About Us

Mission Statement, June, 2000

The Advanced Instrumentation Laboratory is a multi-instrument resource for the state of Alaska. It specializes in surface and elemental analysis as well as electron microscopy. It supports and trains undergraduate and graduate students and provides technical support and facilities to researchers as well as local, state, federal, and private agencies.

Comments from the emeritus director:

"AIL offers scientific services to the University and beyond."

This simple statement embodies a great deal.

I see AIL’s most valuable contribution to UAF as providing a facility where students can generate data for their work. This contributes greatly to their education, for this process reveals to them the value, and the limitations of any data. As they generate their data, these students also conduct research. This in turn benefits the research community at large and UAF in particular.

AIL’s instruments offer great opportunities for experimentation and innovation as befitting their presence at a research university. This is not to say that the equipment cannot be used for “routine measurements,” which it often is. But it is my goal to encourage and facilitate researchers in exploiting the full potential of all AIL’s instruments. I hope that faculty, staff, and scientists from outside UAF will take advantage of these opportunities. Sometimes clients do not know what method of analysis will help them solve a problem. Unlike many commercial laboratories, we can assist them in identifying or even developing the best method. At the moment AIL is not in the position to perform the next step in that process, i.e., analyzing vast numbers of samples, which can be done in a commercial lab. If you have questions, please contact us.

AIL is an exciting facility that exposes people, particularly young people, to science. We frequently give tours to primary and secondary students, as well as to various university and other groups. If you are interested in a tour please contact us.

Dr. Ken Severin (Emeritus Director), March 2007