The Department of Geology is housed within Placer Hall which it shares with the Water Resources Division of the U.S. Geological Survey. Placer Hall, a 60,000 square foot joint teaching and research facility was built in 1996 after the department formed a partnership with the US Geological Survey.
Placer Hall provides the Department of Geology with three state of the art instructional laboraties and two student research laboratories. In addition, it houses the research laboratories of the US Geological Survey. The Department and the Survey also share a commons area.
Sharing a building has led to a close partnership between the Department of Geology and the USGS . Five USGS research scientists are currently serving as adjuct faculty in the department, working closely with many of our graduate students on research projects. The USGS and the Department of Geology host a joint colloquium series with invited speakers from many areas of research visiting campus each semester. In addition, many of our undergraduate students work as interns for the USGS, providing essential experience as working geologists.