About the Hydrogeology Lab


The Hydrogeology Research Lab at Michigan State University is located in the 315 Suite on the third floor of the Natural Science Building on north campus. The physical space is comprised of four offices, an informal meeting and social space, a conference room, and a utility space. Each office is furnished with modern desks, and accommodates 2-4 people depending on size. Our offices are integrated across undergraduate, graduate, post-doc, staff and faculty researchers to create an equitable research and collaboration space. Additional storage facilities for field equipment are located across the street in Giltner Hall.


Each sit/stand office desk is equipped with a desktop computer or laptop dock, dual widescreen or single ultra-widescreen monitors, and personal storage space. Personal computers are equipped with hardware capable of basic coding and GIS tasks. For more computationally intensive work, the lab has several high performance cloud servers hosted at MSU’s data center. We support both onsite and remote work options; the use of MSU’s data storage and VPN capabilities allows remote workers to connect to all lab resources.  Computers in the lab are equipped with a variety of data analysis and visualization including:

    • AcrGIS Pro
    • MATLAB
    • R and R Studio
    • Python/Anaconda
    • Zoom
    • Affinity designer and photo editor
    • BigIP VPN

Other virtual infrastructure includes:

    • Organized multi-tiered field, GIS, and remote sensing data storage
    • Heavily redundant, network-connected, off-site (and co-located) network storage for most student work since the dawn of the digital era.
    • Actively maintained lab wiki (running Confluence software) with an extensive Knowledgebase contributed by current and past lab members.
    • Online task and project management (using Gitlab) for integrating undergraduate researchers into the graduate and professional research process.
    • Campus wide (via Gitlab) code repositories

We have a wide array of instruments for collecting hydrologic, geophysical and geochemical data including instruments to measure streamflow, water depth and temperature, basic water chemistry (pH and conductivity), electrical resistivity, and subsurface imaging. Instruments include:

    • SonTek, Inc. RiverSurveyor S5 Acoustic Doppler Current Profiler (ADCP)
    • SonTek, Inc FlowTracker2 handheld Acoustic Doppler Velocimeter (ADV)
    • AGI SuperSting 8 channel Electrical Resistivity and IP meter
    • Mala Ground Penetrating Radar (GPR)
    • Leica TC605 surveying Total Station

Additional field equipment includes:

    • A wide variety of temperature and pressure sensing data loggers
    • Field laptops spanning the range from small and cheap to fully rugged
    • Multiple cameras equipped with GPS for location tagging
    • Several multi-head peristaltic pumps for lab bench or field use
    • Field equipment including waders, measuring tapes, surveying equipment, ropes, toolboxes, tools, etc.


So many of the important questions addressed by the Hydrogeology Lab at MSU are fundamentally interdisciplinary, at various times involving aspects of microbiology, ecology, geography, geology, chemistry, engineering, and the social sciences.  MSU recognizes that one of its greatest strengths is the size and scope of its faculty, and greatly encourages interdisciplinary collaboration through seed proposals and permanent interdisciplinary research centers. Learn more about individual collaborators on our Hydrology Lab Collaborators Page

The Hydrogeology Lab has affiliations with these interdisciplinary centers here at MSU: