$18,000 Microscope Laboratory Set to Open Thursday
KREX News Room
GRAND JUNCTION, Colo. - Officials with the Museum of Western Colorado are planning on opening an all new microscope laboratory on Thursday.
Before the lab opens, NewsChannel 5 got an inside look at what's in store.
Through a locked door at the bottom of the Museum of the West lies the $18,000 addition.
"We look into Western mysteries and not only historical research but we also look into scientific research," said David Bailey, Director of the Western Investigation Team and curator for the Museum of the West.
Dr. Richard Dujay has donated the equipment in the new microscope lab which will assist the Western Investigation team with their important research which has included the Alferd Packer case and revealing the "Spanish Cross" as part of a scabbard belonging to the Knights Templar.
"Our byword is 'better history through science' so we're able to test materials and date them and do a lot of things that you normally wouldn't do in a historical investigation," said Bailey.
The team is made up of professionals and students from Colorado Mesa University.
Their last investigation looked at Spanish artifacts near Kannah Creek.
"The Spanish stuff that we've been looking at is very important too and will probably change some of the history books," said Dr. Dujay, Director of the Center for Microscopy at CMU.
The new lab will help future investigations, giving them more space and updated technology.
"[We have] a compound microscope with an intigrated digital camera... it's instant gratification, we click the computer and can take a micrograph, a picture, instantly," said Dujay.
"It opens up a whole new world for us, we can do a lot of independent research," said Bailey.
Not only is it a bonus for the museum, Dujay says as a professor, it's a win-win.
"It gives the students practical experience both in the field and in the classroom and it just means the world to me to see how excited they get," said Dujay.
Officials with the museum also say the new lab will help them team up with other agencies including the Bureau of Land Management and Dinosaur Journey.