Climate Change Research Facility

climate change facility

BML serves as a nexus for climate research on California’s North Central Coast. Its facilities create opportunities for new kinds of climate change studies and monitoring. Specialized equipment and laboratories are available for use through BML’s policy of "equipment and expertise sharing."

Two large climate change laboratories enable researchers to simultaneously control multiple environmental variables (including seawater CO2 levels) via sophisticated computer control. BML’s seawater monitoring and control network provides automated, centralized control of temperature and salinity in laboratories. Photoperiod can be manipulated with artificial lighting or made available in two outdoor laboratories.

Climate Change Facilities Policy

BML Climate Change Facilities User Policy Guidelines

Purpose

BML Climate Change Facilities (CCF) were funded by NSF for the purpose of providing wet lab space needed to create complex environments, alleviate redundant time-consuming efforts to set up utilities and equipment, as an attractant to collaborators, and for use by a wide-range of external users. The Climate Change facilities, once fully functional, create multiple variable environments. Some facilities provide computerized-control of flow, salinity, and temperature, but none deliver multiple co-located utilities or replicated spaces needed for complex manipulations of multiple environmental variables. In addition, wet laboratories at BML are intensively used in the spring and summer by graduate students, postdoctoral researchers and students engaged in BML’s research-oriented educational and training programs. As a result, wet lab space is often “over-booked.” Costly and time-consuming experimental designs further aggravate efficient use and assignment of wet lab space.

Project Benefits to Visiting Scientists and Students

The CCF will be advertised by BML as a unique resource available for use by visiting scientists and students engaged in climate change studies as per NSF’s guidelines. Visitors are able to reserve space in a 4-room facility that provides easily-accessible, co-located, replicated connections to utilities needed to control atmospheric, seawater, freshwater variables and aquatic life support. Researchers will provide their own project-specific equipment, containers, pumps, canisters, and probes.

Climate facility space is flexible, and can be made available as empty rooms or with modular tables and racks. The facility accommodates needs for environmental manipulation in static, recirculating, semi-closed, and flow-through systems. Specialized experimental set-ups can be fabricated by on-site staff with expertise in developing precision systems, and one fully functional closed-circulation wet rack system will be available for BML spring/summer undergraduate student use. A variety of types of probes (including those measuring variables not specifically identified in this proposal) are compatible with the available monitoring and control system. Users can manipulate experimental environments from a standard interactive screen, or can work with on-site IT staff to develop customized interfaces specific to their projects.

User Policy and Guidelines

Requests to use the CCF, will be reviewed and approved by BML management and will be granted on a non-exclusive basis for experiments of short-to-medium duration to allow for the maximum utilization and to benefit a wide and varied user population with emphasis on facilities availability outside of the BML resident community (as per NSF guidelines).

Additionally,

  1. All existing mechanical and electrical and sea water plumbing systems within this lab space shall not be modified or altered without written approval and oversight from the BML Physical Plant management and staff
  2. All material and labor within “approved” minor laboratory modifications requiring Physical Plant or ARG support will have a written estimate and recharge number prior to project start-up and completion.
  3. All approved minor modifications to existing laboratory space must be put back into its original configuration prior to vacating laboratory space. Physical plant/ARG will assist on a recharge basis where required and inspect laboratory prior to the occupants departure.

Your compliance and cooperation in following the above policy and guidelines with ensure that BML complies with the stated purpose that NSF relied upon to grant BML the funds to build these unique facilities.