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RAP opportunity at National Institute of Standards and Technology     NIST

Stable Isotope Metrology for Environmental and Forensics Research


Material Measurement Laboratory, Chemical Sciences Division

opportunity location
50.64.63.B7859 Charleston, SC

NIST only participates in the February and August reviews.


name email phone
Steven J. Christopher 843.460.9858
John R. Kucklick 202-494-5353


Multicollector inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometry (MC-ICPMS) provides sensitive and precise measurements of stable isotope ratios and can be coupled to a variety sample introduction systems. The versatility and performance of MC-ICPMS and its increasing availability has expanded the field of stable isotope research to new elements and new applications. The isotopic research program at NIST Charleston (Hollings Marine Laboratory) will focus largely on analytical method development, new and improved applications, standards development, quality control, and specimen banking as they relate to environmental (particularly marine ecosystems) and forensics research. Examples include (1) developing matrix isotopic reference materials (e.g., mercury), (2) measuring mercury isotopes in archived biological tissues (e.g., marine mammals, seabirds. sea turtles) to study mercury sources and biogeochemical cycling, (3) improved methodology for using boron isotopes in marine carbonate skeletons (e.g., corals) as a proxy for seawater pH, and (4) developing isotopic tools for provenance determination, forensics, studying dispersal and migration, and detection of ground water contamination. We are seeking applicants to use MC-ICPMS to perform innovative science in these or related topical areas.



Day RD, et al: Environmental Science and Technology 46: 5327, 2012

Point, D, Sonke JF, Day RD, et al: Nature Geosciences 4: 188, 2011


key words
Stable isotopes; Multicollector ICPMS; Environment; Specimen bank; Climate change; Mercury; Ocean acidification; Pollution; Reference materials;


Citizenship:  Open to U.S. citizens
Level:  Open to Postdoctoral applicants


Base Stipend Travel Allotment Supplementation
$82,764.00 $3,000.00
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