New to Labs in LFS

Welcome

This site is a guide on the Policies and Procedures for working in the labs in the Faculty of Land and Food Systems. All personnel who will be conducting research in a laboratory environment, please go through all the information, complete the required forms and training if needed, and contact lfs.safety@ubc.ca if you have any concerns or questions.

  1. Lab Safety Orientation
  2. Waste Management
  3. Resources

Lab Safety Orientation

All LFS workers must complete the following courses:

Additional training may be required based on job title. Please review the LFS Minimum Safety Training Recommendations for all Workers for more information.

For students, staff and faculty in a laboratory, the below is required:

  • LFS Lab Guide last updated Mar 6, 2020
  • Note: A video is currently in production to supplement the LFS Lab Guide. Please check back for updates.

After completion, the course completion certificates should be uploaded to LFS Training Record Management System using your CWL Login. Please note that if you try to access the webpage off campus, you must be connected via UBC VPN

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Access
Every undergraduate student, graduate student, and staff member must attend a building specific orientation to understand the general safety features and resources available within the faculty. Please contact the operations team at lfs-mcm-ops@lists.ubc.ca to schedule an orientation. Once the training is complete, you can then submit your request for a key using the links below. All labs and offices will be alarmed outside of regular building hours.

For safety purposes, keep all laboratory access doors closed and shut at all times.
Working alone in the laboratory after-hours and on weekends is NOT RECOMMENDED (as per WorkSafeBC regulations).

Outside of Regular Building Hours

For safety reasons, working alone after-hours (including weekends) is not recommended (as per WCB regulations). Due to the dangerous nature of some laboratory procedures and techniques, after-hours use of the laboratory chemicals and equipment is prohibited without explicit permission from both the faculty supervisor and the laboratory supervisor.

Refer to the UBC Risk Management Policy on Working Alone.

Some equipment is NOT to be used after hours due to safety regulation, listed below:

  • Macro Kjeldahl
  • All block digesters (macro, micro)
  • Bomb Calorimeter
  • Atomic Absorption Spectrophotometer
  • Fat Extractors
  • Furnaces

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Muster Station for MCML: The meeting point is across Main Mall, between MacLeod and the Computer Science buildings.

Fire

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  2. Close the doors behind you as you exit a room.
  3. Follow the nearest exit route to the muster station, and then call 9-1-1. Give them the full address of the building (2357 Main Mall for MCML), and the room number where the fire began.
  4. Wait for emergency personnel outside the main entrance of the building. Provide SDS if necessary.

Earthquake

  1. During the shaking, DROP under heavy furniture, stay away from objects which may fall.
  2. COVER your head, face, and torso.
  3. HOLD ON to the object that you are under so that you remain covered.
  4. If you can’t get under something strong, crouch against an interior wall and protect your head and neck with your arms.
  5. After the shaking stops, count to 60, assess for dangers, then evacuate. WALK, DO NOT RUN. Do NOT use the elevator.
  6. Remain at the muster station until clear by the Fire Department

Major Spills

  1. Evacuate the affected area. Shut down equipment.
  2. Isolate area and prevent re-entry.
  3. Call 9-1-1. Give them the full address of the building (2357 Main Mall), and the room number where the spill occured. Provide the following information: any injuries, chemical name, quantity, hazards.
  4. Wait for emergency personnel outside the main entrance of the building. Provide SDS (Safety Data Sheet). Inform supervisor and the operations team.

Minor Spills

For minor spills, please follow the instructions in the Chemical Safety Manual. Chemical spill kits can be found in the lab and the spill kit cart can be found in Rm 208.

Workers may be able to respond to a small, contained spill; however, one should never put oneself at risk. If there is any doubt about safely responding to a spill, immediately call 911. Vancouver Fire and Rescue Services (VFRS) will notify the Hazmat Team. You must also notify Risk Management Services by phoning the Main Office at 604-822-2029.

Gas Leak

  1. Pull the nearest fire alarm.
  2. Try to close the gas valve in your laboratory if it is accessible.
  3. Close the doors behind you as you exit a room.
  4. Follow the nearest exit route to the muster station, and then call 9-1-1. Give them the full address of the building (2357 Main Mall for MCML), and report the source/room of the leak to the operations team.

