Geology Program

Geology Program: Laboratories and Specialized Equipment

The Geology program maintains several laboratories and pieces of specialized equipment. These include:

  • Rock Preparation Room (Room 205 Johnson EPS) with several sieve sets; a sieve shaker; and complete equipment for cutting, grinding, and polishing rocks for the preparation of thin sections.
  • Petrography Laboratory (Room 228) with twelve polarizing microscopes, 6 of which are relatively new. Two of these microscopes have reflected-light capabilities as well. A video camera, digital camera, and color monitor are available for use with some of these microscopes.
  • Paleontology Laboratory (Room 203) which consists of a collection of fossils with well over 10,000 specimens for study, including invertebrates, vertebrates, plants, trace fossils, and microfossils. The collection includes fossils from Belize, the Bahamas, the Paris Basin, Libya, Egypt, Japan, Antarctica, the southeastern US, most areas of Tennessee, and many other locations. The collection spans the geologic time column from Canadian stromatolites, over 1 billion years old to Pleistocene land snails from Samburg, Tennessee and recently-collected specimens from the Gulf of Mexico, Belize, and the Bahamas for student comparison. The Silurian and Devonian collection along contains nearly 3000 specimens. The Eocene plant collection is second only to the Florida Natural History Museum Collection. The Paleo Lab is equipped with a research computer that contains a searchable database of over 5000 references related to Tennessee geology. Other equipment in the lab includes an Olympus binocular microscope with digital imaging capturing capabilities, an air abrasive machine, and a photo lab.
  • Seismometer located in the basement of Johnson EPS Building is an official broadband earthquake monitoring station for the Cooperative New Madrid Seismic Network operated by St. Louis University.

For more information about the Geology program's laboratories and equipment, please contact the Chair of the department.