Main Topics & Program


The main topics/workshops/oral sessions that will be the focus of the upcoming NAWLA2023 meeting are listed below.

WORKSHOPS: These will consist of interactive presentations and discussions led by recognized and established experts.

- U-Pb Geochronology
Convenors: Matthew Horstwood (British Geological Survey), Michael Wiedenbeck (Deutsches GeoForschungsZentrum Potsdam), Paul Sylvester (Texas Tech University)
LA-ICP-MS has become a leading method for U-Pb zircon geochronology with large numbers of dates reported each year. This workshop is concerned with highlighting and implementing best practice guidelines for acquisition, interpretation, and reporting of LA-ICP-MS U-Pb zircon data.  The goal is to make U-Pb zircon data more comparable between LA-ICP-MS community laboratories, allowing individual labs to recognize when biased results are produced and how they might best respond to such a situation.  The importance of proper reporting of long-term laboratory reproducibility of U-Pb dates for well-characterized zircon quality control materials is of particular interest. The focus of the discussion will be U-Pb zircon results from two recent rounds of the G-Chron proficiency testing program operated by the International Association of Geoanalysts.  Participants are encouraged to bring their questions, observations, and comments to the discussion.

- Bioimaging
Conveners: Keith MacRenaris (Michigan State U.), Brian Jackson (Dartmouth College)
This workshop provides participants with an overview of bioimaging applications in multiple areas including reproduction and development, ecology, and metal/biology interactions with environmental contaminants, metal-based drugs, and imaging probes. The focus will be on sample preparation, reference materials, and data analysis and how changes in your workflow can affect data interpretation. In addition, we will discuss current, state-of-the-art instrumentation and what effects that has on biological samples including high repetition rate laser ablation systems and time-of-flight ICP-MS. Workshop participants will be given the opportunity to share their data and observations about biological applications to broaden the discussion.

Frontiers in laser ablation tandem mass spectrometry (LA-ICP-MS/MS)
Conveners: Alicia Cruz-Uribe (U. Maine), Sarah Gilbert (U. Adelaide), Jamie Lewis (U. Bristol)
This workshop highlights recent advances in isotopic and elemental analyses by LA-ICP-MS/MS on both quadrupole and multi-collector instruments, as the technique has been gaining popularity for the removal/reduction of interferences that cannot be resolved on other ICP-MS instruments. Topics of discussion will include reaction gas fundamentals, utilizing novel and mixed reaction gases, beta-decay geochronology systems in the Earth sciences (Rb-Sr, Lu-Hf, Ca-K, Re-Os), trace element applications (e.g., PGEs, Ti), and applications in nuclear forensics. Participants will be encouraged to share their applications and experiences with method development.

- Reference Materials
Conveners: Paul Sylvester (Texas Tech U.), Kate Souders (USGS) and Jay Thompson (USGS);
Invited Speaker: Nicholas Sharp (NIST)
This workshop provides participants with an overview of common reference materials in current use for LA-ICP-MS, or LA-MC-ICP-MS, analysis of elemental concentrations, and isotopic ratios for geochronology and tracer studies. The focus will be on the advantages and disadvantages of different reference materials used for method validation in geo/bio-chemical applications in terms of the accuracy and precision of reference values and scale of spatial homogeneity. Workshop participants will be given the opportunity to share their data and observations about reference materials to broaden the discussion.

- Data Processing
Convenors: Alan Koenig (Newmont) and Leonid Danyushevsky (Consultant)
This workshop will discuss common approaches and current challenges of LA-ICPMS data processing and quantification. The workshop will be software agnostic. We will introduce the concepts behind quantification of LA-ICPMS data and discuss analysis of heterogeneous materials, selection and handling of calibration materials, error propagation and uncertainty calculations (or lack thereof) and other topics as time allows. Intended as an open conversation of where LA data processing is at and where it needs to go, this workshop is geared for those working with LA data who are interested in an opportunity to engage in some of the challenges and future directions of LA data processing. Data handling needs for imaging, high throughput and high precision analyses are just some of the topics that can be addressed. The workshop organizers look forward to hearing some of your questions, concerns and challenges prior to and during this session.

Interested participants are encouraged to contact directly the convenors prior to the start of the conference (A. Koenig -; L. Danyushevsky- with their questions or topic(s)/concerns/challenges they wish to have covered or discussed.


- Lasers are Rad - Applications for Forensics and Materials
Conveners: Benjamin Manard (Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and Tyler Spano (Oak Ridge National Laboratory)
This session provides a platform to discuss novel applications of LA-ICP-MS, LIBS, and other laser-based sampling techniques as applied to the fields of nuclear chemistry, forensics, and materials science. Papers describing correlated approaches and complementary analytical techniques to elemental and isotopic analysis at high spatial resolution are also welcome.

- Laser Fundamentals

- LIBS/Tandem LIBS-ICP-MS Systems for Elemental Analysis
ConvenorAlicia Cruz-Uribe (U. Maine), Invited Speaker: Dr. Andreas Limbeck (Technische Universität, Wien)

- Isotope Applications of LA-ICP-MS/MS and LA-MC-ICP-MS

- New Instrumentation/Method Developments

- U-Pb Geochronology

- Applications to Biology, Health, Food, Archaeology, Climate Change

- Applications to Geochemistry, Critical Metals, Mining & Other Industries