Facilities and Equipment

The Environmental Sciences program has a total of four teaching labs, including a GIS computer lab, a geophysics lab, a tropical ecology land use lab, and an environmental sciences lab equipped mainly for water quality analysis (turbidimeters, colorimeters, UV/Vis spectrophotometers, incubators, DO meters, pH meters, conductivity meters, and a variety of test kits for nutrient and fecal coliform contamination by Hach, YSI, and others).

The program has recently acquired state-of-the-art equipment such as an ICP-MS (Perkin Elmer) for the measurement of heavy metals, a CHNSO analyzer (Perkin Elmer) for the determination of the carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur or oxygen content in organic and other types of materials, a Discrete Analyzer (Smartchem 2000) for the measurement of nutrients, and a 2-D acousitc doppler flow meter (Sontek Flowtracker) for the measurement of water motion in streams and shallow nearshore areas.

In addition to facilities and equipment, the program has close ties and collaborations with local governmental agencies and groups such as the US Environmental Protection Agency, the US Geological Survey, the Department of Natural and Environmental Resources, CAUCE (Centro de Acción Urbana, Comunitaria, y Empresarial of Rio Piedras, la Sociedad Eco-Ambiental, and our industry partner, Biolí­pidos de Puerto Rico).

Built in 1937 as a leader in tropical research and managed by the University of Puerto Rico, El Verde Field Station became the principal site for research in the department. Currently, the Environmental Sciences Department,  University of Puerto Rico, Rio Piedras Campus (UPR-RP), administers the station and surrounding research area under an agreement with USDA Forest Service. The station is used by numerous faculty, post-docs, and graduate and undergraduate students from the University of Puerto Rico, USDA Forest Service, and other academic institutions in Puerto Rico, the mainland United States, and other countries.