Radiocarbon Laboratory

Radiocarbon Training Program

We encourage students, technicians, and professors to come to Ottawa to process their own samples for radiocarbon analysis. Other than covering the analytical cost, the program is free!
The program typically takes 5 days:

  1. Physical pre-treatment, sampling, lab tour, lab safety training;
  2. Chemical pre-treatment;
  3. Conversion to CO2;
  4. Graphitization;
  5. Loading samples on the AMS

There is a 5 sample minimum. For fully trained outside users processing samples at the AEL-AMS laboratory, a 20% discount will be applied at the discretion of the AEL-AMS staff.

Preparing for your visit:

  • The program is offered year-round, but space is limited during busy months (i.e. August-October and December-March). Contact us early.
  • All participants will be required to take the University of Ottawa WHMIS certification for laboratory workers (required for liability purposes), regardless if they have completed WHMIS at their own institution. This training must be completed prior to arriving at the laboratory. Online WHMIS training through University of Ottawa:
  • Wardrobe: All participant will be required to bring indoor closed-toed shoes, and wear long pants. Long hair should be tied back.
  • You will be provided with all the necessary PPE to carry out work in the lab (i.e. lab coat, safety goggles, gloves).
  • Make sure your samples are well labelled and organized prior to arriving at the lab. For organics, make sure your samples are clean and dry and that you have pre-selected only the material you wish to date. For water and gas samples, follow our Water Sampling Protocol.