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Working Alone
For safety reasons, it is NOT RECOMMENDED to work alone in the laboratory outside of regular working hours (8:30 am to 4:30 pm weekdays), including weekends as per WorkSafeBC regulations. Refer to the UBC Risk Management Policy on Working Alone.According to UBC Risk Management, it is not recommended to work alone in the laboratory unless permitted by your PI. The definition of working alone is, “the performance of work by an individual who is out of audio or visual range of another individual for more than a few minutes at a time”.The other individual must be aware of the safety aspects of this laboratory and also be familiar with the emergency procedures. If it is not sufficient to rely on an individual otherwise occupied in another area of the laboratory, the other individual must be in the work area and be able to provide immediate aid. Even when performing relatively safe procedures, at least one other person in the laboratory should be aware that you are working alone, of the nature of the work you are doing, and how long you will be performing the task. Checks at half-hour intervals will reduce the risk of a serious injury going unnoticed.

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Living Organisms
All items contaminated with living organisms must be sterilized in the autoclave. All spills of living organisms must be disinfected with Wescodyne or 70% Ethanol immediately. Benches and biological safety cabinets must be decontaminated after working with living organisms.

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Please read through the UBC Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual before starting work in the lab. Personal Protective Equipment (PPE) is required based on the type of lab work and the chemical being used.

PPE Comment
Lab Coats
  • Laboratory coats and solid shoes (not sandals) must be worn at all times when working with chemicals.
  • Cotton only, no polyester or any flammable fabric allowed.
  • Absolutely NO shorts or short dresses, and NO open-toed shoes are permitted in the labs.
Rubber Gloves (disposable)
  • Must be worn when working with acids, bases, or poisonous chemicals
  • NOTE! Certain gloves can protect better than others for certain chemicals. Please reference the Glove Selection Guide by RMS to determine which would be the most appropriate to use
Goggles
  • Goggles/eye protection is mandatory when working with acids, bases, flammable liquids, or poisonous chemicals.
  • Must be worn while working in labs.
Face Shields
  • Must be worn while working with flying objects, chemical splashes, or potentially infectious fluid in labs.
Masks
  • Dust masks must be worn while working with DUST in labs.
Respirators
Oven Mitts
  • Beside each oven.
  • Ask if not found.
Aprons
  • Ask if needed.

Proper Use/Storage

Inventory 

Quartzy is an online inventory system that is being used by labs within LFS. Please create an account if you do not yet have one. After doing so, email lfs.safety@ubc.ca to be added to the UBC LFS Quartzy group where you will be able to access the inventory and safety data sheets (SDS) of the lab(s) you are associated with. Please keep your inventory up-to-date as much as possible. If your inventory has chemicals, be sure to attach an SDS to it. See the following documents for more detailed instructions on how to use the system:

General Chemicals

Prior to using any chemical, you must consult its Safety Data Sheets (SDS). SDS are shipped with each chemical, however they can also be found online at the vendor's website (NOTE! The SDS must have been revised within the last 3 years). Each chemical must have the accompanying SDS from the manufacturer it was purchased from and be stored where it can be easily accessed in the lab. For quick references, some SDS can be found on the CCOHS website. These information sheets contain valuable information pertaining to the safe handling, storage, incompatibility and disposal of the chemical in question. Make sure you have read and fully understood all the hazards associated with the chemical. Users can report to their PI or supervisor for appropriate instruction in the safe handling and disposal of such compounds.

Note: Users are responsible to keep track of their current chemical inventory on the Quartzy database. 

After use, chemicals must be returned to their original storage area. Once an experiment utilizing these compounds is complete, the chemicals must be disposed of in a safe and proper manner. For disposal information, see the Waste Disposal Management section below for chemical disposal.

Radioactive Material

As per UBC Policy, anyone working with radioactive material in any UBC lab, must first complete a recognized course in the safe handling and disposal of radionuclides. (See http://rms.ubc.ca/health-safety/research-safety/radiation-safety/radiation-purchase-inventories-and-disposal/).

It is the responsibility of the Radioisotope License Holders and their authorized users to ensure all proper procedures and practices are followed as outlined by the UBC Radiation Safety Program.

