Washington College ICPMS Laboratory

Washington College ICPMS Laboratory

We are a multidisciplinary group of faculty and students conducting research in environmental chemistry, geology and biology using inductively coupled plasma quadrupole mass spectrometry (ICPqMS) with a laser ablation system.

Our instrumentation is funded by a grant from the Major Research Instrumentation Program of the National Science Foundation. We have additional support from Maryland Sea Grant.

Current Projects 

News from the Attic  

April 2014

  • Dana Devore (Environmental Studies ’14) is working with Dr. Krahforst to evaluate the role that switchgrass may play in BMPs for nutrient load management. 
  • Kodi Webb (Chemistry ’14) is using the ICPMS to study the bioavailability of Sn, Cu and Zn from antifouling paints in sediments in the vicinity of recreational marinas. Stay tuned for reports on her interesting work. 
  • View recently acquired data from the Watershed-scale trace metal survey: Contaminants in the Sediment of the Chester River 

March 2014 

  • Katherine Wares (Environmental Science ’14) is looking at the effects of agricultural and roadside runoff on marbled salamander development. She used the ICPMS to quantify metal loads in both sediment and water samples from 6 vernal pools located on Chino Farms. 

December 2013 

  • Sarah Winters (Physics ’14) traveled with Dr. Kehm to the Fall American Geophysical Union Conference in San Francisco to present the results of summer research on digestion techniques. Read the full story here

November 2013 

  • Matt Wilfong (Environmental Studies ’15) began working in the Attic Laboratory as an assistant. 

October 2013

  • Sarah Winters (Physics ’14) presented her summer research and experiences at Fall Family Weekend. Watch the full story here.

Sarah Winters ('14) describing her research.


August 2013

  • Drew Hobbs (Environmental Studies ’15) is wrapping up his summer research work studying the water and sediments of Radcliffe Creek. Read the full story here

July 2013

  • The instrument move was successful, the lab is now operational and we officially have plasma! 

June 2013

  • We moved into our new Attic Lab in the Dunning Science Building at Washington College. Check out the summer 2013 research photo gallery for the latest views of the new lab.

ICPqMS Instrument with lit plasma torch in the new instrumentation lab.ICPMS: Mass Spectrometer in the Attic Laboratory at Washington College in summer of 2013.



Memorizing auto sampler in action.

Clip of Peristaltic pump and Argon plasma.