Lab Members ] Facilities ] Current Research ] Recent Publications ]

[ Lab Photos through Time ] [ Alumni Photo Album ]

Welcome to the Stony Brook Isotope Lab web pages


    We use isotope and trace element compositions to tell us about the history of geological materials. Current research conducted in our lab includes dating the time of sedimentation with paleosol calcite, determining the paleo-pH of seawater, and tracing the source of contaminants in Long Island groundwater. Our group members include three faculty in the Department of Geosciences and graduate students from Geosciences, Anthropological Sciences, and the Marine Science Research Center at Stony Brook. We have analytical facilities for boron, strontium, lead and neodymium isotope studies; rare earth element analyses; and U-Pb, Rb-Sr, and Sm-Nd dating. We have two thermal ionization mass spectrometers: a 6-inch radius NBS mass spectrometer and a Finnigan MAT 262 with multiple sample turret and multiple collectors. In addition, we have a complete round of support laboratories including a rock preparation lab, a mineral separations lab, two wet chemistry labs and a clean room environment dedicated to low abundance Pb (and other) chemistry.  We have a separate petrography lab that includes three petrographic microscopes with a digital camera, two luminoscopes for cathodoluminescence analysis, two dissecting microscopes for handpicking samples, a micro-drilling set-up, and equipment for fluid inclusion analysis.

    Gil's philosophy is that the lab is a teaching facility, giving M.S. and Ph.D. students hands-on experience in the day-to-day operation and maintenance of a modern mass spectrometry facility. To that end we have no full-time technical staff. Our motto is "you as the operator can fix it!".  Visitors are often shocked when they visit and find students reducing a mass spectrometer to nuts and bolts, cleaning the whole lot, and then reassembling it (and it WORKS!).    

    We have done some contract work in the past (we believe that any geologic or environmental study can benefit from isotopic work), but we particularly welcome visitors that are willing to come to the lab and get their hands dirty. If you have an interest in obtaining isotopic analyses and are willing to come visit, drop us a note.

Contact Information

Isotope Lab

C/o Dr. Gilbert Hanson

Department of Geosciences

Earth and Space Sciences Building, Room 317

Stony Brook University

Stony Brook, NY 11794-2100

Lab phone: (631) 632-8294

Dept. fax: (631) 632-8240


If you are interested in joining our group as a graduate student, please email Iris Roth, the graduate secretary, for an application.

Other links

The Isotope Lab through Time

Alumni Photo Album

Department of Geosciences

Stony Brook University

Page modified by Jennifer Cole, 26 August 2003.