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.

Students analyzing water samples in the Rood Hall geochemistry lab.

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.


Our geochemical research is basically focused on:

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


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