Geography & Environmental Science

Physical Geography teaching labs

Physical Geography Teaching Labs

The $82 million Prairie Springs Science Center was completed in 2018 and the 187,000 square foot building houses several Physical Geography and Environmental Science spaces, including two instructional labs and their support rooms. The instructional labs are outfitted with materials and facilities for performing physical, chemical, and biological analysis of soils, sediment, and water. The labs contain an extensive rock and mineral collection, a wide variety of tools for hands-on learning of climate and Earth surface processes, computers loaded with physical geography and GIS-related software, two stream tables, and an augmented reality sandbox.

For more information about the state-of-the-art Prairie Springs Science Center, please visit this website. If you have any questions about use of equipment in the Physical Geography Instructional Labs, please contact Dr. Colin Belby or Dr. Joan Bunbury

Study tables in 1001 Prairie Springs
Sand tables in 1001 Prairie Springs
Equipment in 1001 Prairie Springs
Microscopes in 1001 Prairie Springs
Study tables in 1031 Prairie Springs
Prairie Springs Science Center
Exterior of Prairie Springs

Teaching Laboratory Equipment

The following equipment is available for student use while taking environmental and physical geography courses.

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science has two Emriver Em2 stream tables for demonstrating river processes and conservation principles to UWL students. The portable stream tables are also frequently used during outreach events for people of all ages and backgrounds in the community. The color-coded-by-size sediment in each table aids in the visualization of sediment transport and deposition processes. Cameras installed above the stream tables enable students to record river processes from multiple angles. Stream table accessories include a wavemaker, flow controllers, a level rod for surveying channel profiles, and materials for demonstrating the effects of human activities on the floodplain and in the channel.

 For more information about the Emriver Em2 stream tables, please visit the Little River Research & Design website or contact Dr. Colin Belby.

Demonstrations on the Em2 Stream Table

The Department of Geography and Environmental Science Department constructed an Augmented Reality Sandbox (AR Sandbox) for instructional and outreach use. The AR sandbox provides students a hands-on understanding of how map contours translate to real world topography and how water flows across the landscape.

 For more information about the AR Sandbox, please contact Steve Fulton or Dr. Colin Belby.

Front View of AR Sandbox Oblique View of AR Sandbox

Augmented Reality Sandbox Major Components

Computer Alienware x51 r3 (i5)
Graphics Card NVIDIA GTX970
Projector inFocus IN124sta
SAND Sandtastik Play Sand - Sparkling White
Kinect 1414
Mount Frame 80/20
Control Box

Groovy TB3 Trackball

8 Spectra Lite Pushbuttons

4 Arcade Prime Pushbuttons

Sandbox Size: 36" x 48"

Rock and Mineral Collection

Rock and Mineral Collection

Items listed below are donated by John and Mary Boland, members of the Coulee Rock Club.

Name Location Found
Torbernite - Secondary Uranium Mineral Spruce Pine, N.C. - Lawson Mine
Quartz Crystals - Doubly Terminated Crystal on Epidote Crystals Keweenaw Co., Mich.
Gold Ore Cripple Creek, Colo. - Molly Kathleen Mine
Copper Ore - Native Copper Keewwnaw Penn., Mich.
Quartz - Rose Variety Custer, S.D. - Mary Erin Mine
Halite (Salt) California
Native Copper Keweenaw Co., Mich.
Molten Chrome Metal
Barite & Calcite Crystals on Siderite Eddyville, Iowa
Irridescent Calcite Crystals Beecher, Wisc.
Quartz, Hematite Crystals & Chalcopyrite on Hematite Hibbing, Minn. area
Wavellite Arkansas
Quartz - Agate Variety ("Keswick") with Pink Quartz Crystals Keswick, Iowa
Gold Ore - Calaverite (A Telluride) Cripple Creek, Colo.
Wausau Moonstone, a Feldspar Wausau, Wisc.
Varicite Utah
Sulfur - Crystalline
Rhodochrosite Argentina, South America
Cockscomb Marcasite Crystals Lead Mining Area of S.W. Wisconsin
Fluorite Rosiclaire, Ill.
Pyrolousite Alberta, Mich. - Taylor Mine
Gold Ore (In Galena & Pyrite) Breckenridge, Colo.
Hematite Crystals on Hematite Tower Sudan Area, Minn.
Rose Quartz Custer, S.D. - Mary Erin Mine
Hematite - Reniform Variety ("Kidney Ore")
Chlorite Schist Colored Blue with Holmquistite King's Mountain, N.C. - Foote Mineral Mine
Uranium Grand Co., Utah - Park City Lead Ore.
Lavender Calcite (Fluorescent - Red) Ontario, Canada
Lepidolite - Mica Min. Custer, S.D. - Tin Mt. Mine
Lava Central America
Sphalerite Zinc Ore S.E. Wisconsin
Barite on Birdsnest Calcite Farmington, Iowa
Native Silver Keweenaw Co., Mich.
Massive Tourmaline Custer, S.D. - White Elephant Mine
Sulfur, Massive

Items listed below were donated by John Boland and Robert Wingate in memory of Dr. Margaret Chew, a member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at UW-La Crosse from 1945 - 1979.

