Facilities

Thompson Hall

The Department of Geology occupies Thompson Hall, which includes classrooms, offices, and teaching/research laboratories.

Computer laboratory: the Thompson Hall computer laboratory is available to all geology majors and contains computers, scanners, printers, and plotters. Computers with industry software in the laboratory are used for exercises in geophysics, petrology, petroleum geology, and geochemical modeling courses. A 44" plotter is also available in Thompson Hall and used to print posters for presentation.

Research laboratories: Thompson Hall laboratories contain equipment used for cutting and crushing rock, sectioning and polishing, and other rock sample preparation tasks. Binocular and petrographic microscopes, which include fixed digital cameras, are available for collecting sample images. Fume hoods, analytical balances, drying ovens, centrifuges, an anaerobic chamber, and two ultra-pure water systems are also available. 

Analytical instruments: instruments available in Thompson Hall currently include a gas chromatograph (Gow Mac 580 series) used for gas compositional analysis, a state-of-the-art, fully automated luminescence dating system (model no. Risø TL-DA-20C/D), and two UV-Vis spectrophotometers. We also have plans to acquire a new X-Ray Diffractometer (XRD) for mineralogical identification and an ion chromatograph (IC) for analysis of water chemistry.

Field equipment: field equipment available in the department include the usual hand-held transits, GPS devices, and water quality monitoring devices, as well as a suite of geophysical equipment including a Topcon GTS-229 laser total station, a proton precession magnetometer, a ground-penetrating radar system with antennae for two different depth ranges, a Worden gravimeter, an electromagnetic sensor, and a seismic reflection/refraction system. These instruments can also be used for undergraduate and graduate thesis research.

Other research facilities available on campus

Numerous other research facilities are also available on campus. An extensive list is found here. On-campus facilities used regularly by Geology students and faculty include the TRIGA Mark II pulsing reactor (Neutron Activation Analysis), the Stable Isotope Mass Spec Lab and Microscopy Lab in the Division of Biology, the Integrated Genomics Facility and Soil Testing Lab in the Department of Agronomy, and the Electron Microscopy Laboratory in the College of Veterinary Medicine. 

Thompson Hall
 
Geochemistry teaching lab
 
Lab bench
 
Geochemistry lab