Prospective users of radioactive material must understand and follow all appropriate instruction in the safe handling, storage, and disposal of such material. Please consult with UBC RMS for appropriate instruction.

Radioactive material may only be used and stored in designated labs that have been certified as radioisotope rooms by the UBC Radiation Safety Program, and licensed under the authorized user(s). Radioactive material may NOT be stored in any other location. Please contact the operations team if any questions arise.

Acids & Bases

  • Consult the chemical’s SDS for proper precautions, incompatibility and disposal information.

Flammable Liquids

  • The maximum container capacity for any flammable liquid is 5 L. A maximum of 25 L of flammable liquid is allowed to be stored per lab(i.e. 5 x 4.5 liters per lab).
  • Each lab using flammable liquid must have their own flammable storage cabinet. All flammables must be stored in these cabinets.
  • When using flammable liquids, only use small quantity which may be present in your work area. Transfer the approximate amount of flammable liquid needed to a smaller container inside a fumehood, then return the stock container to the storage cabinet. Under no circumstances will the presence of more than 25 L of flammable liquids be allowed in an open lab.
  • NO flammable liquids may be stored in refrigerators. Cooling flammable liquids rarely reduces their volatility and storing these liquids in refrigerators may result in an explosion.
  • Certain flammable liquids form explosive peroxides once the stock container has been opened. These liquids should be checked for peroxide build up prior to using them. Any liquid with unsafe peroxide levels must be disposed of with extreme care. Please refer to RMS' Working Safely with Peroxide Forming Compounds.

Compressed Gas Cylinders

  • Gas cylinders must never be left unchained.
  • Never tamper with safety valves.
  • Cylinder valves must be properly capped when moving tanks. Use the designated cylinder cart in Rm 230 to transport all gas tanks.
  • For cryogenic liquids:
    • Wear cryogenic gloves under sleeves
    • Wear safety goggles and face shield
    • Wear non-slip closed shoes and apron
    • Use specifically designed storage, transport, and dispensing containers
    • When working indoors, make sure the dispensing are is adequately ventilated
    • When transporting large volumes of cryogenic liquids in an elevator, whenever possible, send the cryogenic liquids the elevator without any passengers on board. Ensure that no passengers get on the elevator while the cryogenic liquid is being transported by putting large signage around the area to warn against entry into the elevator
  • Refer to the Gases under Pressure section of the Chemical Safety Manual for more information on handling liquid nitrogen and other cryogenic liquids.

Chemicals of Special Notes

  1. Benzene - This should only be used if there is no other solvent which can be substituted for it. It must be handled with extreme caution as over 25 ppm concentration (far below the level detectable by the nose) will result in a serious health risk.
  2. Carbon Tetrachloride - Concentrations greater than 10 ppm result in liver damage. Use with extreme care.
  3. Mercury compounds - All Mercury compounds are severe poisons. They are not permitted (including thermometers). If you find mercury compounds, notify the operations team (lfs-mcm-ops@lists.ubc.ca)
  4. Nitric acid - Gaseous oxides of nitric oxide are dark brown and upon inhalation cause edema which may lead to death.
  5. Organic nitro compounds - e.g. Aniline, Nitrobenzene. Any contact through skin or breathing results in cyanosis (insufficient blood oxygenation.)
  6. Perchloric acid - Digestions or other forms of heating perchloric acid are not allowed. Extreme care must be taken when storing and handling this acid as any spill will result in the production of anhydrous perchlorates which will explode with friction.
  7. Picric acid - Picric acid must not be allowed to dry out. Anyone wishing to use picric acid must maintain this chemical completely submerged in water. Picric acid should be stored in a cool, dry place but not in a refrigerator.

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According to WHMIS 2015, all products classified as hazardous must be labelled. “Labels are the first alert to the user about the major hazards associated with that product, and outline the basic precautions or safety steps that should be taken.”While most products should contain their supplier label, they may become illegible or fall off as time passes. As such, a workplace label is required.Workplace labels must include:

  1. Product name (matches SDS product name, NOT the formula name)
  2. Safe handling precautions
  3. Reference to the SDS

An example can be found here: https://www.worksafenb.ca/docs/WHMIS-Workplace-Labels.pdf

A sample of label print-out has been provided here for quick use. Please note that safe handling precautions are missing from these labels. Chemical Labels

A workplace label is also required if a hazardous product is decanted into another container or a hazardous product is produced.