Name Location Found
Brachiopod Shells in Limestone - Coquine Stone Spring Grove, Minn.
Baculite Ovatus Cephalopod Western South Dakota
Stromatolite - Lime Extruding Hardened Algae La Crosse, Wis. Area
Endoceras Cephalopod with Siphincle Exposed Spring Grove, Minn.
Dendrograptus Graptolites Hokah, Minn.
Crinoidal Limestone Burlington, Iowa
Various Petrified Limb Casts - Polished Wyoming
Glauconite with Limestone Hokah, Minn.
Syringopora - A Tabulate, Loosely Connected Coral Hopkinton, Iowa
Favosites - A Colonial Tabulate Coral Hopkinton, Iowa
Halysites - A Colonial Tabulate Coral Hopkinton, Iowa
Tetracoral - Rogose Coral Independence, Iowa
Batostoma Minnesotense Bryozoa Spring Grove, Minn.
Winged Spiriferid Brachiopod Venton, Iowa
Platystrophia Brachiopods Rockford, Iowa
Prasopora Conoides - Bryozoa Spring Grove, Iowa
Coenities Coral Michigan
Pachytenthis Denssus Belemnites Rock Springs, Wyo.
Horn Coral Delta, Iowa
Strophomenids Incurvata Brachiopods Spring Grove, Minn.
Ore Breckenridge, Colo - Gold Mine Dump
Rhodonite Colorado
Lava New Mexico
Marcasite & Pyrite Crystals on Fluorite & Calcite Raymond, Iowa - Pints Quarry
Unknown Mineral Keweenaw Peninsula, Mich.
Lepidolite Custer, So. Dakota
Favosites - Cavernose Coral Michigan
Murex - Flavescent Bradenton, Fla.
Angiosperm - Laurel Leaf West of Bismarck, No. Dakota
Lycopods - Lepidodendron Wood Slab Eddyville, Iowa
Dikelocephalus Tail, Orycetocephalus, and Bumastus Tail Hokah, Minn./Burr Oak, Iowa
Kellibrooksia Macrogaster (Crustacean in nodule) Morris, Ill.
Fisherites (Algae) Burr Oak, Minn.
Turritella Gastropods Wamsutter, Wyo.
Favosites - Tabulate Coral Hopkinton, Iowa
Fossils for Upper Devonian Rockford, Iowa - Tile & Brick, Co.
Spinocytia Granulose Brachiopod Venton, Iowa
Endoceras (Actinoceras) Cephalopods Graf, Iowa
Hormotoma Gastropod Burr Oak, Iowa
Sigularie Tree Trunk (Palm) Maryville, Iowa
Pecopteris - Carboniferous Seed Fern Maryville, Iowa
Petrified Wood Wyoming
Lycopods - Lepidodedron Limb Cast Eddyville, Iowa
Pentamerus Brachiopod Maquoketa, Iowa
Quartz - Amethyst Ontario, Canada
Wollastonite Willsboro, N.Y.
Emerald Crystals Spruce Pine, N.C.
Muscovite Mica Black Hills, So. Dakota
Maclurites Burr Oak, Iowa

Items listed below are on loan from the personal collection of Robert "Doc" Wingate, a member of the Department of Geography and Environmental Science at UW-La Crosse from 1965 - 2008. In memory of George N. Huppert, colleague and department member: 1979-2001.

Name Location Found
Iron Ore - Specular Hematite Marquette, Mich.
Galena Crystals Breckenridge, Colo.
Micaceous Hematite Marquette, Mich.
Mica - Muscovite Variety Custer, S.D. - Dorothy Mine
Chalcedony (Fluorescent Lime Green) Scenic, S.D.
Calcite - "Bladed" Variety Donnellson, Iowa
Matrix with Garnets Yankee Jim Canyon, Mont.
Quartz and Hematite Crystals on Hematite Hibbing, Minn. area
Cuproadamite Crystals Mapimi, Mexico
Plattnerite, Rosasite, Aurichalcite, Descloite Mapimi, Mexico
Aurichalcite Mapimi, Mexico
Malachite Zacatecas, Mexico
Covellite Butte, Mont.
Beryl Oxford Co., Maine - Little Orcgard Mine
Brochantite Coconino Co., Ariz.
Conichalcite Zacatecas, Mexico
Serpentine - Antigorite (Platy) Variety Rudolph, Wisc.
Fluorite Rosiclaire, Ill.
Celestite Ohio
Vivianite Spodumene Kings Mt., N.C. - Foote Mine
Lavender Calcite Crystal Thunder Bay, Ontario, Canada

Presented to the La Crosse State Normal School in 1914. The collection consists of 1101 specimens of about 350 varieties from over 50 countries. Original numbering, names, and formulas are retained though the specimens are regrouped in contemporary chemical classes. Mr. Colman continued the lumber business started by his father in 1866.

