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Petrology Activities and Examples Collection

This is a collection of educational resources used in igneous and metamorphic petrology courses. The collection includes lab exercises, classroom activities, problem sets and more. The purpose of this collection is to allow for the sharing of materials within the community of petrology teachers. You can



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Scientific debate: Mantle plumes part of Cutting Edge:Deep Earth:Activities
Brennan Jordan, University of South Dakota
A structured format for a debate of the mantle plume hypothesis and alternative hypotheses with supporting materials.

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Critical Review of a Journal Article: An Assessment Activity part of Teaching Examples
Dave Mogk, Montana State University-Bozeman
In this exercise students do a formal review of a journal article using review criteria established for the Geological Society of America Bulletin or American Mineralogist. The quality of the students' ...

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Heat Capacity of Minerals: A Hands-On Introduction to Chemical Thermodynamics part of Cutting Edge:Mineralogy:Activities
David Bailey, Hamilton College
Minerals are inorganic chemical compounds with a wide range of physical and chemical properties. Geologists frequently measure and observe properties such as hardness, specific gravity, color, etc. Unfortunately, ...

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Weathering of Igneous, Metamorphic, and Sedimentary Rocks in a Semi-Arid Climate - An Engineering Application of Petrology part of Teaching Examples
Wendy Harrison, National Science Foundation; Ric Wendlandt, Colorado School of Mines
Students examine soils developed on igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks near Denver, Colorado. The 2-week exercise includes sample collection, description, and preparation, determining clay mineralogy by ...

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Volcanoes Writing Assignment part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Julie Baldwin, University of Montana-Missoula, The
Students write an original work of fiction pertaining to the geology of stratovolcanoes and their eruptive hazards.

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Metamorphism of siliceous dolostone: An example from the Alta stock, Utah part of Teaching Examples
Cameron Davidson, Carleton College
In this exercise students study the low variance mineral assemblages from the contact aureole of the Alta stock to learn how rock and fluid compositions control mineral assemblages during contact metamorphism.

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Historical Volcanic Eruptions part of Cutting Edge:Introductory Courses:Activities
Jeffrey Nunn, Louisiana State University
Students are asked to individually research and write a paper on a historical volcanic eruption and then are formed into groups to create a 10 minute stand-alone PowerPoint presentation which is shown and discussed ...

Magma Modification in the central Sierra Nevada Batholith part of Teaching Examples
Jennifer Wenner, University of Wisconsin-Oshkosh
This exercise is centered around a suite of rocks from the Sierra Nevada batholith. The activities are designed to give petrology students a capstone experience for the igneous portion of the upper-level Petrology ...

Granitic Rocks and Geologic History of the Idaho Batholith part of Teaching Examples
Elizabeth King
This is a lab/project in which the students not only name and identify a suite of granitic rocks but try to piece together the tectonic and geologic history of the Idaho batholith. This activity brings together the ...

Petrographic Problem Solving Assignments part of Teaching Examples
Jeffrey Templeton, Western Oregon University
Petrographic problem-solving (PPS) assignments are a series of mini-projects in which students conduct two-week scientific investigations on thin sections and hand samples selected by the instructor. For each PPS ...

Igneous Dike and Metamorphic Rock Lab and Field Project part of Teaching Examples
Mary Roden-Tice, SUNY College at Plattsburgh;
This is a semester-long lab and field project to study the petrology, petrography and tectonics of the Mesozoic dikes and intrusives, and Precambrian granulite facies metamorphic rocks from the Champlain Valley, ...

Pet Rock Project: A Semester-long Exercise for Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology part of Teaching Examples
Darrell Henry, Louisiana State University
The pet rock project is a semester-long project in which each student randomly selects an igneous or metamorphic rock from the instructor or brings in a rock from an appropriate locality, and follows all of the ...

Yellowstone Thought Questions part of Teaching Examples
Barbara Nash
These thought questions provide students the opportunity to critically think about features they see on a field trip through Yellowstone National Park.

Igneous Rocks Research Project part of Teaching Examples
Sarah Carmichael, Appalachian State University
Students work in groups to design a research project on a local igneous rock unit. Students are responsible for project design, sample collection, data collection and analysis, and collaborative writing involving ...

Atlantic City Mapping Project part of Cutting Edge:Geophysics:Workshop 07:Geophysics Activities
Peter Knoop, University of Michigan-Ann Arbor
The Atlantic City project combines magnetic and gravimetric surveys with standard geological field mapping techniques. Lack of outcrops and Banded Iron Formations (BIFs) are a key features of the mapping area, and ...

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