A World Class Facility

CSI logoAs one of the largest stable isotope centers in the United States in terms of instrumentation and cutting-edge analytical capabilities, the Center for Stable Isotopes (CSI) collaborates with approximately 50 universities and research institutions throughout the world on their research. Within this lab, applications range from routine analyses to complex, state-of-the-art measurements that are done in only a handful of other laboratories around the world. 

Formally established in 2014, CSI is creating a better understanding of our world by measuring a range of materials found in natural samples.  Through these measurements, they are learning how much of our environment has been formed over time. 

Through their work, CSI is... 

  • Providing broad access to state-of-the-art analytical instrumentation capable of measuring stable isotope ratios of light elements-–carbon, nitrogen, oxygen, hydrogen, sulfur and chlorine-–in organic and inorganic substrates at affordable rates.

  • Providing educational support in the form of training programs with hands-on instruction for undergraduate and graduate students on how to collect, prepare, and analyze sample, as well as aid in the interpretation of results.

  • Encouraging cross-disciplinary exchange of ideas and techniques at UNM and beyond regarding the application of stable isotopes in the life, planetary, and biomedical sciences.

Training the next generation of scientists

The most important contribution that CSI makes is in training the next generation of scientists. The Center is proud to offer pilot grants to UNM undergraduate and graduate students while providing instructional support through courses on and off campus. Some of their educational impacts include:

  • Beginning in 2021, CSI will become the new home of IsoCamp. For 25 years, this world-renowned two-week short course has attracted graduate students from multiple countries and backgrounds and we are honored to be given the opportunity to continue this great tradition that was created by the University of Utah.

  • In addition to IsoCamp, CSI faculty also help teach short-courses in the U.S. and abroad, and hosts about a half dozen visiting international graduate students and scientists per year.

  • Hosting a 3-day short course for local high school students every fall with educators from the Bosque Ecological Monitoring Program.

  • Organizing a weekly student-led Brown Bag Seminar that encourages researchers across disciplines to share ideas on a variety of topics. The seminar is also offered as a one credit course in the Anthropology, Biology, and Earth and Planetary Sciences departments. 


Zachary Sharp, PhD
Director and Distinguished Professor 

Seth Newsome, PhD
Associate Director

Viorel Atudorei, PhD
Facility Director