Faculty Research


Geosciences Research Laboratories

Hydrogeology and Environmental Geophysics Laboratory (Room 111)
Professor Jejung Lee
Linux- and Windows-based computers are used for numerical simulation of groundwater and contaminant transport, hydro-geospatial data analysis, and geophysical modeling to characterize groundwater contaminant plumes. Groundwater sampling tools and geophysical exploration equipment such as ground penetrating radar are provided to acquire field data.

Rock Sample Lab (Room 115)
Equipment to prepare cores, thin sections and polished sections of rocks minerals and synthetic materials. The room is also used for research on rocks, minerals, cores, soils and water samples as well as staging for field surveying equipment.

Scanning Electron Microscope (SEM) Lab (Room 401)
Professor James Murowchick
SEM Lab houses a Tescan Vega 3 LMU variable pressure SEM equipped with a Bruker Quantax EDS system and a Tescan color cathodoluminescence detector.  The SEM/EDS system is used for imaging and elemental analysis of a variety of solid sample types, including rocks and minerals, concrete and mortars, electronic and semiconductor materials, synthetic catalysts and pharmaceuticals, and dried biological specimens.  For information on using the instrument, contact Dr. Murowchick at murowchickj@umkc.edu.

The lab also houses our Fluid Inc. gas flow fluid inclusion geothermometry stage.  This instrument can heat or cool fluid inclusions in a transparent mineral to determine the minimum temperature at which the fluid was trapped (by heating until the vapor bubble disappears), and to determine the salinity of the fluid (by freezing point depression).  Being mounted on a polarized light microscope, it can also be used to investigate temperature-dependent reactions, melting and crystallization processes.

Geotechnical Testing Laboratory (Room 402)
Professor Jejung Lee
Equipment for graduate student projects on geotechnical testing of materials.

Geoarchaeology, Paleoseismology and Sedimentology (GAPS) Lab (Room 406)
Professor Tina M. Niemi
The GAPS lab houses resources for the study of active earthquake zones and archeologic sites under the supervision of Dr. Tina Niemi, Ph.D. Stanford, author of “The Dead Sea,” Oxford University Press, 1997.  Current projects include research in the Bahamas, the Dead Sea and the Gulf of Aqaba, Baja California Sur Mexico, and the Himalaya of northern India, among others.

Mineralogy Lab (Room 409)
Professor James Murowchick
The Mineralogy Lab is a teaching/research lab that houses our Rigaku Miniflex automated powder X-ray diffractometer.  The diffractometer is used for routine identification of powdered samples of crystalline materials, singly or in mixtures, such as minerals in rocks, ceramics, concrete and mortar phases, and synthetic crystalline materials.  MDI Jade software is available for processing the XRD data. 
The lab also houses a Nikon Optiphot-pol research petrographic microscope equipped for transmitted and reflected light microscopy, digital photomicrography, and determination of optical properties of crystals using a spindle stage and Excalibr software.  Contact Dr. Murowchick at murowchickj@umkc.edu for requests to use the equipment.

SUN Lab (Room 421)
Professor Fengpeng Sun
This lab houses resources for the study of climate change and climate modeling under the supervision of Dr. Fengpeng Sun. Main research focus is developing climate downscaling techniques and designing high-resolution climate simulations to investigate historical climate and to predict future climate change at regional and local scales. Sun’s lab integrates numerical simulations using Weather Research and Forecasting (WRF) model, statistics and data analysis in research. Current research projects include NSF funded Missouri EPSCoR climate downscaling project, investigation of roles of urbanization in changing urban climate in Kansas City metropolitan area, and climate change impacts and vulnerability/resilience studies. The lab houses two 28-core Linux (CentOS) clusters, 3 workstations and prioritized access to Lewis, a state-of-the-art shared-resource High-Performance Computing (HPC) cluster at University of Missouri.

Molten Experiment Laboratory and Techniques (MELT) (Room 424)
Professor Alison Graettinger
This lab contains a rock melting furnace that reaches 1600 C for experiments with lava. A petrographic microscope with digital camera is set up to gigapixel image mosaics of thin sections. Can be mounted on binocular microscopes as well. This is also the home of sand box experiments and demonstrations for volcanoes and other natural hazards.

Paleoclimatology Laboratory (PAL) (Room 505)
Professor Caroline Davies
PAL features a wide variety of field equipment for the collection of environmental samples. It also has a full range of instrumentation suitable for complete characterization of sediment and biotic specimens in the analysis and reconstruction of past and present environments.


  • Coulter LS200 laser sediment analyzer.
  • UIC coulometer for analysis of TC/TOC/TIC
  • Large drying oven and large muffle furnace
  • Several research grade microscopes with digital imaging
  • Hot plates, magnetic stirrers, analytical balances

Laboratory for Environmental & Atmospheric Processes (LEAP) (Room 506)
Professor Jimmy Adegoke
Research conducted by LEAP principal investigator, research students, postdocs and visiting scholars focuses on understanding drivers of regional climate variability and their interrelationships with diverse indicators of environmental change in mid-latitude and tropical environments. Our work primarily addresses impacts of land use and land use change (LULC) on warm season convective processes in the U.S. Midwest, including ongoing regional climate modeling and climate impact studies in the Missouri River Basin funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF). LEAP’s research extends to environmental impact studies on water resources in the Lake Chad Basin and coastal mangrove ecosystems of the Niger Delta region of Nigeria. Recent work in this area includes modeling studies of changing current and future African climate systems as part of NASA funded research on the linkages between biomass burning and water cycle dynamics in sub-Saharan Africa. Computational and other research resources available in LEAP include advanced climate models, sophisticated observation systems, satellite remote sensing data and a range of quantitative/statistical software tools.

GIS and Remote Sensing Research Lab (Room 507)
Professor Wei “Wayne” Ji
Supports research activities of faculty and graduate students with geographic emphases, studying GIS/remote sensing-based methods for ecological assessment and biogeographic studies, bioinformatics and urban issues. Recent and current projects have been funded by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. The lab also supports international research collaboration.