Jul 24, 2024  
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog 
2021-2022 Graduate Catalog [ARCHIVED CATALOG]


108A Thompson Hall
Fax: 785-532-5159

Department Head:

Pamela Kempton

Director of graduate studies:

Matthew Brueseke (Domestic)
Saugata Datta (International)

Graduate faculty:

Claudia Adam, Ph.D., Institut de Physique du Globe de Paris(IPGP), Paris, France
Matthew Brueseke, Ph.D., Miami University
Sambhudas Chaudhuri, Ph.D., Ohio State University
Saugata Datta, Ph.D., University of Western Ontario
Aida Farough, Ph.D., Virginia Polytechnic Institute and State University
Behzad Ghanbarian, Ph.D., Wright State University
Karin Goldberg, Ph.D., University of Chicago
Pamela D. Kempton, Ph.D., Southern Methodist University
Matthew Kirk, Ph.D., University of New Mexico
Brice Lacroix, Ph.D., University of Franche-Comté/Barcelona, Spain
Abdelmoneam E. Raef, Ph.D., The University of Science and Technology, Poland
Joel Q. G. Spencer, Ph.D., University of Glasgow
Matthew Totten, Ph.D., University of Oklahoma

Program description

The Master of Science degree in geology is the level of professional education needed by today’s career geologists in corporate or government employment. It is also a routine stepping stone for geologists continuing their studies for the doctoral degree. At K-State the Department of Geology encourages the student to select an area of interest, guides him or her through 24 (or more) credit hours of course work to develop essential skills in that area (including study in supporting sciences where appropriate), and supervises the completion of 6 credit hours of research that will culminate in a written thesis. We maintain active research programs in a wide range of geoscience subdisciplines including chemical hydrogeology, petroleum geology, exploration seismic and near surface geophysics, structural geology, economic geology, igneous petrology, volcanology, isotope geochemistry, climate change, tidal sedimentation processes, luminescence dating, biomineralization, and biogeochemistry.

The department presently (2016-2017) has eleven full-time graduate faculty members and approximately 30 graduate students. The alumni of the geology department have shown their support and their generosity by endowing more than 20 scholarships. In recent years, the total scholarship funding for geology majors and graduate students has averaged ca. $90,000, with individual awards ranging from $500 to $5,000. The department also has 11 graduate teaching assistantships, which include a waiver of tuition. Some department funds are available to support field research and the presentation of student papers at meetings. Scholarship support is also available from several regional societies and organizations.

K-State’s Department of Geology has active collaborations through a number of organizations, especially the Kansas Geological Survey and the U.S. Geological Survey. Other collaborations are sometimes available through neighboring universities and the geological surveys of other states. We also encourage our students to take advantage of corporate internships to further their research projects.

The department has a range of research instrumentation and Thompson Hall has recently been upgraded to include a suite of new geochemistry research labs (see below).

Computer laboratory

The Thompson Hall computer laboratory is available to all geology majors and contains computers, scanners, printers, and plotters. Computers with industry software in the laboratory are used for exercises in geophysics, petrology, petroleum geology, and geochemical modeling courses. A 44” plotter is also available in Thompson Hall and used to print posters for presentation.

Research laboratories

Thompson Hall laboratories contain equipment used for cutting and crushing rock, sectioning and polishing, and other rock sample preparation tasks. Binocular and petrographic microscopes, which include fixed digital cameras, are available for collecting sample images. Recently refurbished geochemistry and microbiology laboratories include access to fume hoods, analytical balances, drying ovens, centrifuges, an anaerobic chamber, and two ultra-pure water systems. 

Analytical instruments

Analytical instruments available in Thompson Hall currently include:

  • X-Ray Diffractometer (PANalytical Empyrean) that can analyze both amorphous and crystalline solid-phase samples using numerous techniques
  • Bruker Tracer III hand-held X-Ray Fluoresence
  • Fully-automated luminescence dating system (model no. Risø TL-DA-20C/D)
  • Gas chromatograph (Gow Mac 580 series) used for gas compositional analysis
  • Ion chromatorgraphy system (Dionex ICS-1100) capable of analyzing a wide range of solutes in water samples
  • UV-Vis spectrophotometers also used for water chemistry analyses
  • Digital inverted fluorescence microscope (EVOS) for capturing multi-channel fluorescence images at high resolution

Field equipment

Other research facilities available on campus

Numerous other research facilities are also available on campus. An extensive list is found here. On-campus facilities used regularly by Geology students and faculty include:


Field equipment

Field equipment available in the department for undergraduate and graduate research include:

  • Hand-held transits
  • GPS devices
  • Water level meter
  • Water quality monitoring devices
  • Topcon GTS-229 laser total station
  • Proton precession magnetometer
  • Ground-penetrating radar system with antennae for two different depth ranges
  • Worden gravimeter
  • Electromagnetic sensor
  • Seismic reflection/refraction system


Other research facilities available on campus

Numerous other research facilities are also available on campus. On-campus facilities used regularly by Geology students and faculty include the TRIGA Mark II pulsing reactor (Neutron Activation Analysis), the Stable Isotope Mass Spectrometer Lab and Microscopy Lab in the Division of Biology, the Integrated Genomics Facility and Soil Testing Lab in the Department of Agronomy, and the Electron Microscopy Lab in the College of Veterinary Medicine.


Applications (forms downloadable from the graduate school website) to the M.S. program should be accompanied by (1) official transcripts from all colleges attended; (2) three letters of recommendation; (3) GRE scores; and (4) a statement of career goals and interests. International applicants should refer to the graduate school website for additional requirements. Applications for financial assistance should be received by March 1.


Master of Science