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For over 40 years, CAIS has provided exceptional analytical services for both academic and commercial research. The Center for Applied Isotope Studies (CAIS) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to research in the geosciences.
The CAIS serves as a unique interface to join academia - with its resources, ideas, and position at the forefront of research – with the immediate technological needs of industry and government. In operation on the UGA campus since 1968, the Center has an established national and international reputation as a pioneer in development and application of radioisotope and stable isotope analytical techniques, as a premier analytical laboratory, and as a technical training center.
If you've worked with us in the past year or so, would you mind letting us know how we are doing? Please take a minute to fill out our client satisfaction survey:
Something iSPOOKtopical happened at the Center today!🎃
Hello from SHA in Boston!
Want to learn how to avoid the most common mistakes in sample selection, reporting, and interpretation of radiocarbon dates? Sign up for this practical primer on radiocarbon dating by CAIS Research Scientist Carla Hadden.
Take an online practical primer on radiocarbon dating on December 16! Open to members and nonmembers. RPA’s receive 2 CPE credits. Learn more and register by visiting: https://tinyurl.com/y69yggmf #archaeology#archaeology
Congratulations, Inspector Gadget aka Samm Holder (aka me) is the winner of the 2nd Annual CAIS Halloween Costume Contest! Thanks to all those who participated and voted. Happy Halloween everyone!
It's that time of year again...Time to vote for your favorite costume for the 2nd Annual CAIS Costume Contest! Follow the link below and vote by 3 pm. The winner will be announced around 4pm.
Happy Monday! Today we are sharing a feature of Kyle Meyer, the Master Glass Blower at the Scientific Glass Shop. Kyle takes care of any glass repairs or manufacturing needs for CAIS as well as others on campus. He also teaches a glass blowing class through the Chemistry Department. Great job, Kyle!
Kyle Myer works at UGA's Scientific Glassblowing Shop
CAIS research scientist Doug Dvoracek and geology graduate student Alex Edwards are at the Geology Society of America meetings this week. Check out Alex’s awesome poster and our booth if you’re at the meetings! @ CAIS-Center for Applied Isotope Studies
Undergraduate research spotlight!
Nicholas Bentley just earned a bachelor’s degree in Anthropology from FSU, and completed an honors thesis studying a sediment core from the Page-Ladson archaeological site. Using stable isotopes and radiocarbon dating, Nicholas determined that thin sand lenses within the core reflect instantaneous depositional events from large storms, possibly hurricanes! This research will help archaeologists gain a better understanding of how people in the past responded to hurricanes and other natural disasters.
Muito obrigada and parabèns to Kita Macario, Carla Carvahlo, and the team at LAC-UFF for a fun and successful first ever Latin American Radiocarbon Conference in Niteroi, Brasil. See you in Mexico City in 2022!
Hello All! Hopefully everyone’s summer is shaping up nicely, we have an update from the Scientific Glass Shop at UGA! Kyle Meyer, our Master Glass Blower, taught at the American Scientific Glassblower Society (ASGS) International Symposium 2019 in Corning, NY this June. In these pictures he demonstrates the production of two different glass apparatuses used in laboratories. The first image is a 500 mL solvent flask and the last three are of a 500 mL jacketed flask. Great work!
Congratulations Tom Maddox of our Stable Isotope Ecology Lab on his paper in Nature! https://go.nature.com/2XkU1ra
Carbon and oxygen isotope analysis of sediments and soils from hominin locales in Kenya coupled with results from hominin taxa suggest that a dietary shift from C3 to C4 resources occurred in the genus Homo circa 1.65 million years ago despite palaeoenvironmental continuity.
Student research spotlight!
Devin Pettigrew (grad student at U Colorado, Boulder) and Jared Pebworth of the Arkansas Archaeological Survey are conducting an analysis of ancient weaponry from rock overhangs in the Ozarks of Arkansas, Missouri, Oklahoma and Kansas. Excavations under the bluffs have uncovered a large collection that is currently housed at the University of Arkansas Museum in Fayetteville, including bow and arrow fragments, complete and fragmentary atlatls and darts, and a sword-form war club.
