Facilities, Equipment, and Research Affiliates


In addition to faculty members’ personal research laboratories (see faculty research statements), the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences (EES) has several common usage spaces for faculty research and student training: an analytical laboratory, departmental conference room, earth materials preparation laboratory, geographic information systems laboratory, and microscopy laboratory. A description of each of these spaces is below.

The department also has two dedicated student resource spaces for undergraduates and graduates, located on the third and fourth floors of Ingersoll Hall, respectively.

Analytical Laboratory (4308 Ingersoll Hall)

EES repurposed 950 square feet of derelict space that formerly housed a USGS Map Room to create a shared analytical laboratory. The analytical lab is equipped with common use equipment and materials, including balances, milliQ water system, spectrophotometer, fluorometer, pH meter, pH and oxygen titration systems, hotplates, and laboratory glassware, materials, and chemicals.

Conference Room (inside 3137 Ingersoll Hall)

A former office in the departmental office suite was recently reconfigured as a conference room for the purpose of departmental, professional, and student committee meetings. The conference room has Web and teleconferencing capability, so faculty and students can participate in meetings remotely.

Earth Materials Preparation Laboratory (3112 Ingersoll Hall)

Housed in this laboratory for common rock and sediment preparation are a rock crusher, a Retsch ball mill for fine grinding, two sieve shakers (one of one column and the other of two columns), a Felker wet rock cutter, a small oil rock cutter, an air compressor, a jack-tire-driven rock cutter, and a set of sieves.

Geographical Information Systems (GIS) Laboratory (4215 Ingersoll Hall)

The geospatial teaching and research laboratory includes 21 state-of-the-art computers (16GB of RAM, 2.2 GHz of CPU speed, 1GB of storage space, 64 bit processors, and 64 MB 3D graphics accelerator cards) with ArcGIS and IDRISI software packages, a 16MB map scanner, black-and-white and color printers, and 20 high-precision handheld (Trimble Juno) GPS units. The lab is managed by EES’s senior lab technician, who works closely with Information Technology Services. As part of CUNY, Brooklyn College has ESRI software licenses for ArcGIS desktop and ArcGIS server. The ArcGIS server allows Web-based visualizations and spatial analysis.

Microscopy Laboratory (4239 Ingersoll Hall)

Housed in this laboratory are 15 petrographic microscopes, four Leica regular microscopes, one research petrographic microscope, two research regular microscopes, and a scanning electron microscope with an energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy for elemental and chemical analysis.

Shared Training Equipment

Over the past decade, EES has acquired a vast amount of shared-use analytical and field equipment. All field equipment is housed in the department’s third-floor storage room and is available for faculty checkout for use teaching and training activities. The analytical equipment is housed in the newly established shared-use analytical laboratory. In addition to the purchase of the field and analytical equipment, the department has purchased a 15-passenger van, 20-foot Carolina skiff with trailer, and a small kayak in support of the EES Environmental Field Investigations capstone course and experiential learning/student training in Jamaica Bay and other New York waterways. The van is also used for the Field Mapping capstone course and for other local (within 200 miles) class field trips. The van, skiff, and kayak are shared with the SRI@JB.

Research Center and Institute Affiliates

The CUNY Advanced Science Research Center (CUNY ASRC)

The CUNY Advanced Science Research Center, located near City College in Manhattan, is a 200,000-square-foot facility designed to facilitate interactions between five areas of global research: nanoscience, photonics, structural biology, neuroscience, and environmental sciences. Several EES faculty members and their students are active participants in research activities being carried out at or in collaboration with CUNY ASRC.

The Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center (AREAC)

The Aquatic Research and Environmental Assessment Center, located in Ingersoll Hall Extension,  is dedicated to basic and applied studies of aquatic systems and has has supported the research of numerous EES undergraduate and graduate students. AREAC houses a saltwater area (10,000 square feet) with a recirculating seawater system that allows for the control of temperature, salinity, and photoperiod (O2 and pH are continuously monitored). Adjacent to the saltwater area is a 2,000-square-foot analytical lab equipped for various analyses, including morphology, immunochemistry, molecular biology, biochemical assays, and water quality.

In 2013, the college received a CUNY2020 Challenge Grant ($2.5 million) from the State of New York to renovate AREAC’s laboratories. In response to faculty and student research needs and to allow for closer alignment with research activities in Jamaica Bay and other New York waterways, AREAC’s analytical laboratory is currently undergoing a major renovation and reconfiguration for more efficient and flexible usage. AREAC is open to all faculty members, researchers, and students at Brooklyn College and other CUNY campuses for their research and teaching activities. A new undergraduate course offered by EES, Aquatic Food Resources: Fisheries, Aquaculture, and Aquaponics (EESC 3820), is taught in AREAC.

AREAC has a rooftop greenhouse with approximately 1,500 square feet of working space, four greenhouse laboratories, and a general usage space. The climate in the greenhouse and each laboratory is computer controlled for temperature, light, and humidity, allowing for year-round experimentation. The greenhouse is also equipped with recirculating tanks for hydroponic and aquaponic research.

Urban Soils Lab (USL)

The Urban Soils Lab, located in Ingersoll Hall, is equipped with state-of-the-art instrumentation for environmental research and education. The lab is open to all undergraduate and graduate students, faculty members, and researchers at Brooklyn College and other CUNY campuses for their research and teaching activities. Core equipment includes a Perkin-Elmer Dynamic Reaction Cell Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer, an Analytical JEOL 200-kV Transmitted Electron Microscope, and a Philips Multi-Purpose X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD). The center also has a trace metal lab and a mineral and particulate sampling processing lab. The facilities can provide structural and compositional information for a wide range of samples, especially at very high resolutions (nanometer scale) or ultra-low elemental concentrations (parts per trillion ranges).

The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay (SRI@JB)

The Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay, located in Ingersoll Hall, is a multi-institutional consortium. Prior to Hurricane Sandy, Jamaica Bay had already become a major focal point for revitalizing 10,000 acres of heavily stressed and impacted urban parklands through a combination of education, habitat restoration, and cutting-edge science. In 2012 the City of New York and the National Park Service established a resilience-focused science center that could inform adaptive management and restoration decisions in Jamaica Bay—the CUNY-led Science and Resilience Institute at Jamaica Bay. The SRI@JB is a place-based learning and research facility for actionable science and workforce development dedicated not only to restoring Jamaica Bay but also to exploring broader issues of coastal resilience. EES and the SRI@JB have a close partnership that has resulted in several funded activities that support EES research and student training. The SRI@JB also manages the RV CUNY1, a 60-foot vessel used for research and student training.

Brooklyn. All in.