Scientists and engineers at UC Merced celebrated the opening of the new Imaging and Microscopy facility on the afternoon of Dec. 14 with a reception in the facility in UC Merced’s Castle location. Faculty, staff and student attendees got a first-hand look at some sophisticated scientific equipment, including an Environmental Scanning Electron Microscope with an EDS Spectrometer, a Transmission Electron Microscope with an EELS Spectrometer and various microscopy support equipment.
Researchers who use the equipment and representatives from the companies who manufacture it were on hand to explain how these high-tech machines contribute to the scientific research being carried out at UC Merced. UC Merced biologists, chemists, geologists, physicists, nanoscientists, materials engineers and others will use the microscopes to get accurate, close-up information about the subjects of their study.
The main equipment for the facility has been purchased using grants from the National Science Foundation won through collaborative proposals made by several UC Merced faculty members in the schools of Natural Science and Engineering, including Peggy O’Day, Valerie Leppert, Sam Traina, Christopher Viney, David Kelley and David Ojcius.
Like-minded institutions in the region like CSU Stanislaus and UC Davis have generously donated other important equipment for the lab, largely through the efforts of Mike Dunlap, who manages the facility. Dunlap came to UC Merced from Davis, where he was responsible for a similar facility.
The Imaging and Microscopy Facility is part of UC Merced’s Core Lab plan, which encourages the sharing of laboratory space and equipment to facilitate interdisciplinary, cooperative scientific research and create more efficient laboratory programs. Other Core Labs, such as a donor-funded genomics lab and others, will be built as UC Merced grows.
This facility has been on my mind since I arrived at UC Merced four years ago, said Keith Alley, Vice Chancellor for Research and Dean of Graduate Studies. High-tech equipment is vital for scientific research today, and the equipment here will allow our researchers to accomplish a great deal. Alley gave the keynote address at the opening celebration.