Research Facilities

Student and professor working together in the Laboratory.

The Department of Geography is home to a set of advanced research facilities. 

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The Geographic Information and Analysis Laboratory (GIAL) is a multipurpose computing facility shared by the Department of Geography and the National Center for Geographic Information and Analysis (NCGIA). This laboratory supports the teaching and research needs of student and faculty with site licenses of various GIS, remote sensing and modeling software packages.

Hydraulic Flume Laboratory

The Wilkeson Hydraulic (Flume) Laboratory occupies approximately 1200 ft2, and has the following major equipment and instrumentation: 10-m long, 0.5-m wide, and 0.5-m deep tilting recirculating flume; mixing box; particle image Velocimetry system; acoustic doppler and electromagnetic current meters, and bucket-wheel current meters; and acoustic bed profilers, stage recorders, bed load and suspended sediment samplers, turbidity meters, and surveying instrumentation. [PI: Sean Bennett]

Statler Geomorphology Laboratory

The Statler Geomorphology Laboratory is designed to study the hydraulics and erosion mechanics of overland flow. This laboratory occupies approximately 1800 ft2 and has the following major equipment and instrumentation: soil erosion flume 7 m long, 2.4 m wide, and 0.3 m deep, with dedicated sediment feed system, water supply, and rainfall simulator; an overland flow flume 5.2 m long, 0.4 m wide, and 0.1 m deep with dedicated sediment feed system, water supply, and rainfall simulator; a stream corridor flume 6 m long and 1 m with dedicated recirculating pump; and high-resolution conductivity probes, drying oven, weighing scales, photogrammetry system. [PI: Sean Bennett]

Soils Laboratory

The Soils Laboratory allows students to conduct field research and perform soil testing experiments. A partial equipment list includes hydrometers, pipettes, quantitative moisture meters, chemical analysis kits, pH meters, a direct shear box, shakers and sieves, and a diverse set of soils field research equipment, such as augers, core extractors, compaction meters, optical comparators, and microscopes.

Biogeography Laboratory

The Biogeography Laboratory contains equipment to support fossil pollen and tree-ring analyses of climatic and ecological change. The equipment for fossil pollen analysis includes a Livingstone piston corer, a mini-Glew surface sampler, and a Nikon Labophot microscope. We also have facilities for processing sediments to extract fossil pollen, and a muffle furnace to conduct loss-on-ignition. The equipment for tree-ring analyses includes increment borers from 12" to 40" in length, and a Velmex-based tree-ring measurement system. Field measurement equipment include a sophisticated electromagnetic current meter, Price Type AA and Pygmy current meters, a stage recorder, bed load and suspended sediment samplers, a turbidity meter, and a prefab bridge. Surveying instruments include theodolites, transits, automatic levels, and Abney levels.