The NC Brown Center at SUNY-ESF

Electron Microscopy at SUNY-ESF 1955-2017

History of the N. C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies

by Susan Anagnost

The Electron Microscopy Laboratory was established at the SUNY College of Forestry in 1955 as part of the Wood Technology Department, and was the first facility of its kind in Central New York, with the only transmission electron microscope in the area.  This lab was established through the efforts of Dr. Wilfred A. Côté.

The N.C. Brown Center for Ultrastructure Studies was established in 1972 with the purchase of the center’s first scanning electron microscope.  The purchase was made possible through funds left to the New York State College of Forestry Foundation, Inc. from the estate of Nelson C. Brown.  Nelson Cortlandt Brown was a forester and faculty member from 1912-1917, and from 1921-1951 also served as Department Head of the Forestry department.

In addition to providing a unique research facility with initial focus on wood anatomy and ultrastructure, the center began to offer formal graduate level coursework in Light Microscopy and Photomicrography, Transmission Electron Microscopy, Scanning Electron Microscopy, Anatomy and Ultrastructure of Wood, and Interpretation of Cellular Ultrastructure.  Today we continue to offer graduate coursework as well as an undergraduate minor in microscopy.

Past and current personnel include Dr. Wilfred A. Côté, Dr. Robert B. Hanna, Dr. Susan E. Anagnost, Arnold Day, John McKeon, Linda Bookman, and Robert P. Smith.


1955      First TEM in Central New York, the RCA EMU-3 1955 3B Transmission Electron       Microscope

1957      RCA EMU-3 1957 3F Transmission Electron Microscope

1967      RCA EMU-4A Transmission Electron Microscope

1972      First Scanning Electron Microscope – the ETEC Autoscan SEM

1984      Scanning Electron Microscope ETEC SEM with WDS X-ray

1986      Purchase of the JEOL 2000-EX Transmission Electron Microscope

1997      NSF grant awarded for a Scanning Electron Microscope, the JEOL JSM 5800LV

2015      National Science Foundation grant awarded for a Field Emission TEM and a new SEM

2017      Installation of the JEOL JEM-2100F Transmission Electron Microscope and        the JEOL JSM IT100LA Scanning Electron Microscope with funding from NSF, NYSTAR, ESF, UMU and SU


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