Water Sciences Lab debuts new course this fall

People working in Laboratory

By: Callie Svoboda

What’s more fundamental for society than water? Now more than ever, so much depends upon this vital natural resource. Which is why the University of Nebraska’s Water Sciences Laboratory (WSL) is proud to debut its unique course on water this fall. NRES 439, or Environmental Laboratory Instrumentation and Methods, is a one credit hour, in-person and online class for students who want to learn in a real-world setting. Students will expand their knowledge of environmental laboratory operations, testing, methods, safety, and documentation. Furthermore, students will complete lab training and prepare samples using state-of-the-art analytical equipment. Prerequisites for this course are CHEM 106A and CHEM 106L or CHEM 110A and CHEM 110L. Graduate credit is available for independent study.

With 40 years of combined laboratory experience, Drs. Daniel Snow and Saptashati (Tania) Biswas will teach and share their expertise of water sciences throughout. When asked about the importance and necessity of offering this class to UNL students, Snow emphasized that “Studying and protecting the quality of our environment requires professionals who understand how to produce high quality results in a testing laboratory. NRES 439 will give students a practical introduction to environmental testing and a hands-on guided experience in laboratory testing methods. I think anyone using data from a testing laboratory or who intends to produce their own test results should take this class.”

In its 30-plus years on campus, the WSL has trained hundreds of undergraduate and graduate students and visiting scholars. Similarly, the lab has amassed over $3 million worth of groundbreaking instruments, including the recent addition of a Xevo TQS triple quadrupole mass spectrometer. However, the researchers and students who devise the experiments and methods of testing are the lab’s most valuable assets.

Ultimately, students who complete this course will have a competitive advantage for a future paid internship at WSL. If you are looking to strengthen your water science knowledge and skills in a dynamic, working lab, sign up today as the course is capped at 12 students and will fill up fast!

The WSL is part of the Nebraska Water Center and Daugherty Water for Food Global Institute at the University of Nebraska. Learn more at https://watercenter.unl.edu/wsl