Number Name Location Found
228 Rock Crystal Quartz Geode Keokuk, Iowa
231 Amethyst cap on Smoky Quartz Little Pipestone Creek, Mont.
232 Rock Crystal Quartz Hot Springs, Ark.
233 Rock Crystal Quartz La Cachette, Valence, France
235 Radiated Rock Crystal Quartz Yellowstone Park, Wyo.
238 Cavernous Rock Crystal Quartz Paorette, Italy
239 Milky Divergent Quartz Nova Scotia
240 Rock Crystal Quartz Bernfjord, Iceland
242 Rock Crystal Quartz Brazil
243 Rock Crystal Quartz Otisville, N.Y.
248 Amethyst Quartz with Pectolite Paterson, N.J.
250 Amethyst Quartz with Calcite Guanajuato, Mexico
252 Smoky Quartz Pikes Peak, Colo.
254 Smoky Quartz with Orthoclose Pikes Peak, Colo.
255 Smoky Quartz Switzerland
256 Rose Quartz Custer Co., South Dakota
257 Rose Quartz Paris, Maine
259 Milky Quartz Delaware Co., Penn.
262 Amethystine Quartz Chester Co., Penn.
265 Quartz Colored with Nickel Mineral Hill, Penn.
266 Quartz Colored by Nickel Mineral Hill, Penn.
267 Quartz with Iridescent Pyrite Pitkaranta, Finland
270 Quartz enclosing Rutile Madagascar
272 Quartz enclosing Tourmaline Haddan Neck, Conn.
273 Quartz enclosing Hematite Brazil
274 Quartz enclosing Actinolite Switzerland
276 Quartz enclosing Byssolite Rauris, Switzerland
278 Quartz enclosing Chlorite Hot Springs, Ark.
282 Quartz with Calcite Guanajuato, Mexico
286 Quartz with Calcite St. Just, Cornwall, England
290 Chalcedony Quartz Uruguay
291 Chalcedony Quartz Lower California
294 Agate Quartz Brazil
295 Agate Quartz La Crosse Co., Wisc.
296 Chalcedony Quartz Pikes Peak, Colo.
297 Agate Quartz, Artificial Color Brazil
298 Agate Quartz, Artificial Color Brazil
300 Agate Quartz Grant Co., Colo.
301 Onyx Quartz Uruguay
302 Agate Quartz, Artificial Color
303 Agate Quartz, Artificial Color
304 Agate Quartz, dendritis  Laramie Co., Wyo.
305 Bloodstane Quartz India
306 Chrysoprase Quartz Kosemutz, Silesia, Germany
307 Chryoprase Quartz Pala, Calif.
308 Chrysoprase Quartz Gila Co., Ariz.
309 Aventurine Quartz Silesia, Germany
310 Striped Jasper Quartz Michigan
311 Jasper Quartz Germany
312 Jasper Quartz Russia
313 Jasper Quartz Scotland
314 Jasper Quartz coated with Chalcedony Chalcedony Park, Ariz.
316 Beekite Quartz Tampa Bay, Fla.
317 Jasper Quartz Puyde Dome, France
318 Flint Quartz Dover Cliffs, England
319 Chert Quartz La Crosse Co., Wisc.
321 Novaculyte Quartz Ohio
322 Buhrstone Quartz North Carolina
323 Basanite Quartz Northhampton Co., Penn.
324 Breccia Quartz Brewster Co., Tex.
325 Pseudomorph Quartz Boonville, N.Y.
326 Pseudomorph Quartz after Pectolite Paterson, N.J.
327 Pseudomorph Quartz, after Wood Chalcedony Park, Ariz.
329 Quartz penetrating Wood Southern Ural Mountains, Russia
330 Pseudomorph Quartz after Wood Chalcedony Park, Ariz.
331 Pseudomorph Quartz after Croiedolite - Tiger-Eye Griquland, South Africa
332 Pseudomorph Quartz after Fluorite Trazytan, Transylvania
333 Pseudomorph Quartz after Calcite Socorro, New Mexico
334 Pseudomorph Quartz after Natrolite Paterson, N.J.