The Geology program is supported by specialized labs for research in hydrogeology, hydrology, hydrogeochemistry, soil and rock mechanics, geophysics, paleontology, paleoclimatology, sedimentology, paleolimnology, and paleo-oceanography.

Additional support is available through allied faculty in the departments of Biological Sciences, Chemistry and Biochemistry, and Geography.

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.

Sedimentology & Water Quality Lab

Dr. Joseph Ortiz manages 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 a hand-held XRF multi-element scanner.

Paleoclimate and Physical Properties Lab

Dr. Joseph Ortiz manages the Paleoclimate and Physical Properties and water quality Remote Sensing lab. This lab maintains instrumentation for analysis of water and sediment samples in the lab and the field for paleoclimate and remote sensing validation studies. For sediment and rock core analysis, the facility houses a Bartington MS2 magnetic susceptibility meter, a Bruker Tracer IV-SD hand-held XRF multi-element scanner and patented, custom-built sample frame for consistent, high-throughput analysis of core samples. There are two Konica-Minolta UV/VIS CM2600d spectrophotometers for analysis of sediment lithology. There are also facilities for washing and sieving samples; a drying oven and four high powered dissecting microscopes for micropaleontology, and bench space for sample analysis and computers for instrument control and data processing. Two different instruments are available for automated grain size analysis, a Retch Camsizer for analysis of grains coarser than 32 um (medium sand size particles), and a Panalytical/Malvern Mastersizer 2000 for analysis of grains finer than 100um (coarse sand size).

For water quality work, the lab includes a Panaltyical/Malvern ASD field spec HH2 Pro VNIR spectroradiometer, a Panaltyical/Malvern ASD field spec HH2 VNIR spectroradiometer, a bbe+ Fluoroprobe multichannel fluorometer for identification of multiple classes of algae and cyanobacteria, a Hach Hydrolab DS5X Multiparameter Sonde, LISST-100x in situ Laser Particle Size analyzer and a Sontek Argonaut-XR ADV. A turner designs Trilogy fluorometer is available for measurement of nutrients, chlorophyll a and other plant pigments from water. The Panaltyical/Malvern ASD field spec HH2 Pro and HH2 are equipped with 10 degree foreoptics for field measurement of calibrated absolute surface reflectance, radiometrically calibrated RCR cosine theta receptors for field measurement of downwelling solar irradiance and the diffuse to global ratio, and high intensity/high bright contact probes for calibrated measurement of absolute reflectance of filtered water samples and powered sediment samples.  

Engineering Geology Labs

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

Dr. Elizabeth Herndon manages the soil and rock preparation (215), Hydrogeochemistry (341), and analytical (338) laboratories in McGilvrey Hall. The soil and rock preparation lab in 215 has a Sorvall Legend X1 centrifuge, a SPEX 8000M Mixer/Mill with tungsten carbide vials, a muffle furnace, drying ovens, Humbolt sample splitter, and general glassware. The Hydrogeochemistry Laboratory (341) houses an Orion expandable ion analyzer EA 920 bench top pH meter, Milli-Q Integral Water Purification System (EMD Millipore), analytical balance, drying oven, a fume hood, a laminar flow hood, fridge, and other basic laboratory supplies (pipettes, glassware).The analytical lab (338) houses a Shimadzu total organic carbon analyzer (TOC-L + SSM-5000A) for analysis of organic and inorganic carbon in solution and solid-phase; a Thermo Scientific Dionex ICS-2100 ion chromatography system; and a Shimadzu UV-1800 UV-Visible spectrophotometer. In addition, available field equipment includes educational Vernier probes (temperature, pH, ORP, DO, and GPS) and an environmental soil auger kit. Field-deployable sensors include one soil gas carbon dioxide probe (Vaisala), one soil gas oxygen probe (Apogee), three soil moisture/electrical conductivity/temperature probes (Decagon Devices, GS3), and a micrometeorological station (Decagon Devices).

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). A Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 8000, housed in Cunningham Hall is also available for use. It is co-owned and operated by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Geology.

