Welcome to the Sed-Paleo Lab!
At Amherst, we are fortunate to have all the requisite facilities and equipment to conduct traditional field and laboratory paleontology and sedimentology, as well as a digital paleobiology facility equipped with a microfocus X-ray CT-scanner and associated graphics workstations. Our department has all the standard rock preparation and analytical facilities (e.g., SEM/BSEM/EDS, XRD), and two healthy field vehicles. Many thanks to NSF and Amherst College for support of these facilities.
"digital" part of the lab is run as an open-access
facility, available to colleagues and students at no charge. Details about using this facility are below.
Building access: The building is open M-F from 7 am - 5 pm. After-hours and on weekends, the doors lock automatically. Amherst College (AC) students/employees can gain access using their ID cards, after having them activated by Jackie Newberry in the Geology Department office. Non-AC students/employees can only gain entry to the building if escorted by myself or Diane Kelly. If you're a non-AC user and have a special need or imminent deadline that requires off-hours building access, we can work together with you to obtain after-hours access on a case-by-case basis.
Lab access: Access to the lab is by key only, and frequent lab users may obtain a key from me.
Directions, parking, lodging: The lab is in room 215 and 211A of the Earth Sciences Building, located immediately east of Fayerweather Hall. For those not taking public transportation to campus, parking info is available here. Inexpensive on-campus lodging is available at the Merrill Guest Apartment - although availability can be checked here, the facility can only be reserved by me. Users will be billed separately. Inexpensive off-campus lodging is also available on Route 9 in the adjacent town of Hadley.
CT-Scheduler: If you've already been trained on the instrument and are on campus, please sign up for time on the CT-scanner using the online scheduler. 5-College or other users may login using the off-campus online scheduler.
Pilot studies: I am happy to help users explore new research directions, and will run up to 3 pilot samples for students/colleagues at no charge. Additional samples can be analyzed at half of the commercial per-sample rates. New users are encouraged to learn to analyze their own samples after getting trained on the instrument.
Training: Prior to using the facility, users need to learn lab/instrument/safety protocols. Training typically takes 2 days. Individual training sessions can be arranged on an as-needs basis - typically we conduct training sessions on weekends or intervals when classes are not in session.
Analytical fees: Academics and students can use lab facilites at no charge. Academic users are encouraged to help offset lab maintenance costs if they have extra grant funding available. Commercial and industry users are charged either per-sample or per-day analytical fees, depending on the nature of the work entailed. Commercial analytical fees are primarily used to help support student research. Per-sample analyses can be done in as little as 24 hours or can take several weeks, depending on user needs.