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The program is supported by specialized labs for research in structural analysis, hydrogeology, hydrology, hydrochemistry, soil mechanics, rock mechanics, geophysics, computer applications, paleoclimatology, sedimentology, paleolimnology, paleo-oceanography, hydrology, and aqueous geochemistry. In addition, cooperative arrangements with other universities permit routine Ar-Ar and K-Ar dating (through access to mass spectrometers), in situ rock and mineral analysis (by electron microprobe), and trace-element analysis (by neutron-activation analysis). Additional support is available through allied faculty in the Kent State Geography, Biology, Chemistry, and Mathematics Departments.

Dedicated Labs and Facilities

Paleontology Collections

The paleontology collections of the Department of Geology are housed in McGilvrey Hall, Room 340. The collection consists of over 12,500 catalogued specimens, including a comparative collection of over 2,500 fossil decapod crustaceans. In addition several hundred extant species of decapods, along with other invertebrates, are housed in the spirit collection. Other significant collections include an historically valuable collection of mollusk shells, a large collection of trace fossils from northeastern Ohio, and approximately 5,000 specimens in the teaching collection.


Dr. Joseph Ortiz and Dr. Alison Smith manage the USDA Authorized Soils Lab in 140 McGilvrey Hall, inspected annually by the Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (USDA-APHIS and approved to receive foreign and interstate (domestic) soil samples (licensed to Dr. Ortiz). The facility houses a Malvern Mastersizer 2000 Laser Particle Size Analyzer (with dedicated still), a Retch Camsizer Video Particle Size Analyzer, a walk-in refrigerator and chest freezer for sample storage, and a custom-built sample frame for consistent high-throughput analysis of core samples with the Innov-X Alpha series hand-held XRF multi-element scanner.

Engineering Geology

Dr. Abdul Shakoor manages the research facilities in engineering geology. Separate labs in soil mechanics and rock mechanics with specialized instrumentation include a uniaxial testing machine, a direct shear test apparatus, a triaxial test apparatus, equipment for measuring elastic constants, a consolidation test apparatus, a slake durability unit, and a Los Angeles abrasion machine.

Hydrogeochemistry, Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry

Merida Keatts temporarily manages the wet chemistry (131B) and analytical (338, 341) labs in McGilvrey Hall. The wet chemistry lab in 131B has two fume hoods (perchloric and polypropylene), centrifuges, ovens, muffle furnaces, heat baths, ultrasonic cleaner, balances, and general glassware. The hydrogeochemistry lab in 341 houses an Orion expandable ion analyzer EA 920 bench top pH meter, ultrapure water system (MilliPore), analytical balance, oven, Savillex teflon sub-boiling still (DST-1000), and NuAire HEPA-filtered vertical laminar flow wet process fume hood. The analytical lab in 338 houses a Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 3300 DV, Perkin-Elmer AA 5100PC, and Dionex chromatography system for elemental analysis of water samples, a Shimadzu total organic carbon analyzer (TOC-5000), an Agilent-HP 8453 UV-Visible spectrophotometer, and a refrigerator for temporary sample storage. In addition, field equipment is currently available including digital titrators and educational Vernier probes for temperature, pH, ORP, DO, and GPS. The Environmental Mineralogy and Geochemistry Lab in 209 managed by Dr. David Singer houses a Coy Labs Anaerobic Chamber, Millipore Water purification system (Milli-Q A10), Benchtop analytical chemical analyses (pH, dissolved oxygen), Nitrogen gas purging system, drying oven, and the Mineralogy and Geochemical Modeling software (Crystal Maker and The Geochemists Workbench).



  • ESRI ArcGIS (Kent State holds a campus-wide site license for a number of ESRI products, including ArcGIS and extensions, ArcView 3.3 and extensions, ArcGIS Engine, ArcIMS 91, ArcSDE 91, ArcPad 6 and others)
  • PCI Geomatica: remote sensing and image processing
  • IDL
  • RocScience: geotechnical analysis and design software
  • Helicon Focus Pro: image interpolation
  • SPSS: statistical analysis
  • Groundwater Modeling System (GMS)
  • Watershed Modeling System (WMS)

General Laboratory

  • 18 seat computer lab and classroom, special purpose computers, flat bed scanner, B&W and color laser printers
  • 42" HP Designjet 800PS large format printer for professional conference posters
  • three high-power binocular microscopes for foraminiferal taxonomy
  • reflected and transmitted light digital photography
  • dissecting microscopes with photomicroscopy
  • two freeze driers
  • low and high temperature ovens
  • shaker tables and washing sinks
  • walk-in refrigerator and chest freezers for sample storage
  • Field equipment includes equipment for well logging and hydraulic tests, seismic refraction/reflection, gravimetry, magnetometry, electrical resistivity, VLF electromagnetics, flow meters, and automated sampling equipment. 
  • materials preparation lab for macro- and micropaleontological studies
  • coring equipment, equipment for well logging and hydraulic tests, seismic refraction/reflection, magnetometry, electrical resistivity, VLF electromagnetics, flow meters, and automated sampling equipment
  • prep facilities for fission-track dating, paleomagnetic analysis, petrography, rock and thin-section preparation, and mineral separation
  • pH- and DO-probes


  • Picarro L2130-i Analyzer (H2O) 
  • Coy Laboratory Anaerobic Chamber
  • Millipore Direct Q-3 water purification system
  • Shimadzu TOC-5000 Total Organic Carbon Analyzer
  • Cathodoluminescence microscope
  • Amray 1600 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with EDAX and an Orion Digital Imaging System
  • Agilent-HP 8453 UV-Visible spectrophotometer
  • Qualitative X-Ray Powder Diffraction Analysis: Rigaku DMaxB with MDI Datascan controlling software and MDI Jade analysis software
  • Minishot X-radiography machine
  • Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 3300 DV
  • Perkin-Elmer AA 5100PC
  • Dionex chromatography system
  • UIC Inc. CM5014TIC Coulometer
  • Bruker Tracer IV-SD hand-held XRF multi-element scanner
  • Minolta CM-2600d Spectrophotometer (2)
  • ASD LabSpec Pro FR UV/VIS/nIR analyzer
  • ASD FieldSpec HandHeld VIS/nIR radiometer
  • Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility meter
  • Hach Hydrolab DS5X Multiparameter Sonde capable of measuring temperature, pressure, conductivity, DO, pH, ORP, Turbidity, Chla, and Phycocyannin
  • Malvern Mastersizer 2000 Laser Particle Size analyzer (with dedicated still) (in USDA Certified Soils Lab)
  • Retch Camsizer Video Particle Size analyzer  (in USDA Certified Soils Lab)
  • LISST-100x in situ Laser Particle Size analyzer
  • Mooring Systems Gimbaled ADCP benthic tripod for instrument deployment
  • variable speed limnological sampling pump
  • AMS Custom 1 1/4 " diameter x 1 meter-long lined coring system with slide hammer and coring extensions capable of coring to 5 m depth
  • hydrological sampling kit with plankton net, 0.5 m gravity core, and kick net benthic sampling net