Lab FAQs

Who may use the laboratories?

I am a Harvard student looking to do a lab based project, who do I contact?

What safety equipment is provided?

Where do I go to find other information about safety?

What supplies are available?

How do I order other supplies?

Where do I store my stuff?

Is there equipment that can be checked out for sampling or field work?

How do I request items from the Peabody Museum?

Who may use the laboratories?

Anyone affiliated with the Anthropology Department is eligible to become a registered user of the laboratory.  Individauls affiliated with EPS, the MCZ, and the Peabody Museum also can become registred users.  Other individuals should contact the Laboratory Manager for more information.  Anyone wanting to work in the labs is requried to complete a Safety Orientation with the Lab Manager before beginning work.

I am a Harvard student looking to do a lab based project, who do I contact?

What safety equipment is provided?

All laboratory spaces provide gloves and face coverings which should be used appropriately.  Gloves, masks, safety glasses, and face shields are available for use.  The FAS Division of Science provides lab coats at no cost to labs at both the Northwest Labs Building (B3 level) and the Bio-labs Building (16 Divinity Avenue entrance).

Wet chemistry spaces are equipped with eyewash stations, shower stations, fire extinguishers, first aid kits, flashlights, chemical spill kits, and fume hoods.  All other spaces have first aid kits and flashlights.

Where do I go to find other information about safety?

  • Anthropology Lab Safety Representative: Laboratory Manager
  • Department of Environmental Health and Safety (EH&S) website
  • EH&S Safety Representative: John Sweeney for Peabody, Chris Caldwell for Biolabs
  • Harvard Operations Center: 617-495-5560
  • More information from EH&S on Laboratory Safety can be found here
  • More information from EH&S on accident, injury, and illness reporting can be found here
  • More information from EH&S on reproductive health and pregnancy can be found here
  • For those who do not work in the wet chemistry laboratories but are concerned about biosafety in them, you can take the Biosafety Awareness for Non-Laboratory Staff/Ancillary Personnel (EH&S) from the Harvard Training Portal.

What supplies are available?

All glassware, equipment, and multiuse items are common use.  Please clean glassware and other items properly after use.  If anticipating extended used of equipment (oven, dessicator, fume hood, layout space) please reserve it so people know and make sure the space is properly labeled so the Lab Manager knows who is using the space.

For single use items (pipette tips, tubes, microscope slides), fair use rules apply.  If you are anticipating using a high volume of consumbles, please contact the Lab Manager.  Please dispose of single use items in the appropriate containers.  If supplies are running low, please inform the Lab Manager.

How do I order other supplies?

There is a yearly budget for shared equipment, single use consumables, and other general use supplies.  For larger projects or projects that require expensive consumables or additional equipment other funding sources need to be sequred.

If you have funding and would like to have additional equipiment or chemicals in the lab, please see the lab manager before purchasing any items especially equipment or chemicals in order to ensure proper storage and safety requirements.

Where do I store my stuff?

Registered users will be assigned shelves or drawers where they may store their project materials during the course of the project.  Please make sure everything is labeled properly. All chemicals or shared equipment, must be stored properly.  Any dangerous materials (e.g., strong acids, flammable liquids) must be labeled and stored properly in the designated areas. All bench space, tabletops, and fume hoods are considered common-use. Tubes and containers must be labeled with your initials and date or they will be subject to disposal.

Long term storage in the labs is generally not allowed as space is limited, please plan appropriately if samples need to be archived.  There is limited space for long term cold storage in the labs; however, long term storage plans need to be approved by the Lab Manger and require additional forms that record information about the samples.

Is there equipment that can be checked out for sampling or field work?

Yes.  There are items that can be checked out with permission from the Laboratory Manager (and in some cases other faculty members).  The list below is not exautive, so if you are looking for something specific please contact the Laboratory Manager.  Right now items that can be checked out for sampling or field work include:

  • Camera
  • 3D scanner
  • Portable light box for photos and scanning
  • Dremel and other saws
  • Dental picks, tweezers, and clippers

How do I request items from the Peabody Museum?

If you are interested in accessing items in the Peabody Museum for teaching or research you need to request permission in advance.  The online collections catalog information on collections based teaching and research, and list of museum curators can be found on Peabody Museum website.  Permission for photography, 3D scanning, or destructive analysis can take time so please plan in advance.  If you are unsure of who to contact you can reach out to Emily Pierce Rose in Academic Partnerships or fill out the Collections Access Request form.