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University of Notre Dame Environmental Research Center - East
university of notre dame mark


Despite its remote location in the Michigan Upper Peninsula, UNDERC has outstanding facilities to support research and teaching programs. Nearly all of these facilities are new or newly remodelled. These include exceptional quality housing sufficient to accommodate up to 65 students and researchers, a research and teaching laboratory building, a lakeside wet laboratory building, a large enclosed storage and project construction facility, and a building for the storage of flammables and other chemicals.


photo of hank research facilityThe 8,500 sq. ft. teaching and research laboratory, completed in 1994, has 10 research laboratories, including one that also functions as a darkroom. Laboratories are outfitted with 4 ft. hoods, chemical resistant counter tops and seamless flooring, and have 18 megaohm RO water, hot and cold water, gas, compressed air, vacuum, and both 110v and 220v electrical outlets. All electrical outlets in the building are centrally protected from voltage surges and spikes and some outlets in each room are on the building's emergency generator. The building also contains a room designed for the processing of field samples that is outfitted with silt traps and special sinks for washing and sorting samples. Teaching operations are supported by a lecture room and general laboratory that can accommodate up to 20 students each, and a class analytical chemistry laboratory. The building also contains a small library, a computer laboratory, a researcher conference room, and an administrative office. The building is fully wired for Ethernet, with more than 120 10Base-T jacks that are located in virtually every room. Internet access is provided free of charge through DSL (2MB download/512K upoad). A HP Laserjet 4050N serves both IBM compatible and Macintosh computers through an ethernet network. Fax service and a photocopy machine are also available for general use.

Many environmental innovations are incorporated into the building design. These include superinsulated wall and ceilings, heat recovery from the building exhaust (including its 11 fume hoods), a groundwater-based dehumidification and air conditioning system, dual heating systems that permit the building's temperature to be safely and efficiently lowered when unoccupied, and a computerized control system that senses room temperatures and the status of all building mechanicals, which can be remotely monitored and adjusted.


Built in 2006, this building provides 8,259 sq. ft. for year-round housing (36 beds) and conferences. Occupants must supply their own linens andfirst floor towels. This building has three floors, in which all rooms are fully furnished. The first floor contains an apartment with a main floorsingle bedroom (2 beds), kitchen (stove, dishwasher, all amenities), dining area, living room, large closet, and bathroom/shower. This floor also contains a large TV/conference room (capacity for 24), pool room, laundry facilities, and storage space. The second floor contains 4 bedrooms (4 beds/room + sink), 2 bathrooms (each with 2 stalls, showers, sinks), 2 fully-loaded kitchens, and large dining/conference area (capacity for 48). The third floor contains 4 bedrooms (4 beds/room + sink), 2 bathrooms (as decribed in 2nd floor), and TV/meeting area (capacity for 16).


photo of lakeside wet laboratoryFor nearly 30 years, the 2,200 sq. ft. upper floor of this structure provided the only research laboratory facilities at UNDERC. This building, located immediately adjacent to a 165 ha. natural lake, has been enlarged to 5,000 sq. ft. and is completely renovated. It became operational in the spring of 1995. This facility includes a 1,500 sq. ft. wet laboratory with trench floor drains and overhead services, a separate 250 sq. ft. room for aquaria, a vented storage area for the storage of sampling and scuba gear, a sample processing room outfitted with silt traps and special sinks for washing and sorting samples, 3 research laboratories each outfitted with a fume hood and having chemical resistant counter tops and floors, and 7 large offices. There also is a fenced area adjacent to the building for outside tanks and aquaria. Services include well and lake water, 110v and 220v power, and a low-pressure air distribution system that can support up to 4,000 aquarium air stones. The laboratories and aquarium room are heated for winter use, and the wet laboratory has a forced air exhaust system but is unheated. The entire facility is on a backup emergency power system and is wired for Ethernet.


photo of storage buildingThe 5,000 sq. ft. storage and project construction building contains lockable cubicles that can be allocated to researchers for storage of supplies and field equipment. There also is a 900 sq. ft. loft area above the cubicles that houses bulky field apparatus. A 40 x 50 ft. cement floor area is designed for the construction and assembly of field apparatus and includes 50 linear ft. of workbench space. The remainder of the building (2,200 sq. ft.) has a gravel floor that is used for the off season storage of boats and field vehicles. The building has electric power, but is unheated. This building was constructed in 1993.


photo of flammables buildingConstructed in 1994, this building includes 125 sq. ft. of vented space for the storage of flammables and other chemicals. The floor is divided into 6 separate spill containment chambers for the isolation of different classes of chemicals. There is shelving for chemicals and fuel tanks and two metal 4 ft. wide flammables cabinets. The building contains explosion-proof lighting and is unheated. A stand is located behind the shed for storage of outboard motors.




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