QARGMcMicken College of Arts & SciencesQuarternary and Anthropocene Research GroupUniversity of Cincinnati

QARG
Labs
Luminescence Dating Lab

1) Luminescence Dating Laboratory

Director: Lewis A. Owen
Full sample preparation facilities for luminescence dating are available in the Department of Geology. These include: sieving equipment; heavy liquid separation facilities; and acid treatment equipment. A Riso Automated TL/IRSL/Blue OSL Dating System DA-15C/D will be used to make the OSL measurements. A Daybreak alpha counter is also available and will be used to help determine the concentrations of radioisotopes in sediment to help calculate dose rates. The laboratory also has an Ortex MicroNOMAD portable spectroscopy system with Nal detectors and an InSpector 1000 high–performance digital hand–held spectrometer for field dose rate determination.

Cosmogenic Nuclide Labs

2) Cosmogenic Nuclide Laboratories

Director: Lewis A. Owen
The Department of Geology has facilities to prepare sediment and rock samples for Be-10 and Al-26 cosmogenic nuclides surface exposure dating and erosion studies. The laboratories include a rock crushing laboratory; heavy liquid a separation laboratory; and a chemistry laboratory that has ultrasonic baths, hot rollers for leaching sediment and rock, columns for cation and anion exchange, HF and perchloric acid hoods for acid work, and hoods for target loading.

3) Quaternary Sediment and Coring Laboratory

Director: Thomas Lowell
This laboratory integrates field and laboratory equipment for taking and analyzing sediment cores, principally glacial lake cores. Included in this laboratory is a Coulter counter grain size analyzer; a Strato–box marine geophysical sonar core for seismic profiling of subsurface sediments; a high–resolution imaging microscope; a custom, high–resolution sediment core photography frame; a magnetic susceptibility instrument; a muffle furnace and a low–temperature oven for drying samples; and two dedicated microcomputers. There are two coring units: a Livingstone piston coring system with a stainless steel extractable core, and a “Bolivian” piston coring unit with a clear polycarbonate tube. Lakes cores are taken from a pontoon raft equipped with a coring tower and a mechanically–powered winch supported by a Zodiac and a Boston Whaler.

Organic Geochemistry Lab

4) Organic Geochemistry Laboratory

Director: Aaron Diefendorf
The Department of Geology Organic Geochemistry Laboratory is equipped to process modern and ancient soils, plants, sediments, and rocks. The laboratory has general organic geochemistry equipment including a Beckman Coulter centrifuge, Mettler Toledo balance, Mettler Toledo pH meter, water purification system, drying ovens, large muffle furnace, refrigerator, freezer, glassware, and lipid standards. For lipid preparation, the laboratory has a Dionex ASE 350 solvent extraction system, a TurboVap LV for solvent evaporation, nitrogen blow–down stations, and other lipid preparation equipment. The laboratory houses an Agilent 7890A gas chromatograph (GC) with autosampler, multimode and cool on–column injector, a two–way splitter, a flame ionization detector, and an Agilent 5975C quadrupole mass spectrometer (MSD) for the identification and quantification of organic matter. The GC/MSD is equipped with the NIST 2008 and Wiley Spectral libraries and a data analysis workstation.

5) Biogeochemistry Laboratory

Director: Amy Townsend–Small
The Department of Geology biogeochemistry facility is set up for the analysis of dissolved organic carbon and nitrogen in waters with a Shimadzu TOC/TN analyzer, the analysis of carbon and nitrogen concentrations of organic matter in various substrates (e.g., soils, lake and marine sediments) with a Thermo Flash Elemental Analyzer, the analysis of carbon dioxide, methane, and nitrous oxide gases with a Shimadzu gas chromatograph, and the analysis of dissolved inorganic nitrogen with a Biotage spectrophotometer.

6) Stable Isotope Facility for Biogeochemical Research

Directors: Aaron Diefendorf and Brooke Crowley
The Department of Geology has recently acquired funding for a stable isotope ratio mass spectrometry (IRMS) facility, which will be installed in early 2013. This facility will include the ability to measure stable isotope ratios of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen, and oxygen. This lab will include a Thermo Delta Advantage IRMS and peripheral devices to measure carbon and nitrogen isotopes in organic matter (e.g., soils, lake sediments, plant and animal tissues), carbon and hydrogen isotopes of biomarkers, oxygen and hydrogen isotopes of waters, carbon and oxygen isotopes of carbon dioxide in air, carbon and oxygen isotopes of carbonates (e.g., shells, lake marls), and nitrogen isotopes of nitrates.

