New fully functional wet laboratories, each approximately 450 square feet in size, are key features of the new NRI and ETP buildings. The NRI laboratory is designed to support a broad range of sample processing, preparation, and analytical activities while the ETP laboratory serves primarily a teaching laboratory, but can accommodate research uses also. The NRI research laboratory is available for use by licensed researchers throughout the year, while the ETP lab is available only from May until September.
Some of the key features of both laboratories:
- hazardous chemical storage cabinets
- Labconco chemical fume hoods (2)
- locking cupboards
- dissecting microscopes
- stainless steel counters
- pot sinks (2) and full sinks (2)
- assorted glassware
- eye wash station, first aid and burn kits, chemical spill kits
ETP lab, showing fume hood and necropsy table. Photo credit: NRI
Soils Analytical equipment in NRI Lab. Photo credit: NRI
The NRI laboratory also includes a specimen storage freezer, and the ETP laboratory contains a necropsy dissection table with water connections.
NRI has entered into a long-term agreement with the Analytical Services Unit (ASU) of Queen's University to host the ASU’s soil analytical operation at the NRI research laboratory. As a result, space to support additional users is limited. Researchers wishing to use the NRI laboratory are encouraged to contact NRI’s manager of research support services well in advance of their planned lab work.
Individual lab users are expected to bring with them all instruments, chemicals, personal safety equipment (eye ware, lab coats, gloves), and any consumables (e.g. pipettes, tubes) required to undertake scientific work.
Lab users must also plan to dispose safely of any lab wastes they generate, and must remove all unused chemicals and supplies from the NRI laboratories upon completion of their use of the facilities. Users may make arrangements with the NRI manager of scientific support services to store instruments for future use, if space in the lab is available.
Safety in the NRI and ETP laboratories
All laboratories can be inherently dangerous places, and the attitudes and practices of individual laboratory users will determine their own safety that of other lab users, and ultimately the safety of the whole community. The Nunavut Research Institute’s laboratory facilities in Rankin Inlet, Cambridge Bay and Iqaluit are not supervised by NRI staff. Users are completely responsible for conducting activities in a manner that will not endanger themselves or others, and for exercising all reasonable care in activities that may pose a risk to the environment.
All users of the NRI research laboratories must abide by the attached guidelines to ensure safe use of the laboratory facilities. NRI is in the process of developing detailed health safety procedures manual (including instructions for the use of safety equipment in the NRI labs) to accompany the attached guidelines.
Please notify the NRI manager of scientific support services in advance of plans to transport chemicals to the NRI laboratories to support your lab work. Please clearly disclose:
- the type and quantity of all chemicals and chemical mixtures you will be bringing to the NRI laboratory, and how the chemicals will be used in the lab;
- the mode for transporting chemicals to and from the laboratory;
- personal protective equipment you are bringing to work safely with chemicals;
- Arrangements to remove unused chemicals from the NRI laboratory and/or procedures and materials you will employ to neutralize and dispose of unused chemicals on site.
Chemical storage facilities in the NRI laboratories are limited. Small quantities of chemicals required to undertake lab activities may be stored in the NRI laboratories in properly labeled containers while such lab work is in progress (i.e. for the duration of your research visit). Users must remove or safely neutralize and dispose of any unused chemicals upon completion of your lab work. LONG TERM STORAGE OF CHEMICALS IS NOT PERMITTED. Users must plan carefully and bring the minimum quantity of chemicals required to complete lab work. Every effort should be made to avoid having surplus chemicals at the completion of lab work. Be advised that laboratory chemicals are classified as dangerous goods under federal transportation legislation. Shipping lab chemicals out of Nunavut requires the services of a certified dangerous goods handler, and such services are very difficult to obtain in Nunavut communities, including Iqaluit.