Access, Reservations and Rates


The Analytical Laboratory for Great lakes Exploration (ALGE) is a core research facility at Michigan Technological University. We provide access to gas chromatography, mass spectrometry, ultraviolet/visible spectroscopy, and analytical microscopy instrumentation.

Location – Contacts

ALGE-AccessALGE is located on the second floor (room 223) of the new Great Lakes Research Center  building of the Michigan Technological University   Michigan Tech Campus Map

ALGE contact:   Michael R. Gretz, Professor, Rm 222 GLRC,  906 487 3175


Training Requirements

Only authorized users will be permitted to use the instruments. Users are authorized by the instrument oversight committee upon successful completion of training classes or equivalent.

Training opportunities will be offered, including MTU coursework, one on one training, or group sessions —consult ALGE staff for the next scheduled opportunity. Users are not permitted to train other users. User authorization may expire after six months or so of lapsed usage.


Authorized users can reserve instrument time up two weeks in advance by signing up in the instrument log book on each instrument.  Sign up requests can be made to .

  1. You may sign up for:
    • up to 16 hour blocks for the mass spectrometers and 4 hour blocks on the microscopes for a maximum of 35 hrs/wk.
  2. Allow 1 day between sign-ups to permit others an opportunity to gain access.
  3. After satisfying the above procedures, you may sign-up for additional time (beyond the maximum) if a) you have already used your weekly maximum on that instrument, and b) un-signed time is available.
  4. 12 hours notice is requested if you must miss a scheduled appointment.  Another user may begin using your block after you are 15 minutes late.
  5. Priority for use is as follows:
    1. Classes and Course Laboratories
    2. MTU Research Community
  6. In case of conflicting needs for multiple users, scheduling will be arranged in consultation the instrument oversight committee. Decisions will normally be made based on the above stated priorities.

The following ALGE instruments must be reserved by the sign-up procedure:

  1. Thermo Element 2 ICP-MS
  2. Thermo ITQ1100 GC-MS
  3. Zeiss Axioskop HD Video microscope
  4. Leica DM-R UV-VIS spectral imaging microscope.


The sign-up procedures described above may be relaxed depending on the level of use a particular research group requires and the ability of users to work together on their needs.

Use Rates

Use charges will be levied for authorized users.  Use charges for each ALGE instrument are determined by the instrument oversight committee following procedures endorsed by the Michigan Tech Research Accounting Office.

Instrument use rates (/hour) are summarized below.

  1. Thermo Element 2 ICP-MS                                                $45
  2. Thermo ITQ1100 GC-MS                                                    $38
  3. Zeiss Axioskop HD Video microscope                             $12
  4. Leica DM-R UV-VIS spectral imaging microscope          $12

Best Practices

Be sure that your sample is prepared appropriately for analysis on ALGE instrumentation and that the results required match the capabilities of the instrument.

Each instrument has operating instructions (paper or video) for reference during use. The instructions describe basic operations and procedures, as well as the standard conditions in which the instrument should be left after each use. Failure to execute the shut-down procedures as specified may needlessly confuse the next user.

All non-standard experiments involving the instruments must be approved in advance. If there is a problem with any instrument report it immediately. There is no penalty for reporting accidental damage to equipment. Not reporting a problem or deliberate misuse of equipment will not be tolerated. Deliberate or negligent use of the equipment will may result in the assessment of repair charges to faculty. Unauthorized use of the equipment or forging or erasing entries in the log book will result in disciplinary action.

Safety and Cleanliness

Users must have received basic laboratory safety training in their own academic unit equivalent to that required in the Biological Sciences Department.

All users must adhere to lab safety guidelines and cleanliness in the working environment. This is a University mandate.


Citing ALGE in Publications

Please acknowledge ALGE in all resulting publications, including articles, posters, and news releases. Publications citing ALGE use are essential when a proposal is being prepared for a replacement instrument.  Please supply a reprint of any publication that contains data recorded from ALGE to Michael Gretz