School of GeoSciences

NERC facilities

We host and manage several national facilities on behalf of the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC).

Two female scientists seated looking at computer monitors and surrounded by scientific equipment

The Natural Environment Research Council (NERC), is advancing the frontier of environmental science.  

They commission new research, infrastructure and training that delivers valuable scientific breakthroughs - because understanding our changing planet is vital for our wellbeing and economic prosperity.

NERC invests public money in world-leading science, designed to help:

  • sustain and benefit from our natural resources
  • predict and respond to natural hazards 
  • understand environmental change. 

NERC works closely with policymakers and industry to make sure our knowledge can support sustainable economic growth and wellbeing in the UK and around the world.

NERC is part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a new body which works in partnership with universities, research organisations, businesses, charities and government to create the best possible environment for research and innovation to flourish.

Visit the NERC website Visit the UKRI website

Explore our facilities

At the School of GeoSciences, we support world-leading research and are committed to supporting a vibrant and active research community with state-of-the-art research facilities and expertise. 

We are proud to host NERC funded facilities, which you can explore below. 

To enquire about research collaborations or using the facilities and equipment please contact the relevant facility directly.


NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility

Our School hosts this facility, which maintains and provides a pool of world-class calibrated field spectroscopy equipment for the UK research community.  Since establishment in 1988, the facility has supported over 500 loans in research projects worldwide. We also develop and deliver training courses, development and improve Earth observation instrumentation and work with national bodies to support calibration/validation exercises.

NERC Field Spectroscopy Facility

NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility

Our School hosts this facility, which loans equipment suitable for geophysical research free of charge to universities and other institutes engaged in environmental research.  The facility supports high-quality, peer reviewed projects across a broad spectrum of Earth and environmental sciences by providing internationally-recognised, state-of-the-art geophysical instrumentation for marine and land-based field experiments.  

NERC Geophysical Equipment Facility

NERC Ion Micro-Probe Facility

The facility supports School in-house research, as well as academic and commercial services in Secondary Ion Mass Spectrometry (SIMS) analysis for the chemical and isotopic analysis of small volumes of solid material.  The Ion Micro-Probe is part of a unique suite of analytical instruments within the Edinburgh Materials and Micro-Analysis Centre (EMMAC).

NERC Ion Micro-Probe Facility