In addition to dinosaur bones and gem collections, the American Museum of Natural History (AMNH) is also home to nine academic research departments: Anthropology, Herpetology, Mammalogy, Earth and Planetary Sciences, Ichthyology, Ornithology, Entomology, Invertebrates, and Vertebrate Paleontology. Each of these departments supports curators, research scientists and assistants, graduate students, and post-docs engaged in a broad spectrum of research activities.
The Core Microscopy Facility houses a state-of-the-art Cold Field Emission SEM equipped with an energy dispersive x-ray spectrometer. This instrument is extremely versatile, as it must be in order to meet the challenges of a diverse imaging and microanalytical environment. Our applications run the gamut from high-resolution electron imaging of insect parts to quantitative x-ray microanalysis of 5 billion-year-old meteorites.
Mineral scientists, archeologists, anthropologists, and artifact conservators use X-ray microanalysis extensively at the AMNH. Current projects include the analysis of chondrites (meteorites that condensed at the same time as the solar system), Neolithic pottery remains, and pigment fragments from Native American artwork.