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College of Arts & Sciences
Baruch Institute

Earth and Water Sciences building on the USC Columbia campus

Columbia Campus Facilities

Facilities on the University's main campus in Columbia include the Institute's headquarters, research laboratories, a marine culture and aquarium laboratory, the Geographic Information Processing Lab (GIP Lab) and a video conference room.

The 1,400 sq ft. Marine Culture and Aquarium Laboratory (MCAL) is easily customized to fit various experimental designs for animal, algal, and microorganism research. It is outfitted with Living Streams, aquariums, and environmental chambers (both walk-in and reach- in), and is plumbed with natural seawater (transported from the marine lab in Georgetown) via dual 2,500 gallon tanks. The lab is also plumbed with tap water and RO/DI water. This laboratory is operated on a cost-recovery basis and fees are accessed for consumables, equipment use, and staff support.    Fee schedule.    Application for space, equipment, and/or seawater, contact Teresa Donelan (803 777 3919,

The Geographic Information Processing Lab (GIP Lab) supports research that explores the increasingly important roles technology plays in monitoring, assessing, modeling and managing our environmental resources and associated health issues. Geospatial research of marine and estuarine issues requires specific biological, chemical, meteorological, geological, physical, and socioeconomic data related to the issue. The GIP Lab maintains spatial databases from various sources that are available to researchers, students, and resource managers.

The Baruch institute's short-term and long-term (decades) environmental monitoring of the relatively pristine North Inlet estuary, SC, have resulted in a comprehensive database of tidal, meteorological, chemical, and biological datasets. These monitoring efforts continue, and these data are supplemented by data collected from nearby sites having anthropogenic impacts. Archives of in situ and remotely sensed data and ongoing research and monitoring activities facilitate the development and maintenance of GIS data layers related to bacteriology, chemical contaminants, land use and land cover, eutrophication and nutrient loading, toxicology, and watershed dynamics. Varied data collection activities and resources have enabled both the Baruch Institute and the GIP Lab to compile extensive datasets from a variety of locations along the South Carolina coast.

Other specialized resources available on the USC Columbia campus include (but are not limited to) the Center for Elemental Mass Spectrometry, Electron Microscopy Laboratory, Microarray Core Facility, and University Libraries.