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Jenkins Named Head of National Ocean Sciences Carbon Dating Lab

April 1, 2006

Physicist Bill Jenkins, a senior scientist and 32-year veteran of the WHOI Department of Marine Chemistry and Geochemistry, has been named the new director of the National Ocean Sciences Accelerator Mass Spectrometer (NOSAMS) facility. Jenkins is the third director of the facility, established in 1989 on WHOI’s Quissett Campus to provide radiocarbon analysis (principally carbon-14 dating) of marine sediments and the organic and inorganic compounds that reside in the water. In addition to managing a staff of 17 and a $3 million budget (half from the National Science Foundation, half from user fees), Jenkins will lead NOSAMS scientists in stretching and improving the capabilities of the national facility. His first major task will be assisting WHOI research specialist Mark Roberts in setting up a new continuous flow AMS, which will allow researchers to isolate the individual chemical compounds within a sample and then date them—all within one process, instead of the several steps needed with current chemical techniques.