Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants | Coppin State University

Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants

The Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants (LEC)

  • Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants technology


The Laboratory for Environmental Contaminants (LEC) conducts research to advance knowledge in Monitoring and characterizing contaminants to fully understand their health impacts. Our research involves occurrence, fate, and transport of contaminants of emerging concern. We use socio-environmental synthesis approach and advanced analytical methods to study complex dimensions of water quality, social health, and air quality issues. Through our research we enhance academic programs and foster citizen education in such areas as contaminant science, environmental sustainability, and urban ecology.


LEC’s mission is to understand the dynamics of various types of environmental contaminants including toxic heavy metals, pharmaceuticals (mainly estrogen) and microplastics in watersheds. 

The lab activities focus on research and education related to environmental contaminants including, but not limited to, the following areas:

  • Monitoring concentration of contaminants in the soil and water systems
  • Conducting laboratory and field studies on the fate of toxic substances in the environment and develop innovative technologies for the remediation of contaminated environments
  • Foster relationships and ensure the exchange of data and information with local government agencies, institutions and neighboring community
  • Advocate for citizen education on environmental health issues

Lead Investigator

A photo of Jiru MintesinotMintesinot Jiru, Ph.D.

Mintesinot Jiru holds a PhD in Applied Biological Sciences from Gent University and is a Professor and Chair of the Department of Natural Sciences at Coppin State University. He has over 20 years of teaching and research experience in areas of climate change and environmental systems. Dr. Jiru has done extensive work on land degradation, food security, and water management issues in Africa. Dr. Jiru’s research focuses on understanding the socio-environmental and biophysical issues encompassing water quality in Baltimore’s watersheds. Currently he is leading a research program on emerging environmental contaminants with a focus on microplastics, toxic heavy metals and pharmaceuticals (mainly estrogen in water). Dr. Jiru serves as the chief editor for the American Journal of Experimental Agriculture. He also serves as a member of the External Advisory Board for the National Socio-environmental Synthesis Center. Dr. Jiru served on various panels and task forces including Maryland governor’s task force to develop a proposal for graduate programs in alternative energy in historically black colleges and universities in Maryland.

News and Opportunities

  • Justice40 Initiative —a plan to deliver 40% of the overall benefits of climate investments to disadvantaged communities and inform equitable research and development.For more reading
  • Experiential Training Summer Program for Rising Sophomores (ETSP) – The ETSP online application form can be found on this website ( 
  • The Coppin CREST will be hiring six (6) interns to work this summer to provide experiential learning opportunity for students.

Coppin CREST Program Internship

We are pleased to announce that The Department of Natural Sciences at Coppin State University will be running a paid internship through the CREST Program from June 1st - July 30th, 2021. We are recruiting six (6) students interested in gaining experience through hands-on research in the program.

The CREST program envisions to create a national research excellence center for Emerging Contaminants at Coppin State University. Those selected for the program will work in one of the following research projects:

  • Subproject 1: Identifying, Characterizing and Quantifying Environmental Contaminants
  • Subproject 2: Impact of Environmental Contaminants on Biological Systems
  • Subproject 3: Remediation of Environmental Contaminants

You must be a current sophomore or junior student in order to be eligible. To apply for this exciting opportunity, send your current resume, a statement of research interest (200 words) and your transcript to Gina Walker at by April 30th, 2021. If you have any questions, please call 410-951-4127 or email