Pacific Northwest National Laboratory – Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory

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The Marine and Coastal Research Laboratory (MCRL) is the U.S. Department of Energy’s only marine research facility. With over 15,000 ft2 of laboratory space and location at the mouth of Sequim Bay in Washington state, MCRL is uniquely positioned for marine-based research in the lab or in the water. MCRL research is supported by more than 80 staff members with expertise in biotechnology, biogeochemistry, ecosystems science, earth systems modeling, and in-water field work.

Capabilities include:

  • Arctic Research Laboratory– This 320 ft2 freezer laboratory maintains air temperatures of 0°C to -15°C, and contains an 1,100 L raceway equipped with a paddlewheel and a recirculating pump system that generates turbulence.
  • Aquatics Research Laboratories – These laboratories can provide any mix of freshwater and/or saltwater for research in static, flow through, filtered (up to 100 µm), or raw conditions.  The space has high ceilings and comprises 5,300 ft².
  • Biofouling/Biocorrosion Mesocosms – These mesocosms are open water and controlled low-flow and high-flow exposure systems for evaluating and understanding biofouling and biocorrosion processes. Multiple volumes are available, from 0.5 L to 1,800 L tanks and flow chambers. Additional instruments enable measurement of contact angles, total carbon and nitrogen, and photographic recording.
  • Molecular Biology Laboratory – This Biological Safety Level 2 lab has over 800 ft² of lab space and houses 10 individual workspaces, multiple incubators, confocal and fluorescent microscopes, thermocyclers, -80°C freezers and a qPCR.
  • Electronics Laboratory – This laboratory is primarily used for troubleshooting and system development, platform development, and field operations command and control.  Resources include:
    • 3D printer
    • 100 kW load bank
  • Hyperbaric Laboratory – Reactor vessels in this laboratory are used to study the physical, chemical, and biological processes in marine environments as deep as 2 km below the water surface.
  • Outdoor experimental tanks – A number of tanks located along the shoreline of Sequim Bay provide outdoor, controlled testing capabilities in several sizes.

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Point of Contact:
Nichole Sather –