LSSU water research lab has new equipment, new possibilities

The environmental analysis laboratory at Lake Superior State University has a new toy to play with: a discrete analyzer for water quality research.

The analyzer will be put to work on a number of studies on local, regional and national water quality that are conducted at LSSU, using rapid automated colorimetric analysis, which measures subtle colors in water samples to determine chemical concentrations.

It can detect substances like nitrogen and phosphorus in water samples down to the parts per billion range, and will add to the hands-on research experience for students. The analyzer will be available to undergraduates working on senior research, faculty, research partnerships with the community, and for contract work with public and private clients carried out by LSSU scientists.

One of the faculty-led projects that will start using the new equipment this summer is monitoring of the Ashmun Creek and Munuscong watershed by professor Derek Wright.

Lab manager Benjamin Southwell, with Wayne State University and Texas A&M researchers, also will use the discrete analyzer as part of a National Institutes of Health and National Science Foundation grant to collect data on  waters that may be at risk for harmful cyanobacteria blooms.

Writer: Sam Eggleston
Source: Lake Superior State University
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