Alaska Stable Isotope Facility (ASIF)


We can provide analysis on a variety of samples, some of which have included:

  • muscle
  • feathers
  • blood
  • bone collagen
  • whale baleen
  • algae & zooplankton
  • soil & sediment
  • whiskers & claws
  • Water
  • Vegetation and Wood
  • Carbonates, including DIC
  • Glass Fiber Filters
  • Natural abundance and Enriched

...and practically any plant or animal part or piece you can think off.

Sample Preparation

The amount of material needed to perform the analysis is dependent upon the concentration of carbon, nitrogen, hydrogen or oxygen in the sample. Quantities range from approximately 0.1 mg for protein-based material to upwards of 100 mg for sediments of extremely low carbon and nitrogen content. Most materials should be dried and ground into a fine powder. In cases where filters are used for sampling, the smallest sized, pre-combusted glass fiber filter is preferable, e.g. 25 mm. Filters should be left whole, not folded, and placed into a petri dish which has been clearly labeled on both the top and the bottom. Protein-based samples may be pre-weighed prior to shipping. Our facility is outfitted with a variety of equipment available to customers to use to accomplish their sample preparation. These include microbalances and equipment for sample drying, grinding and powdering, acid treatment and a variety apparatus for extractions.

Contact us for information regarding weighing and preparing samples as well as current price information.

Shipping Information

Some things to keep in mind after you’ve decided to send your samples to the Alaska Stable Isotope Facility include:

  • Most samples should be dried and ground, excluding filters and extremely small samples such as zooplankton and insects.
  • Package your samples carefully and securely so vials do not shift during shipping.
  • Make sure that all vials and petri dishes are clearly labeled both on the lid and the vial/dish.
  • Include samples identification sheets; shorter IDs are preferable.
  • Please advise us of any further processing that needs to occur such as acidification.
  • Indicate preferred deadlines as well as sample priorities.
  • If you will be using a PO for payment, please provide it at the time the samples are sent.

Mailing Address

Tim Howe / Norma Haubenstock
University of Alaska Fairbanks
INE/WERC - Alaska Stable Isotope Facility
1764 Tanana Loop Suite 240
Fairbanks, AK 99775-5910

  • Water and Environmental Research Center (WERC)
  • Engineering Learning & Innovation Facility (ELIF)
  • 1764 Tanana Loop
  • PO Box 75 5910
  • Fairbanks, AK 99775-5910, USA