Montana State University

Public invited to SubZero Facility grand opening this afternoon

October 31, 2008 -- From MSU News Service

MSU photo by Kelly Gorham.   High-Res Available

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MSU News Service
Tel: (406) 994-4571
This afternoon, Montana State University will host an open house for its new SubZero Science and Engineering Research Facility, located on the first floor of Cobleigh Hall.

The open house begins at 4 p.m. with a presentation in the lobby of the EPS Building, just a few steps away from the lab itself. Avalanche expert Ed Adams and polar biologist John Priscu will present "Making Tracks: History and Future of Studying Cold Environments at MSU." Both men are professors at MSU and were deeply involved in making the facility a reality.

The 2,700-square-foot suite of laboratories is home to six new walk-in cold chambers, three biological incubators and a sophisticated epifluorescence microscope. The facility also incorporates MSU's two existing cold chambers and a temperature-controlled CT scanner. The facility's chambers include rooms for simulating solar radiation, a large-scale structural engineering test bed, germ-free clean rooms and a cold wetlands lab.

The $2 million facility is meant to boost MSU's already well-known reputation as a center for cold regions research. This area of research includes topics as diverse as the causes of avalanches, the characteristics of organisms living in Antarctic ice and the effect of ice on road surfaces in winter.

Adams and Priscu hope the SubZero Facility will be home to applied and basic research projects that focus on state, national and international problems. They also hope the facility will attract researchers from around the world to MSU.

The SubZero Facility was funded by the National Science Foundation, the Murdock Charitable Trust and MSU.

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Contact: Ed Adams at 406-994-6122 or at