UC Davis Plant Sciences


From Sources to Scapes:  Contributions of Light Stable Isotopes to Environmental Sciences


Over the past 30 years, measuring small variations in the distribution of rare stable isotopes has led to numerous breakthroughs in environmental sciences – from paleoclimatology to ecosystem ecology to biogeochemistry.  Since 1997, the University of California, Davis, Stable Isotope Facility has aided researchers from around the world with the measurement of these small variations.  In honor of the retirement of the facility’s founder, Dr. David Harris, the UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility hosted a symposium in December 2010, to explore the present and future of stable isotope research in natural sciences.


A reception and open house was held on Thursday evening, December 16, 2010, during which participants toured the Stable Isotope Facility laboratories.  On Friday, the symposium opened with a series of invited presentations followed by an accompanying poster session. Keith Hobson (Environment Canada) discussed the application of isoscapes to animal migration in his keynote speech, entitled Using Stable Isotopes to Track Origins at Multiple Scales. The remaining five invited talks were from long-standing SIF partners – each focusing on the application of stable isotopes to environmental sciences.  The symposium concluded with a banquet on Friday evening to honor the contributions Dave has made to the facility and stable isotope research.


Symposium Abstracts and Pictures


Thursday, December 16, 2010 - Reception and Open House

Touring one of the labs
Catering by Buckhorn Grill




Friday, December 17, 2010 - Symposium


Welcome Breakfast


Keynote Address - Keith Hobson, Environment Canada
Using Stable Isotopes to Track Origins at Multiple Scales

Vladimir Eisen, University of Idaho
Stable Isotopes in Cryosphere and Climate and Environmental Study
Jan Willem van Groenigen, Wageningen University
Dual Isotope Tracing to Determine the Origin of Nitrous Oxide
Pamela Templer, Boston University
Stable Isotope Techniques for Determining Relative Rates of Nitrogen Cycling and Sources of Nitrate Lost from Forest Ecosystems

Jeffrey Bird, Queens College, City University of New York
Does Microbial Community Composition Matter? Investigating the Microbial Ecology of Soil C Cycling Using 13C Stable Isotope Probing

Todd Brown, Monsanto Company
Isotope Ratio Mass Spectrometry (IRMS) at Monsanto Company

 SIF PowerPoint presentations - Walk through the analytical process

 -Carbon & Nitrogen in Solid Samples PowerPoint

 -Hydrogen & Oxygen in Solid Samples PowerPoint

 -Sulfur in Solid Samples PowerPoint

 -Trace Gas PowerPoint

 -Hydrogen & Oxygen in Water PowerPoint

 -DOC/DIC PowerPoint

 -Nitrate in Water PowerPoint

 -CSIA PowerPoint

Poster Session

Committee Members (from left to right): Arnold Bloom, William Horwath, Chris van Kessel, David Harris, Johan Six

SIF Staff (from left to right, top to bottom): Linda Huynh, Chris Yarnes, Joy Matthews, David Harris, River He, Katharine Pecsok Ewert, Elvira Delgado, Mary Anne Dizon, Emily Ngo Schick, Sylvia Duncan, Irene Yen








e-mail: sif@ucdavis.edu | phone: 530-752-8100 | fax: 530-752-4361
UC Davis Stable Isotope Facility | Department of Plant Sciences
One Shields Avenue | Davis, California, 95616 | USA