Trowbridge Hall

Trowbridge Hall is a five-floor building where our department has offices, classes, colloquia, and seminars. Most of our faculty have offices here. A majority of our research labs are located in Trowbridge Hall. With the relocation of the health sciences to the new Medical Campus on the western bluffs of the Iowa River, Trowbridge was freed up and reprogrammed for the Department of Geology in 1973. The building is named after Arthur C. Trowbridge, a longtime geology professor at the University.

Computer Facilities

Five teaching classrooms with 10-12 networked PC workstations; a computing classroom with 20 PCs and 10 Macs with GIS, GMS, remote sensing, image analysis, and specialized computational software packages; a student computer room with 6 PCs and 2 Macs; and a number of multiprocessor workstations in research laboratories.

Environmental and Hydrogeology Laboratory

Permeameters and tensionometers; pumping and slug/bail test units with transducers and data-loggers; water-quality analysis facility; advanced groundwater modeling and geostatistics software; advanced data logging systems for field research; 3-D sensor arrays (wind and water systems); and facilities for field instrumentation design and construction.

Environmental Instrumentation Laboratories

Storage, testing, and teaching facility focusing on field instrumentation; assembly, housing, and testing of climatic, meteorological, fluvial, water quality and associated environmental instrumentation data recording systems and sampling systems.

Geomorphic Computing Laboratory

High-end visualization, digitizing, remote sensing and GIS systems; and high-end multiprocessor workstations.

Geoscience Library

A branch of University of Iowa Libraries that serves the University community, the Iowa Geological Survey Bureau, and the public; more than 55,000 volumes to support research, study, and teaching, including publications of state, federal, and international geological surveys and field trip guidebooks; more than 73,000 geological maps, including the newest versions of U.S. topographic quadrangle maps. For more information, visit

MicroPaleontology Laboratory

The MicroPaleo Lab at the University of Iowa is fully equipped for conodont processing of a wide range of rock types including limestone, dolostone, siltstone, calcareous shales, marls, and organic-rich shales. Standard processing methods include double-buffered Formic Acid, Stoddards Solvents, Bleach, and Calgon. We use Lithium Metatungstate (LMT) for heavy liquid separation and can provide stacked light microscope or standard SEM photography of recovered specimens. For more information, visit

Paleontological Repository

More than a million specimens, including some 25,000 type and referred specimens, with 6,000-7,000 primary types; invertebrate, vertebrate, and plant fossils of all geologic ages, and more than 90 percent Paleozoic invertebrates; the fifth-largest university collection in North America (CONARIP 1977). For more information, visit

Petrology Laboratories

Clean laboratory for preparation of samples for elemental and isotopic analysis; alpha-spectrometry laboratory; image analysis; heating freezing stage; petrographic microscopes; photo microscopy; wet-chemistry facilities; rock preparation and mineral separation; UNIX, Windows, and Mac workstations for data analysis and modeling; and one atm gas-mixing furnace for melt inclusion homogenization.

Quaternary Materials Laboratory

Pipette grain-size analysis apparatus; chittick apparatus; Sedigraph 5100 X-ray particle-size analyzer; wet-chemistry facilities; C-H-N element analyzer; a Flotech flotation system; and a Giddings drill rig. For more information, visit

Scanning Electron Microscope

Hitachi S-3400N, a variable-pressure scanning electron microscope (SEM) equipped with a motorized stage, large chamber, and digital image capture; capable of imaging specimens with no metal coating, or specimens that are slightly hydrated or porous, as well as conventionally processed specimens; equipped with a Bruker AXS Quantax 400 X-ray microanalysis system; XFlash silicon drift detector with excellent energy resolution and light element detection, providing ultra-fast acquisition of line scans and elemental maps.

Sedimentary Geology Laboratories

The Sedimentary Geology Lab is equipped with state of the art hardware and software for petrographic thin section and mineral separate data capture and analysis. Specific equipment includes:

  • Nikon Eclipse 50iPOL polarizing microscope for petrographic studies that includes 4x, 10x, 20x, and 40x objectives, a dedicated high-resolution, high color fidelity digital microscope camera, and a separate teaching head for two-person, simultaneous viewing. 
  • Petrog digital stepping stage with accompanying software for petrographic analysis. 1 zoom ratio,
  • Nikon SMZ18 research stereomicroscope with 18:1 zoom ratio, a polarizing filter, and a dedicated high-resolution, high color fidelity digital microscope camera for grain identification and picking.

Thin Section and Sample Preparation Laboratory

Since 1966, the Department of Geoscience has maintained a full-service rock lab for the purpose of making research-grade thin (30 microns thick) sections by hand and teaching these techniques to students. Over forty years later, we proudly carry on this tradition by continuing to maintain a thin section lab and satellite processing room dedicated to the production of high quality thin sections, the preparation of geologic specimens for modern analytical methods, and the instruction of these techniques to students involved in research projects. We happily offer these same services to individuals and companies not affiliated with the University of Iowa at the lowest rates possible.

TILE Classrooms

Two technically advanced classrooms designed to encourage student-instructor interaction in an interactive environment. Trowbridge Hall features two TILE (Transform, Interact, Learn, Engage) classrooms. For more information, visit

134 Trowbridge Hall (TH)

  • 72 Seats
  • Smart Podium
  • Mic Drawer
  • Document Camera
  • Galss Whiteboard
  • 24 Laptops
  • 9 LED Monitors

136 Trowbridge Hall (TH)

  • 36 Seats
  • SMART Podium
  • Mic Drawer
  • Document Camera
  • Glass Whiteboard
  • 12 Laptops
  • 4 LED monitors
  • A gorgeous collection of minerals, rocks, and fossils