The Department of Geological and Environmental Sciences is housed in the Rankin Science Complex.

Our facilities include:

  • Air quality monitoring and research facilities (APPALAIR)
  • The F. Kenneth & Marjorie J. McKinney Geology Teaching Museum
  • A comprehensive rock, mineral, and fossil repository
  • The Fred Webb Jr. Outdoor Geology Laboratory
  • The William C. and Ruth Ann Dewel Microscopy Facility 
    • JEOL JSM-IT-300LV low vacuum scanning electron microscope with LaB6 filament, with an Oxford AZtecEnergy integrated silicon drift energy dispersive X-ray spectroscopy (EDS) system and electron backscatter diffraction (EBSD) capabilities, and a Gatan ChromaCL2 color cathodoluminescence (CL) detector
    • JEOL JEM-1400 TEM with an Oxford EDS detector
    • a Zeiss LSM 510 Confocal Laser Scanning Microscope
    • additional light microscopes (oil immersion, etc.) with digital imaging and video capabilities
    • sample preparation facility with Leica microtome, Polaron critical point dryer, etc.
  • A fission track laboratory with Autoscan Systems fission track image capture and processing software (FastTracks, and TrackWorks), and Autoscan Systems automated stage mounted on a Zeiss Axio Imager.M2.m transmitted and reflected light petrographic microscope with 10x, 20x, 50x, and 100x objectives, and 10x binocular multiplier. 
  • A computer modeling lab
  • A wellfield with 16 monitoring wells and a stream gauge (all with In Situ AquaTroll real-time monitoring instruments), and two additional stream gauges on Boone Creek with web-based real-time monitoring data
  • An state-of-the-art optical microscopy laboratory with HD digital photography
  • A RELION cathodoluminescense (CL) microscopy system
  • An X-ray diffraction laboratory (with a Shimadzu 6000 XRD system)
  • A Keyence 3-D Digital Microscopy System
  • A Los Gatos liquid water isotope analyzer
  • A Dionex ICS-1600 Ion Chromatograph
  • A GSSI Geoprobe with 50 MHz & 100Mhz antennae, with an AGI SuperSting resistivity array
  • A Cole Parmer EW-83057-10 UV/Visible Spectrophotometer
  • The Johnny A. Waters Undergraduate Research Laboratory (a state-of-the-art computing facility, for geology majors only)
  • A wide variety of field equipment, wet chemistry equipment, and fossil preparation equipment

It is also possible to use equipment in other departments, such as a Fourier Transform Infrared Spectroscopy (Department of Chemistry), Raman spectroscopy, and focused ion beam systems (Department of Physics), among other equipment. Additionally, students in introductory classes can get tutoring help from geology majors in the Answersphere.

We are also now hosting the digital archives of Southeastern Geology.

Our location along the Blue Ridge Mountains can also be considered a facility: