Latest update for ASITA 2017     


·        GOOD NEWS -The Registration Payment page at http://www.asita2017.org/ is now active. Don’t delay, book soon and finalize your travel plans.

·        GREAT NEWS – We have received enough interest to book a second FREE ‘LIMS for Stable Isotopes’ training session (Details below). Schedule breakdown as follows, all will take place on campus at the University of Waterloo;

o   First ‘LIMS for Stable Isotopes’ course will be held June 23/24 2017

o   ASITA 2017 June 23 to 27 2017

o   Second ‘LIMS for Stable Isotopes’ course will be held June 28/29 2017


LIMS student lists for the two sessions will be made based on the ‘first come first serve’ of the emails we received and requested preference.  Based on these student lists, contact will go out soon to confirm each session’s attendees and adjustments made if we are able to accommodate (session shuffling requests).

At this time there are still a couple openings for each session for anyone interested. If you are interested email us at [log in to unmask] rather than Ty Coplen directly.

·        Abstract submission deadline is set for May 26 2017 for Talk and Poster. Please send this information to [log in to unmask] with ‘Abstract’ in the subject header. The sooner the better as it will help us with Program scheduling.

·        International visitors may want to consider extending your stay into the weekend following ASITA 2017. Locally and across the country will be ‘Birthday’ celebrations as CANADA TURNS 150! on July 1st 2017. You can plan to join the festivities taking place locally, in Toronto, Ottawa (our nation’s capital); anywhere across the nation.


Thank you and have a great weekend.



Title:  Strategies to Improve Measurement Quality of Isotope-ratio Mass Spectrometers:  A LIMS (Laboratory Information Management System) for Light Stable Isotopes Training Course.

Dates and Location:  University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario, Canada in the Centre for Environmental & Information Technology (EIT) building.

Session #1 June 23-24, 2017         Friday class 9:30am- 5:30pm EIT Rm 1009 

                                                            Saturday class 9:00am – 5:30pm EIT Rm 2053

Session #2 June 28-28, 2017         Wednesday class 9:30am- 5:30pm EIT Rm 1009 

                                                            Thursday class 9:00am – 5:30pm EIT Rm 2053

Cost:  Free (Morning and Afternoon refreshments will be provided)

Lecturers:  Tyler Coplen and Haiping Qi (U.S. Geological Survey, Reston, Virginia, USA).

For:  Laboratories utilizing isotope-ratio mass spectrometers using ISODAT, MassLynx, Ionvantage, Analytical Precision, some Europa Scientific, and Micromass OS/2 v.1.67 CF files, some Sercon, and some Nu mass spectrometer files.  Each Attendee will set up a laboratory database for their own stable isotope laboratory during this workshop.  Among other things, attendees will learn how to (1) import files from mass spectrometers, (2) normalize data using isotopic reference materials interspersed among unknowns, (3) calculate mass fractions (concentrations) of carbon-, nitrogen, hydrogen-, and sulfur-bearing substances, (4) correct for change in isotope-delta value with amount of sample (so-called linearity adjustment), (5) adjust for isotope-delta variation over time of a run with variation in EA or TC/EA reactor performance, (6) create a sample submission Excel file for clients of the laboratory, (7) query all samples and results in the laboratory database using wildcards, etc., (8) track quality assurance over selected time interval, and (9) utilize USGS Excel sample files for EA and TC/EA sample preparation and analysis.

Some topics to be addressed during the workshop include: 

1.      LIMS for Light Stable Isotopes provides a convenient Windows environment to manage clients, projects, samples, and instrumental data. See https://isotopes.usgs.gov/research/topics/lims.html for additional details.

2.      Isotopic data reporting guidelines within the framework of internationally distributed isotopic reference materials. 

3.      Although LIMS for Lasers 2015 is fully compatible with LIMS for Light Stable Isotopes, this proposed training class will not include discussion of LIMS for Lasers 2015 because training for this database application is regularly offered by the International Atomic Energy Agency in Vienna.

Software and Hardware Requirements:  Attendees need a Windows (XP, 7 or 10) laptop with Microsoft Access and Excel 2007 to 2016 (32-bit only) with the latest service packs installed.

NOTE: The Windows OS can be 32-bit or 64-bit but Microsoft Office MUST be 32-bit only. AVOID 64-bit OFFICE.

Description of LIMS for Light Stable Isotopes: 

The reliability and accuracy of isotopic data can be improved by utilizing database software to (i) store information about samples, (ii) store the results of mass spectrometric or laser-based isotope-ratio analyses of samples, (iii) calculate analytical results using standardized algorithms stored in a database, (iv) normalize stable isotopic data to international scales using isotopic reference materials, and (v) generate multi-sheet paper templates for convenient sample loading.  Such a database program, the Laboratory Information Management System (LIMS) for Light Stable Isotopes, is used by a number of laboratories around the world.  LIMS operates in a client-server mode and consists of a front end database containing code, forms, and reports, and a back end database containing the data of the laboratory (sample information, analysis results, sample submitters, etc).   Major benefits of this system include (i) a dramatic improvement in quality assurance, (ii) an increase in laboratory efficiency, (iii) a reduction in workload due to the elimination or reduction of retyping of data by laboratory personnel, and (iv) a decrease in errors in data reported to sample submitters.  Such a database provides a complete record of when and how often laboratory reference materials have been analyzed and provides a record of what correction factors have been used through time.  It provides an audit trail for laboratories and serves as part of a laboratory's quality assurance program. 

For information, please contact:

Tyler B. Coplen

U.S. Geological Survey

431 National Center

Reston, Virginia 20192

Tel:  +1 703-648-5862

Fax: +1 703-648-5832

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ASITA 2017

The Environmental Isotope Laboratory (EIL) is pleased to host this year’s Advances in Stable Isotope Techniques and Applications conference (ASITA) to be held on campus at the University of Waterloo, Waterloo Ontario, Canada, June 24th-27th, 2017.

The original purpose of this meeting remains unchanged, providing an opportunity for ‘hands-on’ CF-IRMS users to come together with manufacturers, suppliers and service providers as well as other managers, technicians, grad students and researchers; a forum where new advances, methodology and equipment can be presented and possible direction or future research applications in CF-IRMS discussed.

ASITA remains a small conference with a cap of ~100 attendee’s and has always been a relaxed and informal environment. This workshop has a closely shared purpose and community with ISOGEOCHEM and has been proven a valuable ‘tool’ for many in providing advise and assistance.

ASITA 2017 will maintain the familiar format of past meetings and will consist of a keynote speaker, oral and poster presentations, open group discussions, vendor / sponsor presentations (product overview or topics of interest).

If you are a researcher or graduate student working in the field of stable Isotopes, please consider joining us for the 23rd anniversary of this uniquely focused meeting and perhaps present a talk or poster of your recent work. We welcome presentations in any area of stable isotope research and from all disciplines.

We are also soliciting for topics for the break-out discussion groups. Please send all questions, suggestions, concerns, abstracts etc…to [log in to unmask] .

There will be no formal proceedings, but we require an Abstract for the program and webpage.

Please visit our website http://www.asita2017.org/ for event information, program detail updates and registration inquires; registration payment options to come soon.

ASITA 2017 will mark 20 years since EIL Waterloo last hosted this event; long, long overdue but we hope you will join us this time round.





EIL Staff






519-746-7484 Fax