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Prior to ordering chemicals, consult their SDS. Observe any warnings when deciding on the quantity of chemical to order. If the chemical is of concern, consult with your supervisor/PI or the support technicians prior to placing your order.
When ordering flammable liquid, it is suggested that you order smaller batches. While this may be costlier, it will make the handling and transfer of the material safer, as well as minimizing the costs associated with disposal of any excess chemicals.
Note: Some flammable liquids form explosive peroxides during storage, once its container has been opened.
All orders for chemicals, whether for student labs or research purposes, must be directed to Sylvia Leung (sylvia.leung@ubc.ca) or follow the LFS Purchasing site (https://lfs-purchasing.sites.olt.ubc.ca/). For radioactive chemicals, order through the Radiation Safety Purchasing System.

  • All chemicals entering the Laboratory, whether through delivery or borrowing from another Department, must be provided with a label stating the date of receipt, user, and required date of disposal (if applicable), and be added to your Quartzy lab inventory.
  • All hazardous chemicals must have a supplier label that is in compliance with WHMIS 2015 attached indicating the nature and degree of danger. At no time should the label be removed from the dangerous chemical.

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Waste Management

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Hazardous Waste Management Information Sheet (HWMIS)

Please familiarize yourself with the Hazardous Waste Disposal Procedures and the Hazardous Waste Disposal Guide.

Any inquiries regarding the disposal of chemicals should be directed to:

MCML

Imelda Cheung

Phone: 604-827-0344

Email: imelda.cheung@ubc.ca

Andy Jeffries

Phone: 604-822-3488

Email: andy.jeffries@ubc.ca

Lewis Fausak

Phone: 604-822-4877

Email: lewis.fausak@ubc.ca

FNH

Peter Hoffman

Phone: 604-822-4601

Email: peter.hoffman@ubc.ca

Patrick Leung

Phone :604-822-2793

Email: patrick.leung@ubc.ca

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Broken glass and other solids must not be disposed of in sinks or regular garbage. Special metal bins lined with thick plastic bags are located throughout the laboratory for the disposal of glass waste. Specific red or yellow sharp containers must be used for disposal of salpels, razor blades, and needles. These are also located throughout the lab. DO NOT use the glass waste bins or sharps containers for regular garbage or paper waste. Specific procedures are required for proper disposal of these wastes and detailed instructions can be found below:

MCML

IMG_8536 IMG_8537

FNH

Broken Glass Waste

  1. Collect in 5 gal. gray metal pails lined with plastic bags, marked “GLASS WASTE ONLY”. Cardboard boxes are not acceptable.
  2. Do NOT fill more than ¾ full (no glass is to protrude past top of can).
  3. When ¾ full, choke off and tie with plastic cable tie.
  4. Label with tag stating Department, Room number, Name & Phone number.
  5. Take pails to the building’s designated location for waste pickup: MacMillan - basement loading dock. FNH - back door cabinet of FNH building on Tuesdays before 9:30 am for Environmental services to pick up.
  6. New pails will be exchanged when pails are picked up. Please remember to take new empty pails back to your lab.
  7. NO PAPER, PLASTIC, NEEDLES, SYRINGES IN THESE CANS, BROKEN GLASS ONLY!

Glass Bottles NOT Broken (e.g. Winchester bottles, reagent bottles.)

  1. Rinse empty bottles thoroughly with cold water.
  2. Discard the caps in regular garbage bin.
  3. Place bottles in a clear plastic bag, labeled “GLASS BOTTLES FOR DISPOSAL”.
  4. Take boxes to the building’s designated location for waste pickup

Plastic Waste(e.g. clean plastic bottles)

  • Rinse out the plastic bottles. Follow the instructions for hard or soft plastics:
  • Hard plastic
    • Depending on the hazard level of the reagent the plastic bottle containers, the fate of the plastics differ:
      1. For hazard levels of 0 or 1 (this can be found in the diamond symbol on the bottle), the hard plastic can be rinsed out and recycled in the grey bin.
      2. For hazard levels 2 and above, the hard plastic should go into the trash.
  • Soft plastic
    • Soft plastics (eg. plastic wraps, plastic bags) that have not been contaminated with chemicals of hazard levels 2 and above should be recycled in the designated collection bin (located outside MCML 248 and in MCML 230).

