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BHSU Gets $600,000 NSF Grant

Amy Varland

Black Hills State University in Spearfish is getting money from the National Science Foundation. University officials say the NSF $600,000 grant is to enhance the university’s science lab capabilities and increase involvement between the college and the Sanford Underground Research Facility in Lead.
BHSU Assistant Research Professor Dr. Brianna Mount says part of the money is to purchase equipment that detects radioactive materials like uranium and thorium.
Dr. Mount says the new ICP-MS contaminant detector is useful for the university, but can also benefit other South Dakota industries.

“I  think in addition to the Sanford Lab applications for the ICP-MS, I think one of the reasons that we got this grant was we really have a lot of collaborators around the state. So we’ve got paleontologists, chemists, geologists, people working on sustainability, on solar cells. There’s just a huge range of things that we can do that need an ICP-MS and so we’re very excited to work with all our different disciplinary colleagues on the ICP-MS project,” says Mount.
Mount says the grant money will also help pay for lab staffing and a sample-prep area. She says the new lab will complement the cleanroom facility that is already on the BHSU campus.
The new ICP-MS lab is scheduled to open next summer in the newly-renovated Jonas Science Hall.

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