The Laboratory was conceived in 1993 by a group of faculty in the Department of Crop and Soil Sciences (College of Agricultural and Environmental Sciences) and the Warnell School of Forest Resources to provide a centralized, state-of-the-art analytical facility to support campus research projects dealing with land application of by- products (sewage sludges, paper mill wastes, fly ash) and other environmentally- oriented projects. A proposal was written to the Georgia Environmental Technology Center, part of Governor Miller’s Georgia Research Alliance, a state-funded program designed to promote cooperative research and development efforts between state universities and private industry.
In 1995 funding was obtained to construct and equip the Lab, with another component being the BioConversion Center, a research and demonstration facility to promote composting research. The Warnell School of Forest Resources provided 2,500 sq. ft. of space in the Phillips Building, located within the Whitehall Forest 3 mi. south of Athens on S. Milledge Ave., in which to house the Lab. Renovation and equipment monies totaling $815,000 were invested to build the lab, which officially opened in spring of 1997. In 2015 LEA merged with the Center for Applied Isotope Studies.
The lab provides high-quality analyses to the research community within the Georgia Research Alliance member universities, which includes seven research and teaching institutions within the state. Our emphasis is on demonstrated quality in analytics, documented using accepted QA/QC parameters, due to the critical nature of accurate data in research projects which may have important regulatory implications. Our research orientation also means we try as much as possible to develop custom and unique approaches to analytical problems in order to meet the objectives of specific research projects. We also serve the environmental consulting industry in the state based on our contacts with consultants working on specific environmental problems around the state.