete analytical services are available. We also provide a wide variety of support and equipment options to assist with sample preparation needs prior to analysis, as well as established procedures and protocols for all instruments.

METAL’s laboratory spaces are located in two buildings. In the Goldwater building, our facilities (previously known as the Goldwater Environmental Laboratory) house instrumentation for elemental analysis, surface area and porosity measurements, gas chromatography and isotopic analysis of greenhouse gases, and both discrete and flow-injection colorimetric analyses. In addition, our Agilent 5900 ICP-OES is capable of rapid, simultaneous measurement of up to 70 elements in aqueous and organic solutions and is equipped with an auto-sampler with a capacity of up to 240 samples. The state of the art SVDV mode allows for simultaneous axial & radial plasma views for faster readings and reduced interferences. This is ideal for complex samples encountered in environmental research.

Our facilities in Bateman Physical Sciences Center F (formerly known as the W. M. Keck Foundation Laboratory for Environmental Biogeochemistry), offer isotope-ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) of light elements such as C, N, O, and H in a variety of samples matrices, and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (ICP-MS) measurements of much of the periodic table in a wide variety of sample matrices. Facilities consist of a general wet chemistry lab, an instrument lab, a trace element clean lab, and a Biosafety Level 2 workspace. We have a Neptune multi-collector ICP-MS and an iCap-Q ICP-MS for determination of elemental concentrations and isotopic ratios over much of the periodic table. In addition, we have a Thermo MAT 253 and a Thermo Delta Plus Advantage mass spectrometer with a wide variety of peripheral inlet devices for sample introduction. METAL uses a secure database with cloud backup to store processed data. It has audit functionality and is suitable for maintaining chain of custody and ensuring data transparency and traceability. This option is available for all users.

As some users may require staff assistance to use our instrumentation, METAL offers specialized technical assistance to our customers at the following levels, which are based on the complexity of the request and the expertise needed to address it. 

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Technical Assistance Rates:

Technical assistance level 1: ASU: $20/hr Other academic: $35/hr
Technical assistance level 2: ASU: $35/hr Other academic: $60/hr
Technical assistance level 3: ASU: $60/hr Other academic: $90/hr

Please contact us to discuss your assistance needs.