Fall 2020


Listed in: Geology, as GEOL-271

Formerly listed as: GEOL-30

Moodle site: Course


Jack Thomas Cheney (Section 01)
Victor E. Guevara (Section 01)


Minerals are the fundamental building blocks of planetary materials, are essential natural resources for human society, and they modulate earth and environmental systems. This course explores the origin, distribution, and scientific and societal relevance of minerals. Through project-based inquiry, students will investigate the chemical and physical properties of minerals across a range of spatial scales, from the scale of individual atoms, to that of a hand specimen. We will use physical and chemical observations of minerals to infer the processes and environments that lead to their formation, and how minerals exert a first-order control on large scale geologic processes, from earth’s core to the human environment.

GEOL-271 will be conducted in the “hyflex” format, using a combination of synchronous and asynchronous activities. Lectures will be asynchronous; lab activities and a classroom discussion section will be synchronous, and will involve close interaction with the faculty for all students in the course. In lab activities, students will work collaboratively to identify, characterize, and interpret mineral and rock specimens - in hand sample, under the optical microscope, and with the scanning electron microscope. For students learning remotely, lab materials will be provided, and participation in lab activities and discussions will be enabled by live video and digital file sharing with collaborators in the classroom. A virtual field trip will allow all students to examine minerals in their natural context. Three hours of lecture and two hours of lab per week.

Requisite: GEOL 111 or 112. Fall semester. Professors Guevara and Cheney.


Lab Science Course


2022-23: Not offered
Other years: Offered in Fall 2007, Fall 2008, Fall 2009, Fall 2010, Fall 2020, Fall 2021