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.
Established in 1999, the center hosts a
SGI Octane workstation lab and a PC lab with the latest petroleum
reservoir modeling and geographical information system software including
Geo-Quest, Landmark, Geographix, Petra, Kingdom Suite, and ESRIís
ArcInfo and ArcView.
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, a
Dionex Ion Chromatograph, and a new Shimazu GC/MS housed in the Chemistry
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
Geophysics Equipment and Facilities
include a paleomagnetism lab, 12-channel seismograph, magnetometer,
gravimeter, electrical resistivity meter, and a M-31 ground conductivity
The Petrography Laboratory hosts a
wide range of petrographic microscopes including luminescence and
epifluorescence, a Rigaku X-Ray diffractometer, and a Hitachi Scanning
Arrangements for use of additional equipment at local companies are
Equipment and technology play an integral role in student and faculty research. Our students receive diverse and practical training in the implementation of various technologies before graduation. All students, including undergraduates, are expected to participate in individual research. Examples of research projects include: hydrologic analysis, petrographic analysis, paleoclimatology, petroleum exploration and complex modeling. These experiences help students become familiar with the applications, procedures and limitations associated with technological equipment and how to implement them in their future professional careers.
Our department is distinguished by its commitment to student-involved research. The following categories point to representative examples of ongoing projects.
As part of their instructional mission, our faculty members are engaged in a wide range of
student-involved research. To support this research, they publish frequently in respected
peer-reviewed geology journals and successfully solicit funding from highly competitive
sources such as the National Science Foundation as well as from local industry and
government agencies. Their success rate in procuring funding from competitive sources is
approximately 40% which is twice that achieved by faculty at the typical research
university. Our faculty is even more successful at competing for funding within the
university. For example, during a recent round of proposals for funding from the CSUB
University Research Council, the three proposals submitted by the Geology program were
ranked one, two, and four among 17 proposals.
DISCLAIMER: Statements found on this site are for informational purposes only. While every effort is made to ensure that this information is up-to-date and accurate, official information can be found in the University publications.