The department has a long history of applied research in economic geology, which emphasizes the application of general geological and geochemical principles to the understanding and exploration of ore deposits. Resources include the Gilles O. Allard Economic Geology Collection.
Doug Crowe's work with mineral exploration companies focuses on the geochemistry of and fluid flow within a variety of ore deposit environments, including volcanogenic massive sulfide (VMS), skarn, and epithermal gold systems.
Paul Schroeder's work with kaolin companies center on characterization of natural ore mineral properties, including their trace phases as they affect beneficiation processes. Students that specialized in this area have gone on to work in the mining industry.