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Instructional and Research Facilities

Geoscience Research at California State University, Bakersfield

Bakersfield is the center of the southern San Joaquin Valley, the fourth-largest oil-producing area in the United States and one of the most productive and heavily groundwater- dependent agricultural regions in the world.  Diverse geological environments including the Sierra Nevada, the Pacific Coast, San Andreas Fault, Mojave Desert, and the Basin and Range province are nearby.  Proximity of the campus to the petroleum industry, easy access to diverse geological environments, the broad range of faculty research interests, the excellent student/faculty ratio, and a range of modern research facilities permit the student to select from a broad spectrum of research topics.   Abundant opportunities exist for cooperation with local petroleum and environmental companies and regulatory agencies.  Due to excellent access to these local employers, students are highly successful in obtaining a diverse range of professional positions. 

Specific areas of recent research include hydrogeology, aqueous geochemistry, petroleum geology, sedimentary petrology, paleoclimate studies, environmental geophysics, and seismology.  Research is supported by local industry and regulatory agencies as well as the more traditional academic granting agencies.  Faculty and student research is commonly published in journals of the highest quality including GSA Bulletin, Geology, Journal of Geophysical Research, Geochimica Cosmochimica Acta, Environmental Science & Technology, Applied Geochemistry, Geophysical Research Letters, AAPG Bulletin, Journal of Environmental Quality, Earth and Planetary Science Letters, Quaternary Research, and Palaeolimnology.  Research funding in recent years has come from the National Science Foundation, Petroleum Research Fund, Department of Defense, Office of Naval Research, Center for Field Research, as well as private industry and local government bodies.


Trace-Element Geochemistry Lab  Centered around a Perkin Elmer Elan 6100 ICP-MS and a Cetac LSX-200 Laser Ablation system which were acquired in 2000, the lab offers a wide range of opportunities for geochemical and environmental research.  Other instruments include a Perkin Elmer Microwave Digester.   

The California Well Sample Repository -  containing cores and samples from more than 5000 wells from both on- and offshore California and 1500 catalogued micropaleontological samples, is located on campus. 

Geophysics Equipment and Facilities include a paleomagnetism lab, 12-channel seismograph, magnetometer, gravimeter, electrical resistivity meter, and a M-31 ground conductivity meter. 

The Petrography Laboratory hosts a wide range of petrographic microscopes including luminescence and epifluorescence, a brand new PANalytic Empyrean X-Ray diffractometer, and a Hitachi Scanning Electron Microscope. 

            Arrangements for use of additional equipment at local companies are easily made.