Introduction: The Environmental Analysis Core is a new core facility that is being developed during the current funding period of the ND INBRE (year-14). The initial priority of the environmental analysis core is to provide the ND INBRE partners a facility for the analysis of metals in the environment. The ND INBRE: Health and the Environment" is an environmental based research and training program that has undergraduate research programs at the State's 4 Primarily Undergraduate Universities and at all the 5 Tribal Colleges within the borders of North Dakota. The Tribal College research program was recently enhanced by the recently awarded Cankdeska Cikana Native American Research Centers for Health (NARCH) also entitled the CCCC NARCH: Health and the Environment. A large number of the undergraduate research projects supported under the "Health and Environment" umbrella currently require, or will require, the analysis of metals. Thus, the establishment of a core facility for environmental analysis with initial emphasis on metals was a top tier priority of the ND INBRE partners. It is anticipated that additional environmental-based analysis platforms will be added as the need arises over the duration of the current funding period. The equipment base necessary to establish the behavioral core is a joint effort between the ND INBRE and the Department of Pathology at the UND SMHS, and the Department of Chemisty at UND. The Department of Chemistry is the academic home of the behavioral core and provides resources consistent with those of an academic home, including negotiations with administration as the need arises. Dr. David Pierce, Chair and Professor of the Department of Chemistry will direct the environmental analysis core.
Goals of the Environmental Analysis Core Facility (EACF): The overall goal of the EACF is to enhance research productivity, research funding, and STEM training for the partners of the ND INBRE. Specifically:
1. To provide a well-managed and maintained equipment resource that supports current and planned research of the ND INBRE partners that need access to metal analysis in their research.
2. To provide technical expertise in metal analysis methods and procedures to enhance current and planned research efforts of the ND INBRE partners that employ this technology in their research portfolios.
3. To provide a facility for the training of the next generation of health professionals in the method, theory and use of ICP-MS and Atomic Absorption in basic and clinical research and its translation to human disease.
4. To form a firm foundation for the future expansion of the laboratory into other areas of environmental analysis as they are needed by the partners of the ND INBRE.
Equipment Base: The Department of Chemistry at UND has committed over 600 sq.ft. of laboratory space to house the core facility, a state-of-the-art atomic absorption spectrometer, a clean cabinet for sample preparation, and an assortment of small equipment items necessary to support core function. The ND INBRE is supporting the acquisition of an Agilent Technologies 8800 ICP-MS with warranty and on-site training. The ND INBRE is also providing support for technical staff, routine supplies and associated travel and training for the EACF.
Management: The Director of the Environmental Analysis Core is Dr. David Pierce. The operation of the core will have an oversight committee composed of the EABC Director, the Principal Investigator of the ND INBRE, and the Dean of Arts and Science. This committee will make suggestions for improvements, investments and mitigate user concerns. Consistent with the mission of the ND INBRE, the facility would be available to all ND INBRE partners in North Dakota.
Acknowledgment of ND INBRE Support: Those using the EACF must agree to acknowledge ND INBRE support.
"Research reported in this [publication, release] was supported by an Institutional Development Award (IDeA) from the National Institute of General Medical Sciences of the National Institutes of Health under grant number P20GM103442."