field work

Lab action

Lab rats

Analytic equip

Welcome to the Timberline Analytical Laboratory!

Unique lab offers analysis of water, soil, sediment, rock, biological, and building material samples for CMC programs and other users

The Timberline Analytical Laboratory at the Leadville Campus was conceptualized from invaluable feedback from CMC students, faculty, staff, and project partners. The development of the facility, from the conceptualization meetings, is deemed to be necessary for the continued development of the Natural Resource Management and Science programs at the Leadville Campus as well as programs located at other CMC campuses. The Timberline Analytical Lab is truly unique to CMC and the central Rocky Mountain Region in Colorado. Similar analytical facilities can only be found in Grand Junction, Steamboat Springs, and/or the Front Range.

The Timberline Analytical Lab has increased the opportunity for regional research and chemical analysis in the central Colorado Rocky Mountain region where access to this specialized equipment and instrumentation was previously limited to independent laboratories. Leadville is a historic mining community with over a hundred years of active mining and associated environmental degradation. The Timberline Analytical Lab affords many opportunities for additional analysis of water, soil, sediment, rock, biological, and building material samples that are a vital part of on-going research by CMC and other users in the Leadville vicinity.

The lab provides students a more comprehensive understanding of research techniques through the development, implementation, and presentational aspects of analytical chemistry in courses and research projects. In addition, it will provide underrepresented groups invaluable exposure to instrumentation that will not only enhance their scientific education but also develop important research training.

Educational Component

The focus of CMC faculty and staff is to provide students with a strong academic and field experience background including a full understanding of the role of research in the NRM, Science and HP fields. The analytical facility provides a proper environment to enhance the analytical component of research and education that is often a missing link due to the current inconvenience and additional cost of chemical analysis. Students begin to develop research and laboratory skills in their first year of education, and utilize these research skills in a final capstone project, prior to graduation. The capstone project will require students to develop and implement a research project that will demonstrate the educational, research, and presentational competencies gained through the associated program.

Whether students are performing research themselves, interpreting research done by others in support of an environmental issue, or requesting proposals for research to solve an environmental problem, the knowledge they gain in all facets of research is invaluable to their future academic and employment endeavors.

The Timberline Analytical Lab provides an excellent opportunity for students in each program to participate in the analysis of chemical and biological samples that are collected as part of class or through research projects. This aspect will provide students the chemical and biological analytical knowledge that is a vital part of their career in Natural Resource Management and the sciences. The laboratory facility provides students who participate in the Student Internship program a more in-depth component in analytical chemistry. These skills are an invaluable tool which they can utilize either in the work force or a four-year institution.

Student Outcomes

  • Understand and apply the operation and maintenance of ICP-OES, IC and XRF instrumentation.
  • Understand and apply appropriate sample (water, soil, rock, building material, biologic tissue, etc) collection for chemical analysis.
  • Understand and apply appropriate (ASTM, EPA, etc) preparation of samples for chemical analysis.
  • Understand and apply proper handling of chemicals and equipment commonly utilized in analytical laboratories. Understand and apply appropriate storage of samples and chemicals.
  • Understand and apply results from instrument analysis in the form of reporting and quality assurance and control (QA/QC).
  • Understand and apply laboratory Quality Assurance and Quality Control methods and techniques.