If you have been walking through the first floor of Moser Hall, you may have noticed that there has been construction going on each way you turn. First the Dr. Jack D. Bakos Jr. Student Collaborative Lounge, more commonly know as the “Fishbowl,” was updated. Then the walls on the first floor were painted. While all this construction was going on, you may have missed what was going on in room 1020.
Previously an old industrial engineering space, the room is well on its way to being transformed into a research laboratory associated with the Natural Gas and Water Resources Institute. The lab is a new edition to the growing Geology and Environmental Sciences Department. Many of the students and faulty are excited about the expansion.
“This is so exciting,” says Diana Alexander, an instructor for the department. “We don’t have to search and find open workspace!”
In addition to allowing students to prepare and analyze water, sediment and soil samples, the lab will also hold office space for graduate students and visiting researchers. At the front of the lab, there is also a conference room dedicated to the National Gas and Water Resources Institute.
The new Instrumentation Room will safely house analytical equipment and includes one of the two new chemical fume hoods in the laboratory space. Included in this equipment are an Inductively Coupled Plasma – Atomic Emission Spectrometer (to analyze trace metals), Ion Chromatograph (to analyze cations and anions), Microwave Accelerated Reaction System (for sediment digestions). The large open workspace will feature new cabinetry with storage and workspace, chemical fume hood, a water purification system that will filter tap water to type 1 water needed for analytical instrumentation and plenty of space for various other benchtop equipment used in research analyses.
While the facility is still under construction, much of the repurposed furniture has been moved in along with some of the equipment that will be needed to run the lab. Dr. Colleen McLean and Dr. Felicia Armstrong, two professors who have worked on the space, are eager to complete the renovation, so they can begin working in the lab as soon as possible. Support for this space was made possible by College of STEM and Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences.