Passive Sampling Research — Columbia, Missouri

Science Center Objects

About the Laboratory

The scientists at the Environmental Chemistry Laboratory at the Columbia Environmental Research Center (CERC), Missouri, are pioneers in the development and application of passive sampling techniques for environmental monitoring. The goal of passive sampling is to provide a link between chemical occurrence and biological exposure.

The polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS - on the left) and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs - on the right)

The polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS - on the left) and semipermeable membrane devices (SPMDs - on the right) samplers are used for sampling hydrophilic organic chemicals from water. The SPMDs sampler can also be deployed for air sampling.

(Credit: Randal Clark, USGS. Public domain.)

 

Passive Sampler Technologies

  • Semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) samplers — hydrophobic (fat soluble) organics
  • Polar organic chemical integrative sampler (POCIS) — hydrophilic (water soluble) organics
  • Stabilized liquid membrane device (SLMD) — for metals
  • Pore-water diffusion samplers (PEEPERs) and diffusive gradients in thin films (DGT) samplers — metals in porewater
  • Custom Development of passive samplers
Deployment of SPMDs and POCIS passive samplers at Willow Beach, Arizona

Deployment of SPMDs and POCIS passive samplers at Willow Beach, Arizona.

(Credit: Michael Rosen, USGS. Public domain.)

 

Representative Applications

  • Regional assessments of the presence and transport of pesticides and contaminants of emerging concern
  • Surrogate for estimating exposure to contaminants by aquatic organisms
  • Mine tailings at the sediment-water interface
  • Atmospheric sampling of organics and atmospheric deposition of ionic species
  • Exposure to sensitive coral reef habitats
A scuba diver deploys a semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) passive sampler at St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands

A scuba diver deploys a semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) passive sampler at St. John, U.S. Virgin Islands. U.S. Geological Survey (USGS) scientists used SPMDs to investigate potential contaminant exposure to coral reefs.

(Public domain.)

Passive samplers deployed at Willow Beach on the Colorado River, Arizona

Passive samplers deployed at Willow Beach on the Colorado River, Arizona. USGS scientists studied the occurrence of organic compounds in the Lake Mead, Nevada, watershed.

(Credit: Michael Rosen, USGS. Public domain.)

Deployment next to a coral reef of a semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) passive sampler at East End Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virg

Deployment next to a coral reef of a semipermeable membrane device (SPMD) passive sampler at East End Bay, St. Thomas, U.S. Virgin Islands.

(Credit: David Alvarez, USGS. Public domain.)