Gustavus Receives Instrumentation Grant from NSF

Posted on October 19th, 2009 by

NSF LogoGustavus Adolphus College recently received a major research instrumentation grant totaling nearly $250,000 from the National Science Foundation to purchase an Inductively Coupled Plasma – Mass Spectrometer (ICP-MS).

The purchase of the ICP-MS will create new and expand current water quality and geochemistry interdisciplinary research opportunities for Gustavus geology, chemistry, biology, and environmental studies students. The instrument will also support the research of multiple Gustavus faculty and enhance a range of external research-based partnerships.

“This new instrument will allow us to analyze about 75 elements on the periodic table in water, sediment, soil, and rocks,” said Jeff Jeremiason, professor of chemistry and environmental studies at Gustavus. “Toxic metals like mercury, lead, and cadmium are of interest, as are major elements such as calcium, potassium, and aluminum. We can also measure things like uranium and rare earth elements.”

Jeremiason served as the principal investigator on the grant, while Dwight Stoll (chemistry), Julie Bartley (geology), and Laura Triplett (geology) were the co-principal investigators.

Gustavus students will have the opportunity to work on a wide array of projects as a result of the purchase of the ICP-MS including:

· Identifying metals in sediment cores from area lakes to look at how the input of those metals have changed.

· Identifying sources of erosion to bodies of water by examining metal composition in the sediment and comparing it to the fingerprints from soil and river bank material.

· Reconstructing ancient ocean chemical composition based on analysis of deposited material.

· Examining metal transport in the environment, particularly in wetlands, but also in soils.

For more information about this grant or the purchase of the ICP-MS, contact Jeremiason at or 507-933-6235.


Media Contact: Director of Media Relations and Internal Communication JJ Akin


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