Primary interests are in the area of isotope ratio mass spectrometry, which includes method development, quality control and quality assurance, and teaching.
Craig Cook joined the Stable Isotope Ratio Facility for Environmental Research (SIRFER) in 1985 to manage, develop and maintain the isotope ratio mass spectrometer facilities in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah.
He maintains and supports other laboratory instruments and equipment including vacuum lines, gas chromatograph, freeze dryers, and other necessary laboratory equipment.
He also provides technical/research support to faculty, post-docs, and graduate students at the University of Utah. In addition, he runs the laboratory portion of the Stable Isotope Ecology Short Course held yearly at the University of Utah. He is involved with teaching undergraduate students the basics of isotope ratio mass spectrometry during laboratory courses within the Department of Biology, University of Utah.
After serving his country for two years as a Nuclear Weapons Electronics Specialist, in 1975 Craig enrolled at the University of Utah to pursue higher education. Upon graduating in 1978, he worked as the laboratory manager for Dr. Jim Ehleringer's Plant Physiology Laboratory at the University of Utah. He measured basic plant physiology processes (water relations and photosynthesis) on desert plants.
In 1980, he participated in a United Nations project in Peru to assist local researchers in characterizing the photosynthetic properties of crop and native potatoes.
Craig joined the Stable Isotope Ratio Facility for Environmental Research (SIRFER) as laboratory manager in 1985 after a two-year period managing the undergraduate teaching laboratories in the Department of Biology at the University of Utah.
In 1993, Craig was part of the team that began the Stable Isotope Ecology Short Course. This course is widely acclaimed to be one of the best courses in the world for the training of graduate students in the application of isotope ratio mass spectroscopy to the fields of biology and geochemistry. The course attracts students from around the world. He leads the laboratory portion of the course, teaching students all aspects of isotope ratio mass spectroscopy including sample preparation, instrument use, quality assurance and quality control, and data interpretation.