X-Ray Laboratory

7) X-Ray laboratory

Director: Warren Huff
This laboratory, located in the Department of Geology, is equipped for two principal modes of X–ray analysis: diffraction (XRD) and fluorescence (XRF). The Department has the services of a full–time staff person for the maintenance and operation of this facility. The XRF unit is a Rigaku 3070 wavelength dispersive system that was purchased in 1987. Instruments such as the Rigaku ZSX Primus II Sequential Wavelength–Dispersive XRF Spectrometer and the Rigaku XRD Ultima IV X–Ray Diffraction System combine great accuracy and sensitivity with ease of operation. The Ultima IV is a high–quality X–ray diffractometer system that is easy to use, highly accurate, and has the versatility to meet all of our teaching and research needs in X–ray diffraction. XRF systems like the ZXS Primus II spectrometer provide the ability to process very small samples and to include a wide range of elements.

8) Spectral Gamma Ray Core Logger

A Core Lab SGL custom–built spectral gamma core–logging instrument is located in the Department of Geology. It generates total API, 40K, 232Th, and 238U data; a bulk density feature allows corrections for non–uniform core diameter.

9) Ohio Valley Archaeology Laboratory

Director: Kenneth Tankersley
This laboratory is located in the Department of Anthropology and is equipped to conduct particle size analysis of unconsolidated Quaternary sediments, extract bulk soil organic matter from core samples, and extract bone collagen and hair protein for stable isotope analyses. In addition to standard chemicals for acid–base–acid pretreatments and equipment such as analytical balances and glassware, the laboratory has a magnetic susceptibility meter with high–resolution probes, two proton magnetometers, single junction ion selective electrode for fluoride dating of bone, two petrographic microscopes, ten binocular microscopes, and a digital microscope for photo–microscopy. The laboratory also has a computer workstation for data analysis and GIS.

10) Court Archaeological Research Facility

Director: Kenneth Tankersley
This field laboratory is currently under construction at the University of Cincinnati’s Center for Field Studies. The new laboratory will be used for the processing artifacts, Quaternary invertebrate, vertebrate, and plant remains, and sediments from drill cores and excavation. The laboratory will have a fume hood, basic laboratory equipment, 3D image scanners, a digital microscope, a computer workstation for analysis and data management, and a dedicated curation room for core, sediment, ecofact, artifact, and archival records. The laboratory will also have a laboratory smart classroom.

Paleoethnobotanical Laboratory

11) Paleoethnobotanical Laboratory

Director: David Lentz
This facility is located in the Department of Biological Sciences and is equipped to process and analyze archaeological plant materials using light and electron microscopy. Equipment includes a phase contrast compound microscope, various binocular light microscopes with digital imaging capabilities, a fume hood and computer workstations configured for image processing, data analysis and GIS applications. Over 3000 plant reference specimens from North America, Central America and Northern India are housed in the laboratory.

Human Evolutionary Locomotor Lab

12) Human Evolutionary Locomotor Laboratory

Director: Katherine Whitcome
The Department of Anthropology Human Evolutionary Locomotor Laboratory examines human gait performance and hominin evolutionary anatomy through experimental biomechanics and modeling. The lab is equipped with an eight camera Vicon MX T10 motion capture system, two force platforms (AMTI BP 400600 and Bertec 4060-07-1000), a Basler piA640-210gm high speed digital video camera and a Smooth Power treadmill.

GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratories

13) GIS and Remote Sensing Laboratories

Director: Richard Beck
Three state–of–the–art GIS and remote sensing research and teaching laboratories located in the Department of Geography with high performance computing and environmental monitoring capabilities supporting the processing and analysis of multi–spectral, hyper–spectral, radar, and lidar imagery and the development of geographic information systems and networks.

Clay Mineralogy Laboratory

14) Clay Mineralogy Laboratory

Director: Warren Huff
The study of clay minerals requires a variety of sample preparation methods including high– and low–speed centrifugation, high– and low–temperature treatment, ethylene glycol saturation, ultrasonic disaggregation, and treatment with a variety of toxic chemicals. All of these facilities are available in the clay mineralogy laboratory along with high–speed grinding and crushing equipment. The lab is located adjacent to the XRD and XRF laboratories for easy access to those analytical facilities.

Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory

15) Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory

Director: Brooke Crowley
The Department of Geology Quaternary Paleoecology Laboratory is set up for processing biological remains from plants and animals for stable isotope analysis and radiocarbon dating. Lab equipment includes a microbalance, dental drill, boom mounted trinocular microscope attached to a computer work station, and a freeze drier equipped with a standard drying chamber as well as a centrivap concentrator.

16) MEDArch—Mediterranean Ecosystem Dynamics and Archaeology Lab

Director: Susan Allen
This facility provides space and resources (low– and high–power binocular light microscopes, digital microscopes, extensive comparative material, fume hood, reference books and databases) for research in landscape archaeology, ethnoecology, and archaeobotany. The comparative collection includes plant reference materials from the Eastern Woodlands and American Southwest, Balkans, and Mediterranean.