Introduction | Major Analytical Instrumentation | Quality Assurance


The Laboratory for Environmental and Geological Studies (LEGS) is a unique multi-disciplinary research and teaching organization administered by the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado, Boulder. Our facility supports research of over 30 affiliated faculty members from 12 different academic departments. The primary mission of LEGS is to conduct high quality research on materials– using a broad definition for materials to include; environmental, geological, biological as well as conventional materials (composites, superconductors, thin-films, and alloys) to support the development of  technologies, or to characterize,  and to disseminate the information gained from these endeavors through collaboration with governmental, industrial, and educational institutions.

In order to fulfill this mission, LEGS has established a state-of-the-art research facility and has developed targeted programs to serve the research and education needs of a diverse array of organizations. The laboratory is staffed with 2 full-time employees, with considerable experience in analytical chemistry, environmental chemistry , and environmental sampling techniques. LEGS has the capacity, with its analytical and sampling capabilities, to undertake most aspects of your  project, and to conduct work "in-house" which allows for easier project oversight.

The LEGS laboratory provides analytical expertise to a variety of clients and specializes in:
  • The development and validation of innovative analytical methods, with emphasis on difficult analytes and matrices.
  • Ultra-trace metal analyses utilizing cleanroom conditions.
  • Environmental monitoring and investigation utilizing novel and state-of-the-art techniques and instrumentation.
  • The training of personnel in the most recent, accurate laboratory techniques.

Major Analytical Instrumentation

The laboratory at LEGS is equipped with an Inductively Coupled Plasma/Mass Spectrometer (ICP/MS), and ICP/Atomic Emission Spectrometer (ICP/AES), wavelength dispersive (WDS) and energy dispersive (EDS) x-ray fluorescence,  an electron microprobe analayzer (EMPA), scanning electron microscopes (SEM), ion chromatograph (IC), gas chromatograph (GC) and gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer (GC/MS) and total organic carbon analyzer (TOC). 

The laboratory also provides analysis for total suspended and total dissolved solids, alkalinity, hardness, pH, TOC, COD and conductivity. Long-term and five-day biological oxygen demand measurement capabilities also exist. The laboratory  has the capacity to perform EPA-required batch extraction procedures using a high capacity 8-place rotary extractor. A hot block digestion apparatus is available for rapid digestion of environmental samples.The analytical facility is proficient in using U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and GLP protocols.

Quality Assurance/Quality Control Program

LEGS is dedicated to providing the highest quality data. LEGS Quality Assurance (QA) program meets or exceeds EPA recommended or GLP guidelines. Upon completion, routine QC activities (external source certified QC samples, matrix blanks, digestion blanks, duplicates, matrix spikes and sample spikes) verify continuing control.

Sample Custody Procedures

It is essential to ensure sample integrity from collection through data reporting. This is achieved through chain of custody documentation. All samples generated by this program will be sent to the analytical laboratory under chain of custody procedures. Samples and sample documentation are received at the laboratory by the project manager.

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