In Observance of U.S. Holiday, Memorial Day, Agilent Cross Lab/ iLab Operations Software Support Help Desk will be closed during U.S. hours on Monday May 27th, 2024. We will resume regular U.S. support hours on Tuesday May 28th, 2024. EU and APAC Support will remain open during this time. For urgent matters, please add "Urgent" to the ticket/ email subject or press "1", when prompted, to escalate a call on the iLab Support phone and we will prioritize those requests first.

(hide this warning on this page)

Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability

Overview of Services


Sample Preparation Laboratory

The Sample Preparation Laboratory provides centralized sample preparation facilities, technical expertise, and training to users from many departments within the Stanford Doerr School of Sustainability and other Stanford Schools. The Sample Prep Lab is currently equipped for various sample preparation methods including sample crushing, grinding, and pulverization, sample cutting coring and drilling, and mineral separation for a variety of sample types such as rocks, minerals, soils, and plant tissues. The most common sample preparation workflows in the Sample Prep Lab are as follows: 

  1. Powdering samples for geochemical or isotopic analysis.
  2. Cutting/drilling/coring rocks for geophysical analysis or generating thin section billets.
  3. Separation of zircon and apatite from quartz and feldspar. Able to accommodate other mineral separations.

These work flows can be manipulated to accommodate other sample preparation needs. Reach out to the Laboratory Manager to learn more. Facilities are free to use and open to all Stanford affiliated students, staff, faculty, and visitors. The SDSS Sample Preparation Laboratory is very concerned with safe uses of machinery & chemicals and avoiding sample cross contamination. 

The Sample Prep Lab is a collection of six rooms in the sub-basement of the Mitchell Earth Sciences Building. The lab rooms are listed below. Please navigate to the Equipment tab to learn more about the equipment in each lab room. 

  • The Rock Saw Room (Mitchell A54 & A56): Sample cutting, coring, drilling, bulk scale polishing.
  • The Rock Crushing Room (Mitchell A72 & A72B): Sample hammering, crushing, grinding, pulverizing, sieving.
  • The Gemeni Room (Mitchell A72A): Mineral density separation (Gemeni table)
  • The Mineral Separations Room (Mitchell A55): Mineral separations by magnetic properties, density, and grain size (micro-scale); mineral dissolution.  

For access to these lab rooms, read the training instructions under the Lab Access and Safety tab or reach out to the Laboratory Manager.


Benson Lab

Our laboratory investigate fundamental characteristics of carbon dioxide storage in geologic formations by conducting core flooding experiments and predictive modeling.

We provide access to some of our equipment for rock sample preparation and analysis to characterize petrophysical and multi-phase flow properties of the analyzed rock samples.


Sample Prep Lab     Benson Lab


Marty Grove
Lab PI
Phone: 650-721-5490
Email: mjgrove at  


Alex Grande
Lab Manager
Phone: 650-724-6628
Email: agrande1 at             


Sally Benson, Ph.D
Lab PI
Phone: 6507249721
Email: smbenson at


Charlotte Garing, Ph.D
Lab Manager
Phone: 650-736-7416 / 650-475-6051
Email: cgaring at

Location and hours of operation

Hours Location

Sample Prep Lab                    

Hours Staffed:
Mon - Fri  9:00AM-5:00PM     

Extended hours available for some equipment after training probation period and demonstrated experience.

 Benson Lab

Hours Staffed:
Mon - Fri  9:00AM-5:00PM 

24/7 access for trained users


Mitchell Earth Sciences,
397 Panama Mall,
Stanford, CA 94305



367 Panama St.,
ERE Dept., Rm 71,
Stanford, CA 94305-2220

Links and Resources

  1. Sample Prep Lab Website
  2. Benson Lab Website


Name Role Phone Email Location
Alex Grande
SDSS Sample Prep Lab, Lab Manager
agrande1 at
Mitchell A78
Charlotte Garing
Benson Lab, Lab Manager
6507367416 / 6504756051
cgaring at
GESB - Rm 69
Christopher Zahasky
Graduate student
zahas002 at
GESB - Rm 357