Lake Superior State University
Lake Superior State University
 
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Alum Success

Marci graduated from White Pines Collegiate and Vocational School in Sault Ste. Marie, Ontario, and has been active during her time at LSSU in the Chemistry and Environmental Club, Investment Club, Pre-Professional Society, Honors Society, Alpha Chi Sorority, Learning Center, a member of the American Water Works Association and the Society of Environmental Toxicology and Chemistry, and is a volunteer at Pathways Retirement Home. While at LSSU, she has worked at the Learning Center as a tutor and supplemental instructor, learning her advanced tutoring certification and winning the Margaret Hagg Memorial Scholarship. She was a recipient of the Ontario Honors Scholarship for four years. Marci completed her senior research by standardizing a method to fluorescently detect pharmaceuticals and personal care products in drinking water. This study helped to prepare her for her graduate studies at Texas A&M University in Corpus Christi to conduct biodiesel research with Dr. Paul Zimba. She will graduate with a Bachelor of Science degree in Environmental Chemistry and Chemistry, magna cum laude, with minors in Economics and Mathematics, graduating as part of the Honors Society.

Marci Leanee Savage
2010 Outstanding Graduate
Environmental Chemistry

Environmental Programs

HAZWOPER Certification, just one of the many hands-on training opportunities available for our students
Facilities

The Departments of Chemistry & Environmental Science maintain a full compliment of modern chemical instruments.  Our undergraduate students and faculty use these instruments both in their laboratory experiences and to support their research. 

Gas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS): Analysis of volatile and semi-volatile analytes, characterization of organic moleculesGas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS): Analysis of volatile and semi-volatile analytes, characterization of organic molecules Fourier Transform - Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR): Structural determination and identification of functional groups in organic molecules, identification of unknown organic substancesFourier Transform - Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR): Structural determination and identification of functional groups in organic molecules, identification of unknown organic substances Research Fume Hoods: Dedicated synthetic space for student/faculty research. Hoods are equipped with Schlenk Lines (vacuum & inert gas, etc.) for preparation and handling of air sensitive moleculesResearch Fume Hoods: Dedicated synthetic space for student/faculty research. Hoods are equipped with Schlenk Lines (vacuum & inert gas, etc.) for preparation and handling of air sensitive molecules Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR): Structural determination of organic moleculesNuclear Magnetic Resonance Spectrometer (NMR): Structural determination of organic molecules HEPA Filtered Trace Metal Prep Hood: Contamination free sample preparation for trace metal analysisHEPA Filtered Trace Metal Prep Hood: Contamination free sample preparation for trace metal analysis Microwave Digester: Microwave assisted digestion of solid sample matricesMicrowave Digester: Microwave assisted digestion of solid sample matrices High Capacity Centrifuge: High capacity refridgerated centrifuge with rotors accomodating up to 250 ml sample volumesHigh Capacity Centrifuge: High capacity refrigerated centrifuge with rotors accommodating up to 250 ml sample volumes Thermocycler for Polymerase Chain Reaction: Amplification of DNA and RNA for separation by gel electrophoresisThermocycler for Polymerase Chain Reaction: Amplification of DNA and RNA for separation by gel electrophoresis Fluorescence Microplate Reader: Automated biochemical assay of up to 96 samples, screening of environmental contaminantsFluorescence Microplate Reader: Automated biochemical assay of up to 96 samples, screening of environmental contaminants Microbalance: Mass determination of sub-milligram samplesMicrobalance: Mass determination of sub-milligram samples Level II Biohazard Facility: Contamination free manipulation of Level I and II biohazardous materialsLevel II Biohazard Facility: Contamination free manipulation of Level I and II biohazardous materials Automated Block Digester: Thermal decomposition of multiple solid sample matricesAutomated Block Digester: Thermal decomposition of multiple solid sample matrices UV-Visible and Fluorescence Microplate Reader: Automated biochemical assay of up to 96 samples, screening of environmental contaminantsUV-Visible and Fluorescence Microplate Reader: Automated biochemical assay of up to 96 samples, screening of environmental contaminants Lyophiliser: Lyophilisation (freeze-drying) of solid and liquid samplesLyophiliser: Lyophilisation (freeze-drying) of solid and liquid samples Polarized Light Microscope with CCD Camera (shared with Geology): Imaging and examination of trace evidence, mineralogy and petrologyPolarized Light Microscope with CCD Camera (shared with Geology): Imaging and examination of trace evidence, mineralogy and petrology Gas Chromatograph with Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID): Separation and quantification of volatile organic mixtures, quantification of hydrocarbons in environmental samples, analysis of accelerants in arson investigationsGas Chromatograph with Flame Ionization Detector (GC-FID): Separation and quantification of volatile organic mixtures, quantification of hydrocarbons in environmental samples, analysis of accelerants in arson investigations Automated Discrete Colorimeteric Analyzer: Automated colorimetric determination of ions and nutrients for water quality and soil science applicationsAutomated Discrete Colorimeteric Analyzer: Automated colorimetric determination of ions and nutrients for water quality and soil science applications Class 100 Clean Room: Contamination free laboratory for sample analysis and manipulationClass 100 Clean Room: Contamination free laboratory for sample analysis and manipulation Graphite Furnace/Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (GF/FAAS): Major Ion and heavy metal quantification in aqueous samplesGraphite Furnace/Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer (GF/FAAS): Major Ion and heavy metal quantification in aqueous samples Fourier Transform- Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR) with ATR Accessory: Structural determination and identification of functional groups in organic molecules, identification of unknown organic substancesFourier Transform- Infrared Spectrometer (FT-IR) with ATR Accessory: Structural determination and identification of functional groups in organic molecules, identification of unknown organic substances Gas Chromatographs with Thermal Conductivity and Flame Ionization Detectors (GC-TCD/FID): Separation and quantification of volatile organic mixtures, analysis of accelerants in arson investigations, analysis of inorganic gas mixtures, hydrogen carrier gas method developmentGas Chromatographs with Thermal Conductivity and Flame Ionization Detectors (GC-TCD/FID): Separation and quantification of volatile organic mixtures, analysis of accelerants in arson investigations, analysis of inorganic gas mixtures, hydrogen carrier gas method development Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and Class 100 Clean Room: Trace analysis of heavy metals in environmental samples, elemental analysis of trace evidenceInductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS) and Class 100 Clean Room: Trace analysis of heavy metals in environmental samples, elemental analysis of trace evidence Rotary Evaporators (2): Removal of excess solvents from samplesRotary Evaporators (2): Removal of excess solvents from samples Quantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction Fluorescence Spectrophotometer (q-PCR): Amplification and quantification of DNA and RNA, quantification of environmental pathogens, rapid detection of DNAQuantitative Polymerase Chain Reaction Fluorescence Spectrophotometer (q-PCR): Amplification and quantification of DNA and RNA, quantification of environmental pathogens, rapid detection of DNA HEPA Filtered DNA Prep Hood: Contamination free DNA sample preparationHEPA Filtered DNA Prep Hood: Contamination free DNA sample preparationGas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) with Purge and Trap Sample Introduction System: Trace analysis of volatile and semi-volatile analytes, forensic toxicology, arson investigation, analysis of pesticides and persistant organic pollutantsGas Chromatograph Mass Spectrometer (GC-MS) with Purge and Trap Sample Introduction System: Trace analysis of volatile and semi-volatile analytes, forensic toxicology, arson investigation, analysis of pesticides and persistent organic pollutants Portable VIS-NIR Diode Array Spectrophotometer: Measurement of VIS-NIR (350-1000nm) absorption or emissions using a fiber optic probe. Portablity permits easy relocation and application to a variety of experimentsPortable VIS-NIR Diode Array Spectrophotometer: Measurement of VIS-NIR (350-1000nm) absorption or emissions using a fiber optic probe. Portability permits easy relocation and application to a variety of experiments Soxhlet Extractors: Extraction of organic compounds from solid sample matricesSoxhlet Extractors: Extraction of organic compounds from solid sample matrices Ion Chromatograph with Conductivity Detector (IC): Separation and determination of anions in aqueous samplesIon Chromatograph with Conductivity Detector (IC): Separation and determination of anions in aqueous samples Scanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS): High magnification imaging and elemental composition analysis of vacuum stable samplesScanning Electron Microscope with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (SEM-EDS): High magnification imaging and elemental composition analysis of vacuum stable samples Double Beam UV-Visible Spectrophotometer: Quantification and characterization of organic and inorganic chromophores, trace environmental analysisDouble Beam UV-Visible Spectrophotometer: Quantification and characterization of organic and inorganic chromophores, trace environmental analysis