Paleolimnology Lab

Dr. Alison J. Smith manages the Paleolimnology Lab, which houses a Virtis Freeze Dryer, two ultrasonic water baths, a freezer and refrigeration unit, as well as field equipment for lake coring and aquatic sediment and field sampling for water and isotope analysis. Sediment samples are processed for microfossils in this lab. In an adjoining room to this lab, microscopes and microfossil type collections are housed and used in microfossil identification and analysis.

Watershed Hydrology Lab

Dr. Anne Jefferson manages the Watershed Hydrology Lab in MCG 333. The lab serves as both a staging area for field research campaigns and as the home of water isotope analyses conducted on a Picarro L-2130i. Field equipment housed within the lab includes two ISCO 6712 auto-samplers, with area-velocity flow modules; two Global Water stormwater samplers; a Marsh-McBirney flow meter; MasterFlex ES portable sampler peristaltic pump; YSI multi-parameter sondes; a Dynamax SM150 soil moisture probe; a Topcon ES total station, and many Hobo water level loggers, DO loggers, and temperature/specific conductance loggers. The lab also contains a workstation for GIS and data analysis; laptop for interfacing with the various data loggers; and many tools for constructing field gear.

Geology Research Instrumentation

  • Epsilion 3 XLE Benchtop Energy Dispersion X-Ray Fluorescence
  • Costech 4010 Elemental Analyzer (C.H.N.O.S)
  • Hitachi Benchtop Scanning Electron Microscope TM3030
  • Shimadzu UV-1800 UV-Visible Spectrophotometer
  • Picarro L2130-i Analyzer (H2O)
  • Coy Laboratory Anaerobic Chamber
  • Millipore Direct Q-3 water purification system
  • Shimadzu TOC-L Total Organic Carbon Analyzer with SSM-5000A for solid samples
  • Cathodoluminescence microscope
  • Amray 1600 Scanning Electron Microscopy (SEM) with EDAX and an Orion Digital Imaging System
  • Qualitative X-Ray Powder Diffraction Analysis: Rigaku DMaxB with MDI Datascan controlling software and MDI Jade 6.0 and Qual S/M analysis software
  • Minishot X-radiography machine
  • Perkin-Elmer ICP-OES 8000, housed in Cunningham Hall, co-owned and operated by the Department of Biological Sciences and the Department of Geology. Contact David Costello (330) 672-2035, 017 Cunningham Hall, for more information.
  • Dionex ICS-2100 chromatography system
  • Bruker Tracer IV-SD hand-held XRF multi-element scanner
  • Minolta CM-2600d Spectrophotometer (2)
  • 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
  • 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
  • Topcon Total Station ES
  • bbe+ Fluoroprobe multichannel fluorometer for identification of multiple classes of algae and cyanobacteria
  • Sonteck Argonaut-XR ADV
  • Turner Designs Trilogy fluorometer
  • Malvern/Panalytical ASD field spec HH2 Pro VNIR spectroradiometer
  • Malvern/Panalytical ASD field spec HH2 VNIR spectroradiometer
  • ISCO 6172 auto-samplers
  • Decagon micrometerological station
  • Teledyne ISCO 2150 Area Velocity Flow Meter
  • Teledyne ISCO 6712 Portable sampler

    General Laboratory and Field Equipment

    • 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
    • materials preparation lab for macro- and micropaleontological studies
    • prep facility for XRF and EA analysis
    • prep facility for trace element work for rock chemistry
    • prep facilities for paleomagnetic analysis, petrography, rock and thin-section preparation
    • pH- and DO-probes
    • Brunton compasses
    • Garmin eTrex GPS units
    • Garmin Monterra GPS units
    • LeNeo Fusion System
    • Santarious Microbalance
    • Spex Ball Mill
    • Carver Press System
    • Muffle Furnace (Loss on Ignition)


    • 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)
    • MDI JADE 9.5+ and Qual S/M with NIST ICSD database
    • SigmaPlot 12