Petrology- Igneous-Metamorphic

In this section you will content related to my Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology Course





This is a course for undergraduate majors in the BS program. Prerequisites are mineralogy and chemistry. The class has a lecture and lab component, and meets for two 2hr, 15min-long blocks per week. There is a 2-day required field trip plus shorter optional field trips.


Several of the labs are constructed to be done in groups assigned by the instructor, with the group evaluated as a whole. Several of the oral and written presentations require that the student access web and written professional literature and critique the material. The communications aspect is developed through several oral presentations (volcano and pet rock) presented to and critiqued by the class and through a variety of written exercises. The Pet Rock project specifically is meant to be written in the style of a professional paper with an opportunity to revise the initial paper, and to be orally presented to the class in the style of a professional meeting.







Students should be able to:


  • describe the types and relative abundances of phases in a rock based on observations from hand specimens and thin sections.
  • classify a rock based on mineral abundances or chemical composition.
  • describe crystallization history and textures of the rock based on thin section observations.
  • interpret textures and crystallization history using appropriate phase diagrams.
  • explain magma differentiation and observations of layered mafic instrusions using a fractional crystallization model.
  • identify the layers of the Earth, describe the approximate composition for each layer of the Earth and bulk Earth, and relate these to observations from meteorites.
  • use geochemical data (partition coefficients, REE plots, etc) to constrain petrogenetic processes.
  • use metamorphic mineral assemblages and textures to constrain deformation history and P-T conditions.






This class is taught in a studio format. Studio classrooms may have many different manifestations but all share common elements. They involve class sessions with focused, intense, student activity. Lectures are de-emphasized or eliminated altogether so students can work on projects instead, generally in groups.


Many studies have shown that students learn best by doing things (active learning) instead of just listening (passive learning). Additionally, it is well known that most students learn best when they learn in groups (cooperative/collaborative learning). Studio classrooms are centered around active and group learning. The interactive classroom helps students learn the standard class content. Additionally, it promotes holistic skills, including thinking, inquiry, creativity and reflection.


This class also involves spiral learning. That means we will cover topics more than once, returning to them several times and in different contexts. The basic order of topics follows the textbook but we will discuss the key principles many times.


Most of the work you do this semester will be done in groups. The instructor and TA will assign the groups; they will change periodically. All members of a group are responsible for seeing that assignments get completed. For some assignments, a single group report will be adequate. For others, each person must write his or her own report.






15% Test 1*

15% Test 2*

15% Lab Practical Exam* 20% Quizzes#

35% Assignments: Labs, In‐class Activities, Homework, Field Trips

*Tests will cover concepts from lecture and lab. The final lab test will be a practical exam involving hand sample and thin section description, identification, and interpretation

#Quizzes will be short and focused on lecture material or a specific skill or skill set.