Atlatls are extensions of the arm, with a handle at one end and a hook at the other that engages the end of a light and flexible spear called a dart. In the Ozarks two distinct types of atlatl have found. Under nearby bluffs specimens of a dart point type called Williams were uncovered with remnants of bark bindings. Bark represents a unique strategy for hafting points to darts in North America, where most points were hafted with animal sinew. Samples of these bindings were dated by the Center for Applied Isotope Studies and showed them to be ~2000 years old. The next step is to date the two atlatl types to see which one matches the timing of this point type.
Under another bluff, a complete sword-form war club was found. It has a sharpened edge along the blade, grooves at the end of the handle for grip, and a flared out portion between the handle and blade. It is stylistically reminiscent of the Southeastern Ceremonial Mace, a symbolic weapon associated with large mound-building societies. The artifact from the Ozarks seems to be the only complete example of a functional wooden sword from the continental US. A date from the Center of Applied Isotope Studies shows it to be ~600 years old, within the time frame of developing complex societies.
Happy #EarthDay! Climate change is a major issue facing contemporary society. Did you know stable isotope research can contribute to our understanding of long-term climate change? Check out this foundational article on tree cellulose, carbon isotopes, and climate: https://www.nature.com/articles/265133a0.
Check out this UGA news story on our STEM comic series.
Author wanted a way to hook undergraduate students and teach critical thinking.
Good morning! Today we are highlighting the work of Dr. Margaret M. Bender. Dr. Bender, chemistry professor at University of Wisconsin Madison, discovered that C4 plants are isotopically distinct from C3 plants. This discovery is foundational for isotopic studies in many fields today including ecology, archaeology, and biomedicine. Check out her foundational article: https://journals.uair.arizona.edu/index.php/radiocarbon/article/view/174/179.
Mass spectrometric studies of carbon 13 variations in corn and other grasses.
If you’re in Albuquerque for the Society for American Archaeology meetings, check out the awesome talks by UGA grad student and faculty. And be sure to stop by our booth!
Are you attending the Society for American Archaeology conference in Albuquerque this week? Make sure to check out all these great presentations by UGA faculty and graduate students.
We are set up and ready for the 2019 Society for American Archaeology meeting in Albuquerque. If you’re attending the meeting be sure to stop by and pick up a copy of our newest STEM comic on Pb isotopes.
We have to take a second to brag about our students who presented at the annual CURO Symposium yesterday! The symposium highlights excellence in undergraduate research at the University of Georgia.
Here's what they've been working on:
Marshall Liss: Paleoclimate Reconstruction of the Ten Thousand Islands Region of Everglades National Park.
Keiyanna Sealey Woodard: Forensic Entomology: The Correlation of Fly Larvae Growth and Development to Stage of Decomposition through Photography
Austin Bryan: Mercury Cycling in a Coastal Georgia Salt Marsh
Way to go!
Seven graduate students from UGA were recipients of this year’s NSF GRFP. Among them are Anthropology graduate students, Jordan Chapman and Cydney Seigerman. Congrats Jordan and Cydney!
Happy Monday! Today we are featuring Wilhelm Conrad Rontgen who is well known for his discovery of X-Rays, which are sometimes referred to as Rontgen Rays in his honor.
The discovery of X-Rays not only advanced medical techniques but geochemical and archaeological as well. Portable and tabletop X-Ray instruments are generally non-destructive and are commonly used in elemental analysis, which can be used to source geologic material and analyze sediment cores. CAIS uses both types of instruments in its X-Ray Fluorescence (XRF) Lab. Check out our website to learn more and click the link to learn more about Rontgen.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1901 was awarded to Wilhelm Conrad Röntgen "in recognition of the extraordinary services he has rendered by the discovery of the remarkable rays subsequently named after him".
New PLoS One article coauthored by CAIS' Sayed Hassan, Richard Bauer, and Kathy Loftis shows rat poison is the agent responsible for parrot deaths in the Telegraph Hill area of San Francisco.
