Since 1996, nearly 1,000 researchers have attended IsoCamp to be trained in the fundamental abiotic and biotic processes that fractionate isotopes and the broad spectrum of applications of stable isotope analysis in the biological, geological, and anthropological sciences. After 24 years at the University of Utah, IsoCamp moved to the University of New Mexico Center for Stable Isotopes in August 2021.
The first IsoCamp was in 1996 at the University of Utah. Through collaborations already years in the making, the need for a specialized course in stable isotopes and their application in environmental and ecological studies became apparent. The first class was small, but enthusiastic. Each class has brought together faculty from different universities and representing multiple disciplines.
The idea behind IsoCamp is to bring students and researchers together from around the world, teach them about stable isotopes, and help develop careers through lectures, field- and laboratory-based experiences. In 2013, a companion course, Isotopes in Spatial Ecology and Biogeochemistry (SPATIAL), was introduced. SPATIAL extends on the fundamentals covered in the IsoCamp course to develop theory and techniques for applying isotope and biogeochemical tracer data to spatial problems at a range of scales.
After 24 years at the University of Utah, IsoCamp moved to the University of New Mexico Center for Stable Isotopes in August 2021. The overall structure of the course and instructors largely remains the same. Both the lecture and lab components of the course are taught in the PAIS Building, home of the UNM Interdisciplinary Science Cooperative.
UNM Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI)
The University of New Mexico Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI) is a interdisciplinary core facility where students, postdocs, and faculty have the opportunity to gain hands-on laboratory experience in the application of stable isotopes to the geological, biological, anthropological, and biomedical sciences. CSI operates and maintains 11 Thermo Scientific, Picarro, and Aerodyne isotope ratio mass spectrometers (IRMS) and associated analytical equipment. These IRMS are fitted with a variety of peripherals that allow measurement of the stable isotope composition of a wide-ranging variety of organic and inorganic substrates.