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Special Facilities & Labs



Bureaus within DOI have several specialized facilities, equipment and/or capabilities that are not readily available from the private sector that its collaborators may use under appropriate Facility Use Agreements. These assets, listed by bureau, include:

Bureau of Reclamation

Reclamation's extensive water storage, water delivery, and hydropower facilities offer unsurpassed laboratories for field tests, evaluations, research and demonstrations for water, power, or related needs.  Reclamation's facilities and Laboratories include:

Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement (BSEE)

Ohmsett is the Bureau of Safety and Environmental Enforcement's (BSEE) National Oil Spill Response Research and Renewable Energy Test Facility. This premier oil spill training facility is the only facility where full-scale oil spill response equipment testing, research and training can be conducted in a marine environment with oil under controlled environmental conditions (waves and oil types). Government agencies, academia, public and private companies can contract the use of Ohmsett as a research center to test oil spill containment/clean-up equipment and techniques, to test new designs in response equipment, and to conduct training with actual oil spill response technologies. 

United States Fish and Wildlife Service

  • Fish Technology Centers provide leadership in development of new concepts, strategies, and technologies for science-based conservation and management of aquatic resources.  Specialized facilities and programs exist for Genetics and Cryopreservation, Conservation Physiology and Ecology, Fish Nutrition and Diet Development, Fish Passage and Screening, and Captive Propagation Technology for Sensitive Species.
  • Fish Passage and Screening Laboratories support research into areas such as open-channel flume and swim tunnels and artificial streams, where researchers can simulate varied stream conditions for addressing a wide variety of questions on fish ecology, behavior, and life-history requirements relative to selected environmental factors.
  • Nutrition and Diet Development Laboratories allow for the manufacturing of experimental larval, fingerling, and broodstock fish feeds and the testing of many different kinds of ingredients to improve fish performance and quality. This program also develops specialized diets for use in captive rearing of endangered fish species like woundfin, razorback sucker, June sucker and Rio-Grande silvery minnow.  Recent work includes development of plant-based fish feeds to reduce reliance on ocean forage fish for fish feed protein.
  • Conservation Genetics Laboratories support related conservation and management needs to the Service and its partners, including, but not limited to:  1) use of genetic DNA methods to meet real-time fishery needs to conserve and manage species; 2) assist with Endangered Species Act status reviews and recovery planning, via genetic monitoring and evaluation of listed populations and species; 3) establish and maintain genetic tissue/DNA repositories for imperiled species; 4) characterize diversity within and among wild populations. 
  • Conservation Physiology and Ecology Laboratories focus on understanding the physiological requirements and tolerances of threatened and endangered species.  Less-invasive or non-invasive tools, such as measurement of plasma sex steroid and ultrasound, are used to assess sex and stage of maturity and spawning readiness in both wild and captive populations of threatened and endangered species. Contract services available:  blood chemistry, histology, proximate analysis, and radioimmunoassays.

United States Geological Survey

Specialized facilities from the USGS include: