The ERF maintains aquatic vertebrate and invertebrate cultures, sediment test organisms, and freshwater algae. Our core facility is located on the campus of Arkansas State University. An expansion in 2011 of 487 ft2 added space for equipment and sample preparation and brings total ERF space to 4237 ft2. The facility is currently certified by the US EPA for Acute and Chronic Whole Effluent Testing (Certification # AR-00917).
Specific research areas are designated for acute and chronic testing, algal culturing, invertebrate and vertebrate culturing, biomarker assessment and computational and analytical analyses. Our research infrastructure includes a Conviron® Growth Chamber, incubators, ample refrigerator and freezer storage, access to ultracold (-80C) freezer storage, shaker tables, testing and computational areas. Newly acquired equipment includes a GC-MS, Dionex ASE extraction system, microbalances, and OI-DA3500 analyzer. We also have distinct fish and sediment organism culture rooms, an invertebrate culture room, sediment test area with 196-beaker capacity, and an area reserved for specialty testing setup. Additional research areas are available for microbial analyses, sediment particle size characterization, nutrient and total suspended solids, and aqueous physicochemical analysis.
Our research includes pesticide interactions within soils, soil microbial activity, hydroponic pesticide uptake and partitioning in aquatic macrophytes, aquatic toxicity and food chain transfer of nanoparticles, new product testing, watershed and habitat assessments. The ERF offers periodic workshops for Wastewater Treatment Managers and Water Operator Training for continuing education purposes. These workshops fulfill 8 hrs of continuing education through the Arkansas Department of Environmental Quality and Arkansas Department of Health.