About GSU & ATL

Students in the CSAW REU site will be in an urban campus learning environment with established faculty, facilities and community-based research goals.  Founded in 1913 and located in the heart of downtown Atlanta, Georgia State University is one of the country’s leading research universities.  As one of the leading urban research universities in Georgia, “Georgia State University offers educational opportunities for traditional and nontraditional students at both the graduate and undergraduate levels by blending the best of theoretical and applied inquiry, scholarly and professional pursuits, and scientific and artistic expression.  As an urban research university with strong disciplinary-based departments and a wide array of problem-oriented interdisciplinary programs, the goal of the university is to develop, transmit, and utilize knowledge in order to provide access to quality education for diverse groups of students, to educate leaders for the State of Georgia and the nation, and to prepare citizens for lifelong learning in a global society” (GSU, 2011).  As of 2011, GSU has an undergraduate and graduate enrollment of approximately 32,000.  Atlanta’s regional population of 4.2 million is one of the largest in the country.  Atlanta is home to many unique neighborhoods, diverse populations, the 1996 Olympics, and numerous cultural and social activities.  Learn more about GSU and Atlanta by clicking here.

Research Support Facilities: Undergraduate researchers at the GSU REU site will have full access to state-of-the-art learning facilities and technologies, including two well-equipped departmental lab facilities, the university library, and the visualization wall.

  • The Department of Geosciences houses a geospatial lab with over 40 computer workstations. Workstation hardware features dual monitors, the latest Intel iCore series processors, and nVidia graphics processing cards. Software packages available in the lab include the ArcGIS Software Suite, ERDAS Imagine, SPSS, and many other graphics and geospatial software. The lab connects to the department’s servers allowing researchers access to archived geospatial imagery and GIS data totaling over 2 terabytes. A high-definition large format printer and scanner are available for printing and scanning needs up to 42”.  The department also has well-equipped wet analytical laboratories to support a myriad of studies across the environmental sciences involving many different environmental media.  A Phillips X-ray diffractometer and a Rigaku 3270 wavelength-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer support mineralogical and geochemical analyses of soils, dust, and other solid phases.  A hand-held InnovX 4000 energy-dispersive X-ray fluorescence spectrometer supports field analyses of heavy metals.  A Perkin Elmer 3110 Atomic Absorption spectrometer with graphite furnace supports analyses of Pb and other heavy metals from liquids or acid-digested solids, as well as fundamental water quality studies, a Lachat 5000 ion chromatograph provides complementary anion analyses.  A Thermoelectron Element2 Inductively Coupled Plasma Mass Spectrometer provides high resolution isotopic analyses of many metals.  A Shimadzu QP5000 gas chromatograph/mass spectrometer supports investigations of petroleum hydrocarbons, pesticides, and other organic compounds.  REU students will also have access to GSU Biology Department facilities including a nationally recognized Molecular Microbiology Core Facility, and an electron microscopy facility equipped with several SEMs and TEMs.
  • The University Library houses over 1.5 million volumes, including 28,000 electronic journals, 2800 periodicals and newspapers, nearly 8000 active serials, and is a Federal Document Depository with more than 820,000 government documents. The Library’s Special Collections & Archives preserves rare historical materials in eight areas: Southern Labor Archives, Popular Music & Culture Collection, Women’s Collection, Georgia Government Documentation Project, University Archives, Rare Books, Photographic Collections, and Social Change Collection.
  • The Petit Science Center Visualization Wall is one of the largest (total pixels) tiled display walls in the world used for visualization, analysis and presentation.  Multiple people can point to different areas of the display simultaneously without interference.  It is the first known Microsoft Windows-based system of its kind and is especially designed for usability in supporting research that is collaborative, exploratory, creative and highly interactive.  Faculty in geosciences, public health, education, library, computer science, biology, chemistry, physics & astronomy, mathematics & statistics, criminal justice, and art have applications that use simulation/visualization to understand GIS, health informatics, human populations, and other complex or highly visual systems.  Students will hold their symposium presentations in this room.