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The program takes advantage of California as a superb natural geological laboratory. Some classes study California geology and geological mapping. Others concentrate on earthquakes or oceans and atmospheres.  Most upper division classes have field trips, and geology students have done everything from exploring Mitchell Caverns in the eastern Mojave to hiking into the Grand Canyon.

Each faculty member has a student research lab (with appropriate equipment), and the department has four dedicated teaching labs: 
BI-112, used for introductory labs 
BI-116, used for soft rock and geochemical courses
BI-117, used for hard rock and map-based courses
BI-009, the Geology Computer Lab, which supports LiDAR data and photographic mosaic software
A standalone building, nicknamed the Rock Shed, which supports rock processing equipment

Equipment maintained by Geological Sciences:
3 Suburbans, model years 2007, 2012, and 2015
Desktop based micro-scanner
Puget computers
4 Niton hand-held XRF spectometers
1 Niton bench-top XRF spectrometer
4 Trimble NetR9 geodetic-quality GPS receivers and antennas (2014)
5 Ashtech geodetic-quality GPS receivers and antennas (2002 and 2003) 
1 Leica TC-1010 total station surveying instrument (1992)
1 Artec "spider" benchtop optical 3D scanner
1 Artec "leo" field-portable optical 3D scanner
1 Lovibond colorimeter (for measuring color on samples) (old)
1 Panasonic  colorimeter (for measuring color on samples)
2 In-Situ Corp. Troll automated pressure transducer water level data loggers
4 In-Situ Corp. manual water level indicators
4 soil moisture meters
2 Turf-o-matic double-ring infiltrometers
10 Panasonic FZ-A3 Rugged Tablets for field mapping
1 Ohouse 0.01 mg microbalance
1 fire assay furnace (2000 F max)
2 GEOSLAM Horizons 3D portable LIDAR scanners
4 GEOSLAM ZEB-REVO 3D portable LIDAR scanners
7 Puget Systems i9, 64GB RAM high-speed computers
1 Hurricane purge pump for wells (1 gpm)
10 laser range finders (100 ft max)
1 peristaltic micro pump for water sampling
1  penetrometer for soil studies
1 "pancake-style" Geiger Counter (2 older ones need repair or replacement)
1 Leica TC-1010 total station surveying instrument (1992)
10 tablet computers (old)
~20 laptop computers
~25 Brunton compasses
~20 hand-held GPS receivers
~20 petrographic microscopes
~20 binocular reflected light microscopes
1 Franz magnetic separator
1 Epson SureColor T7270 large-format plotter
Color and Black and White laser printers
2 jaw crushers
1 SPEX shatter box
1 disk mill
1 large rock saw
3 trim saws
several sieve shakers
abundant sieves

College of Natural Sciences equipment shared among the departments:
X-ray diffractometer
Scanning electron microscope with energy-dispersive analysis attachment

The College of Natural Sciences does have a technician to maintain, operate and train others in the operation of the shared equipment.  However, most of the Geology equipment relies on faculty to maintain its equipment and to train students, as the department lacks a technician.