The Department of Geosciences is well-equipped for undergraduate instruction in geology. Our field equipment includes turbidity meters, flow meters, Brunton compasses, mine lamps, headlamps, 2-way radios, and a portable seismic refraction unit. The Department has 25 Garmin GPSMap 60CSx units that are a valuable addition to geology and geography classes as well as student research. Students are familiarized with this equipment during field trips and field camp and can check out equipment for independent research.
Our inventory of laboratory facilities continues to evolve. The Department has an ICP-OES (inductively coupled plasma - optical emission spectrometer) instrument acquired through a grant written by Dr. Hannula and Dr. Gonzales. This machine is able to identify and quantify trace elements in water, soil, and rock samples and is a special addition to coursework, student research, and faculty research. We continue to acquire new petrographic microscopes for mineralogy and petrology, thanks to donations from the Four Corners Geological Society and others. We continue to use groundwater models that resemble ant farms to demonstrate groundwater flow and contamination, and we hope to upgrade these with future donations.
The department maintains a field laboratory in a separate building on campus. This lab contains rock saws, polishing equipment, a rock crusher and a mill. We also have the ability to make thin sections with our PetroThin thin section machine and accompanying equipment and supplies. The building also houses an extensive collection of well cuttings and cores from the Four Corners region. We are organizing a separate library where many years of donated publications and maps can be stored and used.
Computer hardware and software in the Department of Geosciences includes ten Dell Dimension T3400 PCs, running all FLC networked campus software. This includes state-of-the-art ArcGIS 10.0 software (ArcInfo, including Spatial, 3D, Network, and Geostatistical Analyst extensions). Peripheral equipment includes an HP DesignJet 800ps plotter and an Epson V500 scanner.