The department maintains a number of specialized facilities for instructional and research purposes. These facilities will enrich your program of study. They include:
This laboratory is both a formal and informal learning laboratory for weather forecasting. It receives a full array of weather data including satellite imagery, NEXRAD radar, and NWS maps and data. Numerous networked personal computers serve individual students. Workstations and a microVAX minicomputer serve research needs. This is a busy place whenever there is severe weather.
This analytical laboratory is equipped with diamond saws and a crushing/grinding sequence to prepare solid earth materials for analysis by atomic absorption spectrophotometry or neutron activation. The laboratory contains a magnetic separator and polarizing microscopes for the optical identification of materials such as asbestos. The laboratory is also equipped for fission track age dating. If you do honors research you may be using the facilities of this laboratory.
A geographical information system (GIS) analyzes and manipulates spatially distributed data to produce maps and to statistically analyze various data layers. This computerized system is an important environmental tool and is used for instruction and local research projects.
The Center for Atmospheric Research is closely affiliated with the department and concentrates its efforts on the study of the ionized upper atmosphere. The Center has developed a very advanced digital high frequency Doppler radar system to study the flow pattern of ionospheric plasma. It also conducts research on the chemistry and physics of the troposphere and stratosphere. As a leader in the field, the Center has numerous contracts with NSF, NASA, U.S. Air Force and many foreign governments. In addition to departmental faculty, the Center is staffed by 14 permanent researchers. A number of graduate and undergraduate students conduct research through the Center.