Needles and Other Sharp Objects

  1. Dispose in plastic Red/Yellow containers marked “USED SHARPS and NEEDLES FOR DISPOSAL” (usually found on bench-tops scattered around the labs.)
  2. When container is full, securely close lid.
  3. Affix Red Biological Waste Disposal tag and attach generator barcode sticker on tag.
    • You can obtain generator barcodes from Safety & Risk Services by accessing the Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS) You will need the following information: Building Name, Faculty/Dept Name, your name, your ubc email, room number, telephone number, PI name, PI email address, etc.
  4. Take container(s) to the building’s designated location for waste pickup: MacMillan - basement loading dock, “Chemical Waste Disposal Cages”. Obtain keys from Sylvia (room 208).

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MCML

IMG_8536 IMG_8537

FNH

Chemical Disposal

Information concerning the disposal of chemical waste can be found in the UBC Laboratory Chemical Safety Manual and on its SDS.

NOTE! If you have "unknown" chemicals to dispose of, please contact the operations team lfs-mcm-ops@lists.ubc.ca.

Liquid Organic Chemical Waste

  • Use Red solvent disposal cans. Partially filled cans should be kept in a fumehood.
  • Affix Blue Flammable Liquid tag and attach generator barcode sticker on tag.
  • Do NOT mix halogenated and non-halogenated compounds in the same disposal can. If you are in doubt as to the nature of the substance you have, do not add it to a can already containing chemicals. Instead, place it in a separate can, and label it “UNKNOWN CONTENT”.
  • Once full, these cans are to be taken to the building’s designated location for waste pickup: MacMillan - basement loading dock, “Chemical Waste Disposal Cages”. Obtain keys from Sylvia (Rm 208). Remember to fill out the Blue section of the tag with identified chemical(s) attached to the can. (DO NOT leave filled cans in the same area as the empty cans).
  • New cans will be exchanged when full cans are picked up. Please remember to take new empty cans back to your lab.
  • For other chemicals make sure bottles are labeled with the correct chemical(s) contained.
  • NEVER DISPOSE OF ORGANIC CHEMICALS IN THE SINK.

Solid Organic and Inorganic Chemicals

  • Identify the chemical to be disposed of. Label it, or better still, leave it in its original container. Consult Waste Disposal Guide (MCML) or Dept. Technicians/Head Technician (FNH) for proper disposal procedure.

Water-Soluble Non-Hazardous Chemicals

  • Run water into sink for at least one minute to minimizes chances of there being a reactant present in the drain.
  • Dilute the chemical to be disposed of with copious amounts of water, then pour it down the drain. Allow the water to run for at least five minutes afterwards to prevent a chemical reaction from occurring in the plumbing.

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5MCML

IMG_8536 IMG_8537

FNH

Biohazardous Waste (e.g. Tissue culture flasks/plates, plastic petri dishes, syringes, pipettes tips, etc.)

  1. Autoclave or decontaminate before discarding as outlined on the Treatment & Disposal of Biohazardous Waste. Autoclave time should be an hour.
  2. Check Biohazardous Risk Group (autoclaved risk group 1, risk 2, anatomical waste, animal waste, etc.). Collect in appropriate waste bags (Clear, Red or Black), and Double bag to prevent leaking. Do not exceed 10 Kg.
  3. Affix Red Biological Waste Disposal tag and attach generator barcode sticker on tag. Indicate contents of bag (e.g. plastic culture plates.)
    • You can obtain generator barcodes from Safety & Risk Services by accessing the Hazardous Waste Inventory System (HWIS) You will need the following information: Building Name, Faculty/Dept Name, your name, your ubc email, room number, telephone number, PI name, PI email address, etc.
  4. Choke off bag and tie with tag attached.
  5. Take bag(s) to the building’s designated location for waste pickup: MacMillan - basement loading dock, “Pathological Waste Freezer”. Obtain keys from MCML 208 and fill out log book.
  • For FNH Users, put at the back door cabinet of FNH building on Tuesdays for Environmental services to pick up. Check if the material was picked up by the end of the day. If it has not been picked up return it to your lab cold room until the next pick up day (do not leave biohazards in the hallway overnight). If you have any inquiries about disposing of biohazard waste please see Peter or phone at 2-8132. Make sure you use the correct color autoclave bags for the type of waste you are generating (risk type 1 / 2). Also once the bag cools down double bag your waste using a clear regular plastic bag so that it does not leak when they come to pick it up.

