WSL Policies

All new users must read and sign a copy of these WSL Lab Policies before working at the Water Sciences Laboratory.

  • Prior to using the WSL facilities, all users must complete UNL Environmental Health and Safety Training web-based training including Core - Injury and Illness Prevention Plan, Core - Emergency Preparedness Training, each of the four units in Chemical Safety Training, and Personal Protective Equipment. Each user is required to provide certification to be kept on record at the WSL.
  • The WSL is generally open during normal University of Nebraska business hours Monday through Friday from 8am to 5pm. Trained users may request and schedule work in the Lab at other times provided they have obtained written approval from the Lab director, Dan Snow.
  • Because the WSL is a core facility, staff have priority for instrument and equipment usage. Some major laboratory equipment (mass spectrometers, chromatographs, spectrophotometers) may be rented hourly for use by faculty, postdoctoral researchers, and/or students after receipt of proper training by WSL staff. Rental rates will be determined by estimating operation and maintenance costs and provided on the website (Example ICP-MS $50/hour). Roughly 2-hours of staff time will be provided as part of the rental fee, and additional training time will be provided at staff compensation rates ($25-30/hour). All use by faculty researchers and students will be scheduled in advance through the WSL director. User training requirements and documentation of training will be maintained by laboratory staff. Consumables (vials, solvents, etc.) will be provided by the user unless specified in rate. Equipment use will be documented and equipment maintenance and down-time costs resulting directly from improper use of equipment will be charged to the client. Student progress in completing required analysis through the use of the facility will be the responsibility of the advisor.
  • All equipment use must be scheduled in advance using the WSL QReserve Lab Calendar. Sign up for an account at QReserve and then send a request to become a WSL User to the Lab director.
  • All solutions prepared in the WSL must be both labelled and fully documented in the appropriate solutions notebook. Every reagent must be labeled properly with a full chemical name, date, initials, and the WSL Reference ID number.
  • The WSL is a shared working environment. Please be sure to clean up all bench spaces and shared equipment, clean all used glassware, and report when supplies are running low. If you have questions related to maintaining a shared lab, please do not hesitate to ask.
  • Rate discounts for large volume projects. Preparation and analysis of large batches of samples (typically >50 within a 3-month period) for a given method is always more economical than smaller groups. Quantity discounts (10%) will be given when client notifies the WSL director in advance (3 months) prior to delivery. Additional discounts can be requested for: 1) previously-prepared 2) reduced quality control requirements and 3) when laboratory staff position is partially supported by a project.
  • Encouragement of faculty planning and collaboration. Research planning beyond understanding of service rates and available methods by faculty and students is strongly encouraged. It is suggested the WSL Lab Director be included as a co-PI to proposals when there is a significant intellectual contribution in the form of new method development and/or data interpretation. Appropriate salary savings for either staff or laboratory director should be included in a project budget for time required for new method development, data interpretation, and manuscript preparation. It should be understood, however, that inclusion of the director or other staff as a co-PI does not mean a project samples are given higher priority.
  • Paper publication – authorship vs. acknowledgements. Continued support of the Water Sciences Laboratory depends in part on documenting its role and contribution to the success of the University of Nebraska faculty. While use of the facility can be measured in terms of number of samples and methods, acknowledgement in publications and presentation can help establish a greater measurement of facility productivity (cost/benefit). Investigators should consider inviting laboratory director and/or specific staff to serve as co-authors on publications where there is significant intellectual contribution to the research.
  • New Method Development. The Water Sciences Laboratory specializes in developing new methods to support water research. New methods can include modification of existing methods and/or equipment for specific project and samples needs, or development of an entirely new capability. Depending on the complexity of the method, time required for modification of equipment and validation may quire a “new method surcharge” if several weeks of staff effort is needed or if there is a significant interruption of analyses for other projects. Pre-planning/scheduling of new method development in advance (3-6 months ahead) will permit scheduling of equipment and staff time in order to minimize disruption of the testing of other samples.
Read the WSL User's Guide Sign up to become a WSL Facility user