School of Earth, Environment and Society
Facilities & Equipment
The Department of Geology is housed in Overman Hall. The building was completely renovated in 1993 giving us a state-of-the-art research and teaching facility. The department has made a major commitment to acquiring and maintaining extensive research and teaching equipment and instrumentation, making us one of the best-equipped Masters programs in the nation.
The paleontology laboratory houses well over 120,000 fossil specimens for teaching and research, with a particular strength in Paleozoic marine invertebrates. Students have access to several stereomicroscopes (including one with a dedicated digital camera and camera lucida), mechanical (hand tools, Dremel) and chemical preparation facilities, and field collection equipment.
The department has a fully equipped geochemistry laboratory with equipment for the preparation and analyses of rock, mineral, soil, and fluid samples. Analytical instrumentation includes a UV-VIS and an XRD. The department recently acquired an ICP-Optical Emission Spectrometer with a laser ablation system and a microwave digester to rapidly determine the concentration of major and trace elements in geologic samples.
The high temperature and pressure mineral synthesis laboratory consists of equipment for conducting experiments at controlled temperatures and pressures, to 800°C at up to 400 MPa confining pressure and to 1500°C at one atmosphere, under controlled chemical environments.
The sedimentary processes laboratory is fully equipped to prepare and analyze sediments, sedimentary rocks, and soils. Instrumentation includes a laser-particle analyzer, furnace, drying ovens, centrifuge, ultrasonic separators, magnetic separator, sieve shakers, and other related equipment.
The sediment core lab is a large, multi-use facility equipped to cut, separate, photograph, describe, and store large (3-4 m length) vibracores.
The department has rock preparation facilities, including several rock saws, crushing and grinding equipment, and a Frantz separator. The thin section lab has a Hillquist thin section machine for student use in classes and a Logitech automated thin section machine for research use.
The department has an up to date GIS and remote sensing laboratory for class work and research. Extensive facilities to support research and teaching in GIS/Remote Sensing include teaching and research computer labs with a total of 40 workstations (ENVI, ERDAS, IDRISI, eCognition and ESRI site licenses), large format color plotters, large and small digitizers and scanners, color printers, sub-meter GPS receivers, and portable field spectrometers (300-2500 nanometer and 2-15 micrometer wavelength ranges). We are also well-equipped for acquisition of field data with GPS, ruggedized Tablet PCs, and Pocket PCs for mobile GIS.
Geophysical Equipment: Proton magnetometers, gravity meter, capacitively coupled resistivity apparatus, 24 channel seismograph, field-portable 0.4-2.5 micrometer spectrometer, field-portable 2-16 micrometer spectrometer.
Surveying Equipment: Standard and survey grade GPS receivers, laser range finders, tablet and pocket PCs.
Microscopes: Polarizing microscopes, cathode luminescence microscope, fluid inclusion microscope.
Field hydrology equipment: current meters, turbidity meters, sediment samplers and corers.
Miscellaneous: three 15-passenger vans. Giddings trailer-mounted auger, percussion-driven piston coring system for lake sediments, facilities for diatom slide preparation and microscopy.