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Lake Superior University - Case Study

Lake Superior University – AQ1 Strengthens Research Lab

Sault Ste. Marie, MI – The Lake Superior State University Environmental Analysis Laboratory (EAL) recently purchased a new instrument, the SEAL AQ1 Discrete analyzer. It is already being put to work testing local, regional and national water quality samples at LSSU and giving students real world experience with an analyzer used in many water quality labs around the United States.

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The AQ1 Discrete analyzer performs automated colorimetric tests to determine analyte concentration in water samples. LSSU’s new AQ1 is helping the students gain hands-on experience with automated nutrient testing and allows them to perform analyses on many common environmental parameters including Nitrate, Total Nitrogen, and Phosphorus with detection limits in the parts per billion.

Current research projects include:

  •  Professor Derek Wright’s monitoring of the Ashmun Creek and Munuscong watersheds.
  • EAL Laboratory Manager Ben Southwell’s work (with Wayne State and Texas A&M - Corpus Christi) as part of the National Institutes of Health / National Science Foundation grant to characterize waters at risk for harmful cyanobacteria blooms.
Lake Superior University

The AQ1 promotes undergraduate research and is being used to teach students analytical techniques. The AQ1 also supports the ongoing research partnerships between faculty, students and the community. LSSU’s lab is staying busy - the summer of 2013 includes twelve student-faculty research projects

LSSU EAL also does contract work for public and private clients and offers paid internships to students that are looking for experience in a state-of-the-art lab. The students will gain experience testing real world samples using standard methods. They also gain experience in all stages of the environmental analytical process from sample collection in the field to reporting data to clients. This year the lab is currently employing eight students as technicians.

Further information on LSSU’s EAL can be found on their website: