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Analytical Services

The analytical chemistry lab at UMBS in 2017.

The analytical chemistry lab at the University of Michigan Biological Station (in Pellston, Michigan) performs a wide variety of analyses of soil, water, and air samples. Using state of the art equipment, we process samples for our researchers, students, and the public. Notably, we operate the only stable isotope lab in the northern lower peninsula.

For current rates or for questions regarding our laboratory capabilities, detection limits, or methodology, contact:

Tim Veverica: 231-539-8407,

Available Equipment


We have a pair of segmented flow analyzers routinely used for determining nutrients in water and soil extracts. A variety of other automated and semi-automated colorimetric assays (e.g., total phenolics, enzyme activity) may be automated on these instruments as well.

Ion Chromatograph

Our Dionex high-performance ion chromatograph utilizes sub-4 µm particle size columns to provide efficient separations and ppb-level detection limits of major anions, short chain fatty acids, and cations in aqueous samples. Detection is by conductivity and UV-Vis.


Our lab is equipped with a Perkin-Elmer ELAN DRC-e ICP/MS which may be operated in standard mode, or with a dynamic reaction cell. This instrument allows for the determination of metals, metalloids, and their isotopes in aqueous or digested samples down to ppt concentrations.

Direct Mercury Analyzer

Our Millenium DMA-80 is used to quantitate total mercury in solid samples to exceedingly low concentrations (ng/kg).

IR Mass Spectrometer

Stable isotopes of carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, and hydrogen are determined on a Finnigan Delta V mass spectrometer. Samples can be introduced through an elemental analyzer, Gas Bench, GC/MS, or TOC analyzer.


When stable isotopes are not required, our three elemental analyzers can be run as standalone instruments to provide CHN and CN-OH analyses.

TOC Analyzer

When not coupled to the mass spec, the OI Analytical TOC analyzer is routinely used for determining total inorganic- and organic carbon in environmental samples.


We use a Thermo Trace 1310 gas chromatograph equipped with a both a SSL inlet and a combination purge and trap, dynamic headspace, and thermal desorption frontend. A Thermo ISQ-LT single quadrupole mass spec provides quantitative and qualitative analyses of volatiles and semivolatiles. Both the SSL and the PT/TD frontend can be used for compound-specific isotopic analysis with unambiguous compound ID (irm-GC/MS).


We offer both preparative and analytical HPLC capabilities with UV-Vis and refractive index detection.