Teaching Classrooms and Laboratories
The Department of Geosciences is home to four small to medium sized classrooms, one lecture hall, one upper division geology lab, and one general education geology lab. Collectively, these classrooms and laboratories seat almost 300 students. Each is equipped with internet access and digital projection technology. The upper division geology lab contains an extensive mineral, rock, and fossil teaching collection, as well as student petrographic and binocular microscopes.
A twenty station student computer lab is available to all Geosciences majors. In addition to providing basic computer hardware and software access, the lab is used to teach computer-intensive courses such as Geographic Information Systems and Remote Sensing.
Geospatial Research Center
The Geospatial Research center, located in DSB 227, was started in 2011-12 by a $150,000 allocation from the Office of the University Provost. The lab is under the direction of Dr. Henrique Momm and Zada Law. The Geospatial Research Center serves as a regional and campus resource for GIS-based research and contract services.
Funded by grants from the National Science Foundation, the x-ray fluorescence spectrometer and inductively coupled plasma mass spectrometer laboratories serve as both instructional and research facilities. The labs are under the direction of Dr. Warner Cribb.
Since moving from Kirksey Old Main to the renovated Davis Science Building, the department has gained several communal spaces for students to get together for study and socializing. One of these, 'The Fishbowl' has a mini-fridge and microwave for lunch.
Through the MTSU Walker Library, students have access to a comprehensive range of geosciences books, journals and electronic publications.
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Dr. Warner Cribb’s research focuses on the geologic history of the solid Earth, with particular emphasis on the growth of continental crust in volcanic mountain belts. Most of Dr. Cribb’s students research the formation and chemical evolution of magmas that form volcanoes in the Cascade Range of Oregon and Washington. Their research goal is to improve the understanding of how molten rock beneath volcanoes forms, and how the chemical and physical properties of the molten rock change as it travels through Earth’s crust towards the surface.
Student research involves conducting fieldwork in the spectacular Cascade Range to collect rock samples at volcanoes, and then conducting geochemical and mineralogical analyses of the samples in labs at MTSU. Dr. Cribb’s students learn useful skills through their research, such as how to conduct geologic sample collection, how to geochemically analyze rock and mineral samples, and how to interpret and model geochemical data.
Most of Dr. Cribb’s students present their research results at national scientific conferences. Many of his students have been awarded full graduate assistantships and fellowships to attend some of the best geology graduate research programs in the country, such as at Notre Dame University, Vanderbilt University, Baylor University, The University of Oklahoma, and the University of Utah. After earning their M.S. or Ph.D. degrees, these students find employment in a range of geoscience employment sectors, such as mining, oil and gas exploration, advanced materials research, environmental consulting, and education.