Facilities and Planetarium

Facilities Offer Hands-on Learning Opportunities

Whether you are exploring oversized maps of undergrad mines or learning to use survey-grade GIS equipment out in the field, there are opportunities to go beyond the traditional classroom setting and get hands-on experience.

Some of the facilities for use by students in the Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning Department include the:

Spatial Environmental Analysis Laboratory

The Spatial Environmental Analysis Laboratory (SEAL) was designed to allow students to learn advanced environmental data collection and analysis techniques with mental data collection, and analysis techniques with state-of-the-art equipment. The facility allows for the collection and integration of field data with spatial data from a myriad of other sources in order to develop geographic databases and digital mapping products.

James Edward Payne Cartography Lab

The James E. Payne/Ruth Shirey GIS Lab is the main teaching facility for computer cartography and geospatial techniques courses as well as planning and landscape design classes for the Department of Geography, Geology, Environment, and Planning. The laboratory allows students to learn advanced environmental data collection and analysis techniques with state-of-the-art equipment, such as GPS, GIS, remote sensing techniques, small unmanned aerial systems (drones), and other devices

IUP Planetarium

The IUP Planetarium seats 75 under a nine-meter dome equipped with a Spitz A3P projector. The planetarium is used extensively in astronomy and planetary science classes for majors in the department, in campus-wide survey courses, and in programs for the general public. Portable telescopes for use in the teaching program include two 3.5-inch Questars, a Coronado Hydrogen-alpha telescope, a five-inch Maksutov-Cassegrain telescope, and several other Newtonian and refractor telescopes.

Marine Sediments Laboratories

The Marine Sediments Laboratories (Hovan and Farnsworth) house standard equipment necessary for the wet chemical and x-ray analysis of deep-sea sedimentary deposits, including a complete collection of sieves and sieve shakers, ultrasonic baths, ceramic rock crusher and homogenizer, hot circulating shaker baths, petrographic and binocular microscopes, large volume centrifuges, and a freeze-drying apparatus. Faculty and students also have access to the National Science Foundation-funded IUP X-Ray Laboratory, housing an automated Bruker D8 powder x-ray diffractometer. Field gear includes portable vibracoring equipment for use in streams, lakes, and coastal areas.

Paleontology Research Laboratory

The Paleontology Research Laboratory (Taylor) in Weyandt Hall contains standard equipment for mechanical preparation of macrofossils and chemical extraction of microfossils, digital stereophotography of fossil specimens, and space for archival storage of collections. The facility also includes individual work stations that are assigned to students conducting their undergraduate research projects in paleontology or stratigraphy.

Geochemistry Research Laboratory

The Geochemistry Research Laboratory (Poage) is a newly renovated facility with a fume hood, drying ovens, standard wet chemistry equipment, colorimeters, muffle furnaces, and a stable isotope vacuum extraction line for preparation of a wide array of natural materials. In addition, we have received funding for the purchase of a Perkin Elmer Optima 2100 DV ICP-OES to be installed in Spring 2007.

Structural Geology and Tectonics Laboratory

The Structural Geology and Tectonics Laboratory (Lewis) houses a G5 Macintosh computer for inverse modeling of earthquake and fault kinematic data and a research-grade Nikon petrographic microscope for microstructural analysis. The microscope is outfitted with both a fluid inclusion and a cathodoluminescence stage. The lab also houses a G4 Macintosh laptop and an Xplore iX104 C2 AllVue Tablet PC outfitted with an integrated GPS antenna, both available for field mapping projects or field-based coursework.

Planetary Science Laboratory

The Planetary Science Laboratory (Coles) includes a 20-centimeter, research-grade, computerized Schmidt-Cassegrain telescope, video and still cameras for night sky and solar imaging with telescopes, video time inserters, a digital library of planetary images, and computer facilities for image and video editing.

Because fieldwork is a large component of our programs in geology and oceanography, the department is equipped with four 12-passenger vans, camping gear, geologic mapping equipment, and oceanographic instruments such as sediment corers and grabs, submarine photometers, and wave/tide analyzers.

Student laboratory equipment and facilities include a recently upgraded computer lab, petrographic microscopes for viewing rock samples in thin section, binocular microscopes for viewing fossil specimens in three dimensions, and a fully equipped rock preparation lab in which students can prepare their own fossil and rock specimens.