Study caps a multi-year effort to determine cause of a neurological disease.
Happy Tuesday! Today we are highlighting the work of Michael Faraday. You may recognize his surname from the Faraday cup, a component of the mass spectrometer that counts ions to calculate isotope ratios.
Faraday made several discoveries in his lifetime including electro–magnetic rotations, benzene, electro-magnetic induction, the laws of electrolysis and coining words such as electrode, cathode, the magneto-optical effect and diamagnetism, together formulating the field theory of electro-magnetism. For more on Faraday, check out https://www.rigb.org/our-history/people/f/michael-faraday.
Biography of Michael Faraday
Check out this article written by Rachel Priest on Scott Noakes' Scientific Diving class and our Scientific Diving program. It is published in the Spring 2019 issue of Ampersand Magazine (p. 18). https://issuu.com/redandblack/docs/ampersand_spring2019
Ampersand Magazine Spring/Summer 2019
March 31st is the Transgender Day of Visibility, dedicated to celebrating transgender people and raising awareness of discrimination faced by transgender people worldwide. To honor this day, we encourage our UGA colleagues to join us in becoming safe-space certified through the UGA LGBT Resource Center.
Diversity in all walks of life is a critical part of the human scientific endeavor, and CAIS is excited and honored to celebrate all students, faculty, and staff who make our work possible.
For more information, or to sign up with the LGBT Resource Center, please see the links below. @lgbtrcatuga
#transgenderdayofvisibility #transvisibility #diversity #lgbtquga #transhigherEd #lgbtqscience
Happy Monday! March is the anniversary month of Willard Libby’s 1949 publication in Science which was the first publication to apply radiocarbon dating methods to archaeological material. The paper was entitled “Age Determination by Radiocarbon Content: World-Wide Assay of Natural Radiocarbon”. Radiocarbon dating remains a common method for dating archaeological material and has other applications as well. CAIS is well known for its radiocarbon dating lab. Check out our new website to find out more about radiocarbon and all our other labs!
The Center for Applied Isotope Studies is the largest and oldest Isotope Geochemistry Laboratory / Radiocarbon AMS Dating Facility in the United States that is accredited under ISO/IEC 17025:2005. Our commitment to experiential STEM education, research excellence, and superior service sets us apart....
Post doc opportunity in UGA's Laboratory of Archaeology
The Laboratory of Archaeology at The University of Georgia anticipates being able to hire a Post-doctoral Research Associate in Geographic Information Systems and Computer Modeling in Archaeology. This would be a three-year, 12-month, full-time position. The primary role of the individual will...
Good morning! Today we are featuring the work of Drs. Martin Kamen and Samuel Ruben. Seventy nine years ago this week (Feb 27), Kamen and Ruben discovered 14C, which led development of radiocarbon dating. Did you know we have a radiocarbon lab at CAIS? Check it out: https://cais.uga.edu/analysis_ams.html.
Good morning! Today we are featuring the work of Luis Alvarez and his team including Walter Alvarez, Frank Asaro, and Helen Vaughn Michel (featured previously). Using iridium isotopes, these researchers discovered that an asteroid struck the earth at the Cretaceous–Paleogene boundary. This discovery led to the Alvarez (impact) hypothesis for the extinction of dinosaurs. To learn more about Luis Alvarez and his other accomplishments, check out his biography on the Nobel Prize page: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/physics/1968/alvarez/biographical/.
The Nobel Prize in Physics 1968 was awarded to Luis Walter Alvarez "for his decisive contributions to elementary particle physics, in particular the discovery of a large number of resonance states, made possible through his development of the technique of using hydrogen bubble chamber and data analy...
Happy Monday! Theodore William Richards was awarded the 1914 Nobel Prize in Chemistry for developing techniques to accurately measure the atomic weights of several important elements. By 1912, Richards had determined the atomic weight of over 30 elements.
To learn more visit his biography: https://www.nobelprize.org/prizes/chemistry/1914/richards/biographical/
The Nobel Prize in Chemistry 1914 was awarded to Theodore William Richards "in recognition of his accurate determinations of the atomic weight of a large number of chemical elements".
