Environmental Analysis Laboratory
Providing analysis services to state, federal, and local environmental monitoring programs
The Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) at Lake Superior State University provides analysis services to state, federal, and local environmental monitoring programs emphasizing education, research, and community service. We follow US Environmental Protection Agency and MI Department of Environmental Quality approved analytical protocols on all analyses allowing data from the Environmental Analysis Laboratory to be included in appropriate state databases.
The EAL provides students, staff, and faculty with the opportunity to collaborate with external agencies in research projects involving relevant environmental problems. We also provide the community with technical assistance for water quality analysis and monitoring, establishing a link between graduating seniors and potential employers.
The mission of LSSU Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) is to provide professional analytical and research services while engaging students in modern analytical techniques. The EAL is designed to help students prepare themselves for careers as scientists, technicians, and other professionals by creating an environment where students work with highly trained staff to engage in research, design experiments, and perform sample analysis.
The EAL’s organizational structure and Quality Assurance program is designed to effectively and efficiently accomplish established data quality objectives for all of its analytical services. The quality of measurements made by the laboratory is determined by the following data quality objectives or characteristics: representativeness, accuracy, and precision.
Specific objectives for each characteristic are generally established to assist in the selection of appropriate sampling and analytical protocols and to identify applicable documentation, sample handling procedures, and measurement system procedures. These quality objectives are established based on collection site conditions, specific requirements of the project, knowledge of available analytical systems, and are addressed whenever appropriate for the data generated.
The goal of the EAL is to use the concept of complete quality management to produce analytical results of known, documented, and acceptable quality. The validity of data resulting from day-to-day analysis depends on a strong, effective, and consistently practiced quality assurance program. The EAL’s Quality Assurance Manual (QAM) outlines that program for all aspects of laboratory chemical and microbiological testing operation. The EAL’s objectives for precision, accuracy, and detectability of analytical results, and the associated quality control measures are described.
The EAL quality assurance program is designed to be dynamic in nature. It currently encompasses activities for traditional wet chemical analysis techniques, classical and state-of-the-art instrumental analysis methods, and field measurements using portable analysis equipment. The program is designed to facilitate the fulfillment of both the EAL’s and the client’s goals for its analytical products. It also satisfies appropriate university, local, state, and federal regulatory requirements. The QAM is updated at a minimum annually, based on the results of quality assurance monitoring of analytical processes, internal and external assessments, and evolving regulatory policies.
Established in 2002, the Lake Superior State University Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) was created to meet the analysis and research needs of Michigan’s Eastern Upper Peninsula. As the regions only full service environmental lab the EAL offers a wide range of analytical services to its clients including sample collection, inorganic and organic analysis in a variety of matrices, as well as genetic, microscopy & microanalysis, project design, and project implementation consultation.
Under the direction of LSSU faculty and staff the EAL offers undergraduate students internship opportunities within the lab. Student Interns are involved in all aspects of laboratory operation, affording them real hands on experience with not only the analytical side of a laboratory but also business side including data reporting and direct client interaction. The goal of these internships is to provide our students with a skill set allowing them to make a seamless transition to the workforce or graduate school. To date the EAL has employed nearly sixty students, all of which have moved on to become successful professionals.
Since its inception the EAL has matured into a fully-functioning analytical laboratory that allows students to gain hands on experience working on real projects with experienced faculty and staff. The combination of analytical services and practical education makes the LSSU EAL unique and allows the university to better serve its students and foster strong collaborations with both public and private sector partners.
Note: Volume discounts may apply. Additional discounts available for client prepared samples. Sample containers provided at no additional cost.