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MCML

IMG_8536 IMG_8537

FNH

Pathological Waste (e.g. dead animals, tissue samples, biological specimens)

  1. Package in a Black 6 mil polypropylene bags and Double bag to prevent leaking. Do not exceed 10 Kg.
  2. Affix Red Biological Waste Disposal tag and attach generator barcode sticker on tag. Indicate contents of bag (e.g. dead chickens.)
  3. Choke off bag and tie with tag attached.
  4. Take bag(s) to the building’s designated location for waste pickup: MacMillan - basement loading dock, “Pathological Waste Freezer”. Obtain keys from Sylvia (room 208) and fill out log book.

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Resources

Safety Rules

Safety Rules for Chemistry Lab Necessary Safety Rules for Chemistry Lab Video

WHIMS/GHS

WHMIS - Overview (1 of 5). For more information, please refer to Work Safe BC

Personal Protection Equipment (PPE)

Proper Dress and PPE / Lab Safety VideoSafety Rules for Chemistry Lab Necessary Safety Rules for Chemistry Lab Video Part 1.

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Analytical Balance

  • Quick Review: 11 steps introduction on How-to-weigh

Laboratory Technique - Analytical Balance

  • Weighing/Tare/Weighing by Difference

Weighing Using An Analytical Balance

  • Sample handling/Set up/Safety Precautions/Errors Discussion

Analytical Balance

  • Calibration

Calibration of an Analytical Balance

Gas Cylinders

  • Transportation

The Basics of Cylinder Handling

  • Regulator Installation

Regulator Installation

Microscopes

  • Compound Microscope

Quick Review: Set up & Clean up Compound Microscopes with troubleshooting solution

Detailed on How to Use Compound Microscopes

  • Oil-immersion lens on Compound Microscope

Oil Immersion

  • Stereo Microscope

    How to Use Stereo Microscopes

  • Tri-nocular Microscope Camera

pH Meter

  • Stationary pH meter

Using a pH Meter

  • Handheld pH meter
  • Earlier-model Stationary pH meter

How to Use a pH Meter

Volumetric Pipetting

  • Pipetting with ball

TD (to deliver) VS. TC (to contain) Pipet

  • Pipetting with pump (two types: I & II)

Pipet Pump I

Pipet Pump II

  • Variety of pipetting

Using Serological Pipets

  • Cleaning a Volumetric Pipet

BHC Cleaning a Volumetric Pipet

  • Micropipetting

Micropipetting

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Dilution

How to Prepare a Dilute Acid Solution

Graphing

  • Graphing by Hand

Graphing Data by Hand

  • Graphing by Spreadsheet

Graphing Data by Spreadsheet

  • Semi-log graphing by hand

Semilog Graph Paper

  • Semi-log graphing by Excel

Log graphing in Excel

Significant Figures (sig. fig.) Rules

  • Zeros

Significant Figures - Rules made easy

  • Addition and Subtraction

Significant Figures - Adding and Subtracting

  • Multiplication and Division

Multiplication and Division with Significant Zeros

  • Scientific Notation

Scientific Notation and Significant Figures, Part I

Scientific Notation and Significant Figures, Part II

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Equipment

MACMILLAN BUILDING
Equipment Room Number
Water Distillations 102, 230
Superspeed Centrifuge 230
Autoclaves (2) 230, 302
Walk-in cold room 180C, 230
Dry Oven 218
Chest Freezer 220 (*Temporary storage ONLY)

 

FNH BUILDING: Please contact Patrick or Peter for equipment use.

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