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Becoming a Golden Hawk means more than just cheering on our (really good) varsity teams – it means being a student who cares about your community, who works hard in the classroom, and who takes advantage of all the learning opportunities that can happen outside the classroom, too.

The Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science (CCRWS) is a collaborative research facility that houses four research centres/groups and a variety of state-of-the-art analytical equipment. The facility, which opened in 2013, is funded by Laurier, the Government of the Northwest Territories (GNWT), the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), and the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario).

Research Within the CCRWS

The CCRWS is home to two interdisciplinary Laurier research centres and two collaborative research groups.

Laurier Research Centres

  • The Cold Regions Research Centre (CRRC) focuses on mountain and northern cold regions, covering such areas as hydrology, climatology, glaciology, resource management, parks planning, and biogeochemistry. Contact:
  • The Laurier Institute for Water Science (LIWS) is a multidisciplinary, collaborative undertaking focusing on both Canadian and global water issues, including the effects of climate change, the sustainability of healthy aquatic and coastal ecosystems, and the development of regulations and policy related to water use. Contact: Professor Jim McGeer, LIWS Director.

Collaborative Research Groups

  • Canadian Aquatic Laboratory for Interdisciplinary Boreal Ecosystem Research (CALIBER) researchers apply a holistic, interdisciplinary, and ecosystem approach based on watersheds, responding to urgent and serious concerns about flows and storage processes and the effects of nutrients and contaminants on boreal freshwater. CALIBER facilities in the CCRWS building include labs for hydrology, aquatic culture and testing, biogeochemistry characterization, molecular biochemistry and imaging, and predictive modelling. CALIBER is funded by the Government of the Northwest Territories, the Canada Foundation for Innovation (CFI), and Laurier.
  • The Ontario Water Consortium (OWC) is a platform for research, development and demonstration of water technologies in the context of an urbanizing watershed. Laurier is one of eight university partners of the consortium, which also includes municipalities, not-for-profits, and the private sector. OWC facilities in the CCRWS building include labs for hydrometerology calibration, sample prep and stabilization, fish, and base workstations for researchers working in the field. The OWC portion of the centre is funded by the Ontario Ministry of Research and Innovation (MRI), the Federal Economic Development Agency for Southern Ontario (FedDev Ontario), and Laurier.

Access to Equipment

The CCRWS analytical equipment is available to internal and external users. Access policies and fees may vary by user type – for details, contact Gena Braun. User types are defined as follows:

  • Internal User: Faculty members at Laurier, Laurier students or government researchers participating in the GNWT-Laurier Partnership.
  • External Academic: Faculty members from other universities not associated with GNWT-WLU projects.
  • External Industry: Users from private industry.

Training Requirements

The Faculty of Science research instrumentation technicians will provide initial training for all new internal or external users preceding first use. New users cannot be given initial training by other users or students. Contact Gena Braun to schedule training.

Following training, users can reserve the analytical equipment online using the booking calendar.

User Fees

User fees have been created to offset the costs of instrument operation and maintenance. Contact Gena Braun for the current fee schedule.

Research Equipment and Infrastructure

Continuous Flow Elemental Analyzer

SEAL AutoAnalyzer 3

Continuous Flow Elemental AnalyzerThe AutoAnalyzer can test for phosphate and ammonia using continuous flow colorimetry. It is equipped with a 120-vial autosampler, a high-precision pump, two manifolds, and a digital colorimeter with detection limits reaching 0.2 mg/L. The internal diameter of the glassware is 2 mm, which allows complex and non-homogeneous samples to be run without clogging. Roughly 50 samples can be run per hour with a minimum volume of 3 ml.

Elemental Analyzer

Perkin Elmer 2400 CHNS Analyzer

Perkin Elmer Elemental AnalyzerUsing the Pregl-Dumas combustion method, the elemental analyzer can determine the weight percent carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, or sulphur in a variety of sample types, with an analytical range of 0.001 to 3.6 mgs (element dependant). The 60 position autosampler allows for automated analysis, and the data is collected by the data management software.

Graphite Furnace and Flame Atomic Absorption Spectrometer

Perkin Elmer PinAAcle 900T AA

Graphite furnace and flame atomic absorption spectrometerThe PinAAcle spectrometer allows for both flame and transversely-heated graphite furnace atomization, enabling the analysis of a wide range of sample concentrations. The furnace camera simplifies pyrolysis method development. This system is currently equipped with lamps for Ag, Al, Ca, Cd, Cu, Fe, Hg, K, Mg, Na, Ni, Pb, Rb, Ti, and Zn.

Inductively Coupled Plasma Optical Emission Spectrometer

Perkin Elmer Optima 8000 ICP-OES

Inductively coupled plasma optical emission spectrometerThe Optima 8000 ICP-OES is a dual-view instrument, allowing for determination of both high and low concentrations in the same method. Use of compressed air as a shear gas removes the plasma tail plume, which eliminates many interferences and minimizes the need for the addition of ionization suppressants. The photons generated within the plasma are measured by a charge-coupled device (CCD) array detector.

This ICP can measure almost all of the elements in the periodic table, sequentially, within a single sample. The dynamic range of measurement is element and matrix dependent, but typically ranges from tens of ppb (mg/L) to hundreds of ppm (mg/L).

Ion Selective Electrode System

Mantech AssayPlus

Ion selective electrode systemThe Mantech AssayPlus system is an automated multi-parameter ion-analysis system. It has a TitraSip module and a 73 position autosampler that holds 50-ml tubes. The system is currently equipped with ion selective electrodes for the analysis of ammonia, copper, chloride, lead, nitrate, potassium, and sodium. The system is controlled by PC Titrate software.

Rooftop Greenhouse

Rooftop greenhouseThe Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science boasts a large rooftop greenhouse. Contact Gena Braun for greenhouse policies.

Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzer

Shimadzu TOC-LCPH Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen Analyzer with Solid Sampling Module

Total Organic Carbon and Nitrogen AnalyzerThe Shimadzu can be used to analyze a variety of carbon species and total nitrogen (TN) in liquid or solid samples using catalytic oxidation. Carbon can be assessed as total carbon (TC), total organic carbon (TOC), non-purgable organic carbon (NPOC), and inorganic carbon (IC). This instrument is equipped with an ASI-L autosampler.

X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer

Panalytical Epsilon 3 Benchtop EDXRF

X-Ray Fluorescence SpectrometerThe energy dispersive x-ray fluorescence spectrometer is used to determine the concentration of elements from sodium to americium in a wide variety of sample types. It performs non-destructive analysis with parts per million (ppm) level detection limits. The sample turntable holds 10 samples with diameters from 25 to 52 mm.

Contact Us:

Gena Braun, Research Instrumentation Technician

T: 519.884.0710 x2484
F: 519.884.0464
Office Location: Centre for Cold Regions and Water Science, CRW206A, Waterloo campus
Office Hours: Tuesday-Thursday, 8 a.m. – 3 p.m.


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