- Waters 2695 HPLC-PDA/Fluorescence
- Molecular Devices SpertraMax M2e Microplate Reader
- Bio-Tek Instruments FLx 800 Fluorescence Microplate Reader
- VirTis Benchtop K Lyopholizer
|Anatoxin-a||Water / 0.01 L|
|Cylindrospermopsin||Water / 0.01 L|
|Microcystin||Water / 0.01 L|
|Saxitoxin||Water / 0.01 L|
- Agilent 7500a ICP-MS housed in a class 100 clean room
- Perkin-Elmer Analyst 300 Atomic Absorption Spectrometer
- CEM Mars microwave digestor
- Benchtop HEPA hood systems
|Metals by AAS||SM 3111||Water / 0.1 L|
|Metals by ICP/MS||EPA 6020||Solids / l.0 g|
|Sample Digestion||Varies by Matrix||Solids / 1.0 g (dry)|
|Total Mercury||EPA 1631 E||Water / Solid|
- Agilent 6890N Series/5973 Series GC/MS
- Hewlett-Packard 5890 Series II/5971 Series GC/MS
- Agilent 6890 Series GC/FID
- Archon Purge and Trap & Teledyne Tekmar Velocity XPT Purge
|Organics by GC/FID||EPA 8015 C||Water / l.0 L|
|Organics by GC/MS||EPA 8270 D||Water / l.0 L|
|Organics by Purge and Trap GC/MS||EPA 8260 C||Water / l.0 L|
|Sample Extraction||Varies by Matrix||Water/Solids|
|Note: For available compounds please call.|
- Dionex DX500 Ion Chromatograph
- Perkin Elmer Lamba 35 Double Beam UV/Vis Spectrophotometer
- Perkin-Elmer Analyst 300 AA with Flame and Graphite Furnace
- Seal Analytical AQ1 – Automated Discrete Analyzer
|Alkalinity||SM 2320 B||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Ammonia||EPA 350.1||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Anions (F, Cl, Br, NO2, NO3, o-PO4, and SO4)||EPA 300||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Biological Oxygen Demand (BOD)||SM 5210 B||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Chlorophyll (a,b, & c)||SM 10200 H||Water/ l.0 L|
|Conductivity||SM 2510 B||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Enterococci (MPN)||SM 9230 D||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Hardness||SM 2340 B||Water/ 0.2 L|
|Nitrate||SM 4500||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Nitrate + Nitrite||SM 4500||Water/ 0.1 L|
|ortho-Phosphate||SM 4500P F||Water/ 0.2 L|
|pH||SM 4500H+||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Silica||SM 4500-SiO2 D||Water/ 0.1 L|
|Total coliforrn/E coli (MPN)||SM 9223||Water/ 0.l L|
|Total Dissolved Solids||SM 2540 C||Water/ 0.2 L|
|Total Kjeldahl Nitrogen||EPA 351.2||Water/ 0.l L|
|Total Phosphorus||SM 4500P||Water/ 0.2 L|
|Total Suspended Solids||SM 2540 D||Water/ 0.2 L|
|Turbidity||EPA 180.1||Water/ 0.2 L|
- Applied Biosystems StepOne Plus qPCR
- Applied Biosystems Thermocycler
|Enterococcus||EPA 1611||Water / 0.5 L|
|Human Bacteroides||DRAFT EPA Method C||Water / 0.5 L|
Mr. Benjamin Southwell, Manager
Benjamin J Southwell is a Science Laboratory Manager and Chemist in the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences at Lake Superior State University (LSSU) where he has been employed since 2005. His current position involves biological and physical science lab preparation, safety compliance, and instrumentation maintenance. Benjamin also manages the LSSU Environmental Analysis Laboratory.
Benjamin completed his Master’s degree in Chemistry with a focus in Chemical Education in 2013 at Central Michigan University and his undergraduate studies, also in Chemistry, at Lake Superior State University in 2004. While working at LSSU he was awarded a King-Chavez-Parks Initiative: Future Faculty Fellowship in 2011, 2012, and 2013. His primary research interests involve cyanobacteria and the metabolites they produce with a focus on analytical techniques for the detection of both. Additionally, Benjamin also focuses on techniques for improving utilization and understanding of analytical instrumentation by undergraduate students.
Mr. Jason Nichols, Student Technician
Jason Nichols is a Chemistry student at LSSU. He started working in the EAL December of 2014.
Mr. Elliot Furr, Student Technician
Elliot Furr is a Bio-Chemistry student at LSSU. He started working in the EAL May of 2016.
Ms. Kati Doty, Student Technician
Kati Doty is Biology student at LSSU. She started working in the EAL May of 2017.
Mr. Kyle Nacey, Student Technician
Kyle Nacey is a Geology student at LSSU. He started working at the EAL May of 2017.
Laboratory staff can provide technical assistance and water quality sampling equipment to volunteer monitoring programs. Please call (906) 635-2076 for more information.
Our facility is located in Room 342, Crawford Hall of Science at 650 W Easterday Ave, Sault Ste.Marie, MI.
- Michigan State University – Using qPCR to Assess Recreational Water Quality
- North Central Regional Research Publication No. 221 (Revised) Recommended Chemical Soil Test Procedures for the North Central Region
- US EPA – Test Methods for Evaluating Solid Waste, Physical/Chemical Methods SW-84
- US EPA – Clean Water Act Analytical Methods