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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

Hydrologic Research Equipment and Facilities


  1 peristaltic micro pump for water sampling
  1  penetrometer for soil studies
  1 Hurricane purge pump for wells (1 gpm)
  2 Turf-o-matic double-ring infiltrometers
  2 In-Situ Corp. Troll automated pressure transducer water level data loggers
  4 In-Situ Corp. manual water level indicators
  4 soil moisture meters

hydrology 2
hydrology 3
hydrology 4

Mineralogy Facilities 

24 petrographic microscopes
20 binocular microscopes
3 reflected light microscopes
Scanning electron microscope
Pelcon point-counting system
Extensive rock and mineral collection, including museum quality specimens

mineral collection

Geochemistry and Petrology Facilities

Microscope 2

4 Niton hand-held XRF spectometers
1 Niton bench-top XRF spectrometer
1 fire assay furnace (2000 F max)
Phenom XL scanning electron microscope
Cold-seal high pressure hydrothermal laboratory
Gas chromatograph mass spectrometer
Atomic absorption spectrometer (in chemistry dept)

xrf maxchine
Atomic absorption
xrf bench

Hard Rock Sample Preparation 

Jaw crushers, disk mill, rock saws, thin section machine, various lap and polishing wheels


Equipment maintained by Geological Sciences:
3 Suburbans, model years 2007, 2012, and 2015
Desktop based micro-scanner
Puget computers
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)
10 Panasonic FZ-A3 Rugged Tablets for field mapping
1 Ohouse 0.01 mg microbalance
2 GEOSLAM Horizons 3D portable LIDAR scanners
4 GEOSLAM ZEB-REVO 3D portable LIDAR scanners
7 Puget Systems i9, 64GB RAM high-speed computers
10 laser range finders (100 ft max)
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
 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.