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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.

Sedimentology & Water Quality Lab

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 a hand-held XRF multi-element scanner.

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

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 AA 5100PC, and Dionex chromatography system for elemental analysis of water samples, 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). 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. Contact David Costello (330) 672-2035, 017 Cunningham Hall, for more information.

Paleolimnology Lab

Dr. Alison Smith manages this lab. Paleolimnology is the study of past terrestrial aquatic records. Here in the Geology Department at Kent State, the focus is on late Cenozoic records, especially those of Pleistocene and Holocene age. Research areas include:

  • Ground water surface water interaction zones
  • Lakes as indicators of climate change
  • Environmental & paleohydrologic records of wetlands

Ostracodes (microscopic crustaceans) serve as a fundamental tool in all these areas of research. Nonmarine ostracodes live in most aquatic environments and produce bivalved calcite shells.  The shells are easily fossilized, with the result that nonmarine ostracodes are the primary calcite microfossil in continental records.   In order to better understand the ecological, climatic, and geochemical signature of ostracodes in the late Cenozoic fossil record, modern species must be studied for their environmental tolerances and biogeography.  A modern database of ostracode biogeography and environmental ranges (NANODe) is underway here, in collaboration with the U.S. Geological Survey and the Illinois Geological Survey.  My research program is centered on the development of the modern and fossil non-marine ostracode record as a tool in determining changes in water quality and climate through Holocene time.  I focus on the role of ground water-surface water interactions in mediating the terrestrial climate record, and in identifying paleohydrologic changes using the ostracode ecology and ostracode shell geochemistry.

Watershed Hydrology Lab

Dr. Anne Jefferson manages this lab. Research focuses on watershed hydrology, groundwater-surface water interactions, hydrogeomorphology, and the effects of disturbances (climatic and land-use change) on hydrologic systems. Much of my research is field-based, but I also make use of stable isotope analyses, geographic information systems (GIS), and modeling. For more information, please see the working group webisite.


  • 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

General Laboratory and Field Equipment

  • 18 seat computer lab and classroom, special purpose computers, flat bed scanner, B&W and color laser printing available
  • 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 paleomagnetic analysis, petrography, rock and thin-section preparation, and mineral separation
  • pH- and DO-probes
  • Brunton compasses
  • Garmin eTrex GPS units
  • Garmin Monterra GPS units


  • 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 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.
  • 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
  • Topcon Total Station ES

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