The dry lab is a multi-purpose area that is arguably the data-gathering heart of the Aquatic Ecology Lab. Several areas within the dry lab are designated for special uses. The sample-counting area supports five computer stations connected to the AEL network and associated printers. Four computers are outfitted with digitizing tablets, stereoscope dissecting microscopes, and Sigma Scan software. Image analysis software is available on all computers. Nine dissecting microscopes, two Nikon binocular scopes, and supplemental light sources complete our suite of microscopes.
The AEL owns a Parr 6300 automated bomb calorimeter (with a capability of analyzing 6 samples per hour). Because we often require whole-fish caloric estimates, we have several pieces of cutting equipment, including two Struers Minitom saws, a Retsch ZM 100 dry material grinder, a Hobart industrial meat grinder, and a portable Cabela’s wet grinder.
The AEL has two certified chemical hoods and one Class 100 certified (LCS, Inc) laminar flow hood. Other laboratory equipment includes three Fisher Scientific Isotemp drying ovens, two Mettler AE 163 (0.0001g), two Mettler SM-F (0.1g) balances, a Cahn C-33 microbalance, two muffle furnaces, and six large dessicators. Loads of sample storage exists in the AEL: 1) three chest freezers (-20ºC), 2) a walk-in refrigerator, 3) a walk-in freezer (-40ºC), and 4) four -80ºC deep-freeze units. As suggested by the amount of freezer space, we have moved away from chemical preservation to storage by freezing. Also available for our use are a vacuum filtration apparatus for chlorophyll and sediment analysis.