Our Approach

We use molecular spectroscopy and mass spectrometry as a lens through which we can view the chemical properties of the Earth System. In an effort to understand Earth processes with increasing clarity, we use spectroscopic methods that provide insight at the molecular scale.

Our Lab

The lab is ~1000 sq. ft. of custom-designed wet lab & office space for molecular-level investigations of natural organic matter and its transformations. An 8-foot fiberglass hood is available for digestion procedures using strong acids. A 6-foot steel/glass hood is used for handling organic solvents. Equipment available for organic matter and "biomarker" extractions include, soxhlet extractors, Dionex 200 accelerated solvent extractor ACE), rotary evaporator, and turbo evaporator. Other equipment includes large drying oven, muffle furnace, tube furnace, high-speed centrifuge, and freeze-dryer. A ball mill and shatter-box grinder are both available within the department for pulverizing soil and rock samples. Refrigerator and freezer storage are both on generator back-up power.

Paul Marchand Nuclear Magnetic Resonance Laboratory

The workhorse of the Hockaday lab is a 300 MHz Bruker Avance III NMR spectrometer. The instrument has probes for solid and liquid samples:
  • Solids: 4mm, magic angle spinning (MAS) dual channel, broadband
  • Solids: 7mm,magic angle spinning (MAS) dual channel, broadband
  • Liquids: 5mm, dual channel, broadband

As an organic geochemistry research group, our primary use of the instrument is for solid-state, carbon-13 and nitrogen-15 experiments.

This facility was established through a gift from the Carlile family and NSF award EAR 1132124

go to the NMR lab website

Gas Chromatograph / Mass Spectrometer (GC/MS)

comming soon
Agilent 6890 GC with 5973 Quadrupole mass selective detector

Shared Equipment Facilities in the Baylor Science Building

Baylor Geology Analytical Facilities


Baylor Mass Spectrometry Center


Baylor Center for Reservoir and Aquatic Systems Research (CRASR)