Instrumentation @ KBS PDF Print E-mail

LTER instrumentsA number of analytical instruments are housed within the Academic-Stack Buildings.  Some  are located in common service areas; others are located within specific faculty research labs.  Common-area instrumentation includes floor centrifuges, autoclaves, a muffle furnace, plant and soil sample drying ovens, a grinding lab with Wiley, impact, and roller mills, walk-in coolers, a walk-in 25-degree incubator, a hydro-pneumatic root elutriator, and several controlled-environment chambers.

Instruments not in common areas remain available to KBS researchers on a negotiated basis as a matter of policy and collegiality. If you have need of a sponsored instrument (one that is not in a common use area), contact the responsible faculty member.  Almost always arrangements can be made for providing access to an instrument or analysis, although limitations related to sample backlogs, instrument complexity, and operating costs may sometimes restrict access to specific instruments at some times.

The following equipment is available; please contact Nina Consolatti ( to learn who to contact for access to specific instruments.:

  • Several short- and long- pathlength spectrophotometers, most often used for colorimetric analyses of nutrients in surface waters and soil solutions;
  • Several gas chromatographs equipped with TCD, FID, and ECD detectors, used for analyses of CO2, CH4, N2, and N2O in studies of dissolved gases, gas emissions, and microbial processes;
  • Several infrared gas absorption (IRGA) analyzers for measurement of CO2, used for quantifying in situ gas fluxes and for soil and microbial incubations;
  • A liquid scintillation counter, used for radioisotope assays;
  • Multisensor sondes to measure dissolved O2, pH, conductance, and temperature in field measurements of aquatic habitats;
  • A photoacoustic trace gas analyzer, used for real-time field measurements of N2O, CO2, and CH4 fluxes;
  • A high-vacuum line and gas preparation bench for manipulation and purification of gas samples;
  • A Costech Model 4010 Elemental Combustion analyzer for the analysis of total carbon and nitrogen in biological samples;
  • An Alpkem/OI Analytical Flow Solution IV analyzer (Model 3550) to measure concentratons of nitrate and ammonium in soil extracts;
  • A Dionex Model ICS-1000 Ion Chromatograph (IC), for analyzing ions in water samples;
  • A Shimadzu Model TOC-V total carbon analyzer for measuring dissolved carbon in aqueous samples;
  • Two sub-meter Trimble GPS units for field use, including base station support;
  • Standard lab equipment such as microscopes, balances, pH meters, and data loggers.