Good morning! This Monday we are featuring the work of Samuel Epstein and his colleagues, Ralph Buchsbaum, Heinz A. Lowenstam, C. R. McKinney. These researchers developed a critical method for ascertaining ocean temperatures in the past using stable oxygen isotope analysis of calcium carbonate. Check out their foundational article https://pubs.geoscienceworld.org/gsa/gsabulletin/article/62/4/417-426/4426.
Are you interested in stable oxygen isotope analysis for your research? Check out our stable isotope analysis page: http://cais.uga.edu/analysis_stable_iso.html!
SAMUEL EPSTEIN, RALPH BUCHSBAUM, HEINZ LOWENSTAM, HAROLD C UREY; CARBONATE-WATER ISOTOPIC TEMPERATURE SCALE. GSA Bulletin ; 62 (4): 417–426. doi: https://doi.org/10.1130/0016-7606(1951)62[417:CITS]2.0.CO;2
Good morning! Today we highlighting the work of two isotope researchers, Drs. Masao Minagawa and Eitaro Wada. Dr. Minagawa is a professor in the School of Environmental Science at Hokkaido University and Dr. Wada is a professor emeritus at Kyoto University, Siberian Division of the Russian Academy of Science, and Institute for Humanity and Nature in Kyoto. The collaborations of Drs. Minagawa and Wada in the early 1980s were instrumental in establishing stable nitrogen isotope ratios as indicators of trophic position. Here is a link to one of their foundational studies: https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/pii/0016703784902047.
If you are interested in stable nitrogen isotope analysis, be sure to check out the Stable Isotope Ecology Lab at CAIS (http://siel.uga.edu).
The isotopic composition of nitrogen was measured in marine and fresh-water animals from the East China Sea, The Bering Sea, Lake Ashinoko and Usujiri…
New Faculty Spotlight!
Today we would like to introduce Dr. Sarah Jantzi, our new Research Scientist to the Plasma Chemistry Lab here at CAIS! Sarah comes to us from her previous position as an Interim Facility Manager following her postdoc in the Trace Evidence Analysis Facility of the International Forensic Research Institute at Florida International University (FIU). Some notable research she conducted includes elemental and strontium isotope analysis of heroin for the DEA to geographically provenance its source.
Sarah earned her doctorate in Analytical Chemistry at FIU with her dissertation topic in laser-based elemental analysis of soil using LA-ICP-MS and LIBS for forensic analysis. Other research areas she has focused on over the years are in biotechnology growing DNA for biosensors and studying transgenic wheat, and analyzing fireworks to determine false positives for gunshot residue tests for forensic purposes.
What interested Sarah most in accepting this position is the study of archaeometry. Sarah is very excited to do research, collaborate and provide mentorship to students throughout the facility, and find new ways to develop and improve analytical and instrumentation methods.
Feel free to drop by and introduce yourself - and don’t forget to ask her about her time as a bassist in a Bengali rock band! Welcome Sarah to CAIS - we look forward to having you here!
120 Riverbend Rd
The Center for Applied Isotope Studies (CAIS) is a multidisciplinary organization dedicated to research and development of nuclear analytical technology. The CAIS serves as a unique interface to join academia - with its resources, ideas, and position at the forefront of research – with the immediate technological needs of industry and government. With 40+ years in operation on the UGA campus, the Center has an established national and international reputation as a pioneer in development and application of radioisotope and stable isotope analytical techniques, as a premier analytical laboratory, and as a technical training center.
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****COVID-19 Information Update: Due to COVID-19, and to maintain a safe and healthy environment for our personnel, the Center is operating and testing samples deemed essential only. These include, but not limited to, flavors for Authenticity Testing, Radiocarbon Dating, Biobase Testing and Stable Isotope Ratio analysis. Essential services can be confirmed by contacting Randy Culp ([email protected]), Director CAIS. Further updates will be made available on our website CAIS.UGA.EDU. Please stay safe and healthy.****