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. Mark Abolins teaches a course about earthquakes and folded and fractured rocks (Geol 4080/5080 Structural Geology), a Field Methods in Geology course (Geol 3050), and an on-line course about caves (Geol 3040 Geoscience of Caves). His research foci include (a) the development of caves within folded and fractured rocks, (b) the geology of continental interiors, and (c) the accuracy of geologic maps. In the computer sphere, he uses geographic information system (GIS) software and Midland Valley MOVE structural geology software in teaching and research. He has incorporated state-of-the-art local and global LiDAR (light detection and ranging) elevation datasets into his work.