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Syracuse University, College of Arts and Sciences


Over the course of the last 12 to 15 years the Department of Earth and Environmental Sciences faculty and their students have engaged in macro-to-micro scale geochemical analyses of rocks, minerals, waters, and noble gases. Physical property measurements such as heat flow in streams, flow rates of streams, magnetic properties recorded in lake and ocean sediment cores, size distribution of sediment particles, as well as the oxidation state of the water column from which the sediments derived are also undertaken.

Analytical Facilities

One of the core strengths of our department is geochemical characterization of earth materials. We have in-house facilities to measure a remarkably broad range of isotopic and elemental abundances in single crystals, water, fossils, organic matter, and whole rock samples spanning the Precambrian to the Holocene. In addition, we are proud to host two new regional user facilities: the Electron Microprobe Lab and the Multi-Sensor Core Logging (MuSCLe) Lab.

Regional User Facilities


Isotopes and Geochemistry

Paleobiology and Paleoecology

Imaging Facilities

The Earth Sciences Department at SU supports a wide range of instrumentation with which to image and otherwise characterize geological, hydrologic, and paleontologic materials and landscapes both in the laboratory and the field, on Earth’s surface and in the subsurface:


Unmanned Arial Vehicles/Drones (Kelleher)

  • DJI Inspire 1 Quadcopter
  • eBee Fixed Wing
  • Zenmuse-XTR Radiometric Thermal Camera

Remote Sensing and GIS (Hoke, Tuttle)

Seismic Stratigraphy Lab (Scholz)

Computational Resources

Our department has state-of-the-art computational resources for climate, hydrologic, and geodynamic modelling.

Paleoclimate Modelling Lab (Bhattacharya)

Hydrology Lab (Kelleher)

Geodynamic Modelling Lab (Moucha)

  • 384-core computing cluster with 2048 GPU cores spread across 4 Tesla GPU cards and 40 GbE QDR InfiniBand interconnects.
  • 4 computing workstations

Seismic Computing Lab (Scholz)

New in 2020 – Water Dynamics Lab (Tuttle, Wen)

Field Equipment

Field work is the cornerstone of many of our research endeavors. We have field equipment dedicated to a variety of research and teaching activities.

Large lake coring (Scholz)

Small lake coring (Chipman)

  • Universal coring system and platform
  • Nesje coring system and platform

Topography surveyor’s level system (Lautz)

Multichannel chirp seismic profiling system (Scholz)

Resistivity system (Moucha)

  • 24 electrodes with switch box, 6-meter cable spacing
  • resistivity inversion software

Ground Penetrating Radar (Moucha)

  • Cart with GPS, 250 MHz antenna
  • GPR analysis software

Sample Preparation and Storage Facilities

  1. Mineral separation
  2. Sectioning, polishing, thin section preparation
  3. Micro Mill
  4. Coldrooms for core and sample storage
  5. Refrigeration for water samples
  6. Storage areas for active research collections and archival materials as required by the National Science Foundation’s Data Management Plans

Classroom Resources

Our classrooms are equipped with digital projectors and smart stations for teaching.

  1. Computing Classroom (Heroy 005): Our computer lab features 18 Microsoft workstations with a variety of analytical software including MS Office, Adobe Creative Suite, R Studio, MATLAB, ArcGIS, and Python. We also have a laptop cart with 10 Dell laptops for use in any classroom.
  2. Optical and Petrographic Microscopy: Binocular stereoscopic, compound, and petrographic microscopes are available for a range of instructional applications in survey courses through graduate seminars. We also have a stereomicroscope and compound microscope with integrated cameras and HDMI connections for instructional use
  3. Fossil, mineral, and rock teaching/reference collections
  4. Field and mapping equipment: Brunton compasses, hammers, hand lenses, etc.