University of Vermont

Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory

R/V Melosira & other facilities

Research Vessel Melosira and Other Facilities

Research Vessel Melosira

The University of Vermont's research vessel Melosira is docked adjacent to the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory, where it provides convenient and immediate access to Lake Champlain. The R/V Melosira is staffed with a full-time Captain and Deckhand experienced in all aspects of limnological, geological, and fisheries sampling including: water sampling, plankton sampling, sediment coring, deploying and maintaining in situ sensors, gill netting, bottom and mid-water fish trawling, and hydroacoustic sampling. Lake Champlain Live! is a program on the R/V Melosira which offers elementary, middle, and high school students and teachers the opportunity to learn first-hand about the study of limnology and to collect their own data on Lake Champlain with the aid of professional educators and lab research staff.

The Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory also has several smaller boats for use on Lake Champlain and surrounding water bodies. The laboratory houses state-of-the-art research and teaching facilities for the study of water and sediment quality, contaminants, and aquatic biota including fish, invertebrates, and algae. Faculty, staff, graduate students, and undergraduates also work with faculty in other laboratories across the campus that expand our research capabilities and facilitate cross-disciplinary research.

Other Boats and Facilities

  • C-Hawk

    The C-Hawk is a 22-foot, center console with a 150-hp outboard engine. The C-Hawk is trailerable, making it a cost-effective research platform for sampling all of Lake Champlain.  The boat is used to sample water quality, benthos, plankton, and fish, and to maintain sensor buoy systems. The Laboratory also has a 15-foot, 6-person inflatable with 20-hp outboard engine. This boat provides flexibility in sampling Lake Champlain and smaller water bodies with incredible ease and stability and is particularly useful early and late in the field season when boat ramps are frozen. The laboratory also has a 16-foot john boat with 8-hp outboard engine and two smaller dinghies.

  • Wet Lab

    The Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory houses a 1300-ft2 adaptable wet laboratory for conducting experiments. Students and faculty use the space for experiments ranging from toxicology to animal behavior experiments. Flow-through water, water chillers, variable configurations of aquaria, an environmental room, and other amenities make this space extremely valuable for conducting laboratory experiments. A large viewing window looking into ECHO Lake Aquarium and Science Center provides additional opportunities for engaging the public in observations of science.

  • Rubenstein Lab classroom

    The Rubenstein Laboratory also is home to a state-of-the-art teaching laboratory featuring a digital projection system and teaching station, compound and dissecting microscopes, and other laboratory equipment capable of supporting a variety of educational programs. This space is also available to the UVM community for workshops or meetings. Contact Jason Stockwell at or 802-859-3086 for more information on booking this space.

  • Student working in a community lab

    Individual and community laboratories within the Rubenstein Ecosystem Science Laboratory offer a wide range of capabilities and equipment. A partial list of these includes: microscope room with multiple compound and dissecting microscopes and associated image analysis systems; acid wash room; walk-in freezer and refrigerator space; -80˚C freezer; Shimadzu GC-8A gas chromatograph with FID detector and digital integrator; Shimadzu TOC analyzer equipped with a TN analyzer and auto-sampler; Lachat QuikChem FIA+ 8000 series2-channel auto-analyzer; Shimadzu UV-1601 single beam spectrophotometer equipped with a sample sipper; Loligo Systems 4-chamber respirometer and micro-respiorometer systems; SCUBA gear; Isomet saw for processing fish otoliths for age estimation; drying ovens; and other basic laboratory equipment.

  • Researchers place receivers in Lake

    The Champlain Acoustic Telemetry Observation System (CATOS) provides infrastructure for acoustic telemetry studies in Lake Champlain. Acoustic transmitters are surgically implanted in fish and periodically emit an acoustic signal. Strategically placed receivers passively detect and record tagged fish that move within their range (~ 1.5 km radius). CATOS currently consists of 12 strategically-placed receivers throughout Lake Champlain with plans to expand to 26 receivers in 2014. The CATOS infrastructure supports a diversity of projects involving fish movement. Accumulated data are downloaded 2-3 times per year, and each project will be provided with detection data pertaining to its tagged fish. CATOS fosters greater collaboration among institutions by facilitating data-sharing, and encourages communication among agencies and research institutions about ongoing projects and potential research avenues.

  • Isotope lab

    UVM's Environmental Stable Isotope Facility is housed in the Department of Geology and has been managed by Professor Andrea Lini since 1995. The facility is equipped with two V.G. SIRA II and one V.G. SIRA 12 stable isotope ratio mass spectrometers able to analyze isotopes of C, O, N, H and S. There are two gas extraction lines which can be used for offline preparation of gas samples needed for the isotopic analysis of organic materials, natural waters, and carbonates. In addition, a CE Instruments NA2500 elemental analyzer, an automatic water equilibration system, and a multi-sample carousel are interfaced to the mass spectrometers allowing for automated analysis of C and N isotopes in organic materials, oxygen isotopes in water samples, as well as carbon and oxygen isotopes in carbonates.

  • Kraft lab

    Lipid and fatty acid analyses are conducted in Dr. Jana Kraft’s laboratory on the 2nd floor of the Terrill Building on the main campus of UVM. The laboratory is fully equipped to perform lipid and fatty acid analyses and biochemical/physiological experiments. In addition to the standard equipment, Dr. Kraft’s laboratory has the following major equipment: Shimadzu GC-2010 gas chromatograph w/flame ionization detector, Shimadzu GC2010 coupled with a GC-MS-QP2010 Plus, Shimadzu LC20 high-performance liquid chromatography system w/UV-VIS diode array, a Labconco FreeZone Plus cascade freeze dry system, and a Heidolph rotary evaporator. The laboratory also features thin-layer chromatography (TLC) instrumentation including CAMAG plate cutter, TLC developing chambers, a sample application system, an inspection UV cabinet, and a TLC spray cabinet.

Last modified January 30 2014 02:57 PM