Equipment for your research

The Department of Geoscience is well-equipped for undergraduate instruction and research in a broad range of geologic disciplines.

Field Equipment

Geology student doing field researchOur field equipment includes: 

  • Brunton Compasses
  • Garmin GPSmap
  • Trimble Juno
  • PocketLab Air quality sensors
  • Two-way radios
  • Jacob's staffs
  • Neoprene and insulated waterproof nylon waders
  • Water testing instruments including: flow, turbidity, conductivity, and pH meters

We have Snowmeteric probes and kits for avalanche and snow science research. And, we have an Emriver Stream table to model river flow and surface morphology.

We also work closely with the Four Corners Water Resource Center. For more information, visit the Water Center website.

Field Laboratory Machinery

We maintain a collection of machines designed to prepare collected samples for analysis. This lab includes:

  • Slab and tile saws
  • Hillquist Thin Section Machine
  • Grinding and polishing wheels
  • Buehler Vibromet 2 polisher
  • Bico rock crusher
  • Essa LMI-P pulverizer
  • Chemplex SpectroMill-ll

Additionally, we have the ability to fuse glass beads in our Katanax Autofluxer Kl Prime or create briquettes in our Angstrom 4451AE Press.

Analytical Instruments

We also house several analytical instruments including:

  • Bruker S8 Tiger Xray Fluorescence (XRF) spectrometer
  • Bruker Tracer Sl Handheld XRF
  • Rigaku Miniflex600 X-ray Diffractometer (XRD)
  • JEOL Field Emission Scanning Electron Microscope (FE SEM) with Energy Dispersive X-ray Spectroscopy (EDS or EDX) capabilities that we share with the Physics & Engineering Department.

Geographic Information Systems (GIS) Software and Related Equipment 


Students receive a site license for Esri ArcGIS to learn on this industry-standard GIS software.

In addition to offering a GIS Certificate, we support research and internships focused on GIS.

Our software and equipment includes:

  • Garmin GPSmap 64
  • Trimble Juno 3B
  • Topcon HiPer Lite Real-time Kinematic (RTK) GPS
  • Topcon GLS-2000 LiDAR Scanner
  • Multiple UAVs for 3-D mapping
  • Humminbird Helix 8 CHIRP MEGA SI+ Sonar
  • Two XP 9 HW - HELIX Dual Spectrum CHIRP In-Hull Transducers
  • Two Survery-Grade Emlid Reach RS2 RTK GPS

In addition to hundreds of GIS-equipped lab computers across campus, we have three High Performance HP processing computers with Intel Core i7-6700 @ 3.40 GHz and 32 GB of RAM. You also have access to Windows computer labs running ArcGIS Pro and ArcGIS Desktop (ArcMap) software, along with HP color printers and large-format plotters.