About Us

The NIGL has been operational since 1999. The laboratory contains an IsotopX NGX-600 rare gas mass spectrometer, a high vacuum extraction line, CO2 laser and a double resistance furnace used to perform 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology experiments. Our clients comprise faculty and graduate students both from within UNLV, from other universities, international researchers, as well as those from mining companies and state and national geologic surveys.

Kathleen Zanetti has worked in the Geoscience Department as a Laboratory Manager for NIGL since its inception. As the Laboratory Manager, Kathy is responsible for all daily operations of the laboratory. Her responsibilities include maintenance and repairs on all laboratory equipment, mineral separations, performing sample analyses, instructing students and faculty how to analyze their samples and interpret their data. Kathy oversees safety procedures and instruction to any user of the laboratory for handling radioactive material, CO2 laser safety and hazardous material safety, which allows students and faculty to work in a safe environment. She is also the controller for the laboratories recharge center, including invoicing clients, updating accounts receivable and purchasing, and managing the budget.

Kevin Konrad has been the laboratory director since starting in Oct, 2020. Kevin guides the laboratory and has worked to modernize the instrumentation and increase laboratory capabilities and efficiency. He works with students and visiting research to interpret age results and design experiments. Kevin is always working towards developing novel age determination techniques, primarily focused on low-K and seawater altered lithologies.


The newly installed NGX mass spectrometer.
The NIGL houses an IsotopX NGX noble gas multi-collector mass spectrometer attached to a rare gas extraction line designed for 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology experiments. The NGX contains nine faraday cups with ATONA amplifiers and a ion counting discrete dynode electron multiplier. The NGX is attached to an all-metal high-vacuum gas extraction and purification line. This line contains three GP-50 SAES getters and a quadrupole mass spectrometer that can be used for monitoring gas species prior to admission to the NGX. The line has a high-vacuum HEINE furnace as well as a laser extraction system with two sample holder chambers and a Synrad Flyer 30W CO2 laser that can be used for incremental heating or total fusion analyses.

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