See for yourself!

We would enjoy the opportunity to discuss careers in the chemical sciences with you. During a campus visit, be sure to ask to speak with the Environmental Chemistry Department. We would like to show you our excellent facilities and take the time to discuss some of the exciting research projects now underway.


State Representative Sam Singh (D-East Lansing), gets briefed on Lake Superior State University's Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) from lab director Ben Southwell, left. Singh, who serves on the House appropriation committee and is Democratic vice chair of the higher education and Department of Education subcommittees, also toured LSSU's robotics, nursing, SmartZone, and aquatic research facilities on Aug. 27. The university's EAL is a focus for undergraduate research and commercial environmental analysis projects. Looking on are Derek Wright, chair of the School of Physical Sciences; LSSU President Tony McLain; and Barb Keller, dean of the College of Natural and Mathematical Sciences.

Additional facilities & equipment

Meet our Analyzer


The instrument, a discrete analyzer, allows for rapid automated colorimetric analysis, a technique that measures subtle colors in samples to figure out chemical concentrations. LSSU's discrete analyzer is valuable to the hands-on experience that LSSU offers to its students, and performs numerous analytical methods that can detect total nitrogen and phosphorus concentrations with accuracies in the range of parts per billion. Housed in LSSU's EAL, the discrete analyzer will promote undergraduate senior research, introduce fundamental analytical techniques to students, and support research partnerships between faculty, students, and the community. The lab also does contract work for public and private clients. The LSSU EAL offers paid internships for students looking to work in a state-of-the-art analytical laboratory.

Students analyze real-world samples using standard methods and are involved in all aspects of the environmental analysis process, from field sample collection to reporting data to clients. The discrete analyzer is being incorporated into current research being preformed at LSSU that includes ongoing environmental monitoring conducted by professor Derek Wright of the Ashmun Creek and Munuscong watersheds. EAL Laboratory Manager Benjamin Southwell — along with Wayne State University and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi — is also using the discrete analyzer as part of a National Institutes of Health/National Science Foundation grant to characterize waters at risk for harmful cyanobacteria blooms.

 

Impact in the real world...

Rachel Claucherty-Arnold

What made Rachel's Lake Superior State experience so unique was the practical research she did with top-notch faculty. "I really enjoyed working with environmental chemistry professor Judy Westrick and biologist Deb Stai," Rachel says. "For my senior project, we evaluated a lab method for cultivating a fungus that causes infections in humans." [ more ]

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