Geochemistry Research

The Department of Geosciences at Western Michigan University hosts an energetic and growing program of diverse geochemical research. Faculty explore a range of socially and scientifically relevant problems employing modern techniques in both the laboratory and the field.

Three students taking samples from a lake

Students studying wetlands

We have pioneered an innovative undergraduate program in geochemistry, the only one of its kind in the nation. Students enrolled in this cutting-edge program gain access to a rigorous curriculum that cultivates expertise in a range of geochemical subjects that are in high demand throughout the environmental consulting, geotechnical and remediation fields.

Focus

Our geochemical research is basically focused on:

  • Biogeochemistry
  • Geomicrobiology
  • Isotope geoscience
  • Low-temperature aqueous geochemistry

Facilities

Geochemical research facilities are housed primarily in Haenicke Hall, built in 1997, integrating geoscience, biology and chemistry research laboratories and promoting active cross-disciplinary research and collaborations. Additional research facilities are housed in Rood Hall.

Major instrumentation managed by geoscience faculty in Haenicke and Rood Halls include:

  • ApplikonBio chemostated bioreactor
  • Autotitration equipment
  • OI Analytical total organic carbon analyzer
  • Perkin Elmer Optima 2100 DV
  • QuantaChrome Nova 2200 particle surface area analyzer
  • Micromass Optima stable isotope mass spectrometer
  • Two large Coy glove-box anaerobic chambers
  • UV-Vis spectrophotometers
  • Wide range of conventional laboratory equipment for routine geologic, wet chemical and microbiological work
  • X-ray diffractometer

Field equipment includes:

  • Field-portable UV-Vis spectrophotometers and chemical analysis equipment
  • Pore water diffusion equilibrators for time-integrated groundwater sampling
  • Pore water squeezer
  • Sediment coring equipment

Associated faculty