Rachel Beane

Bowdoin College
Private four-year institution, primarily undergraduate


Exploration of the processes by which igneous rocks solidify from magma (e.g., volcanoes), and metamorphic rocks form in response to pressure, temperature, and chemical changes (e.g., mountain building). Interactions between the petrologic processes and tectonics are examined through a focus on the continental crust, mid-ocean ridges, and subduction zones. Learning how to write effectively is emphasized throughout the course. Laboratory work focuses on field observations, microscopic examination of thin sections, and geochemical modeling.

Course URL:
Subject: Geoscience:Geology:Igneous and Metamorphic Petrology
Resource Type: Course Information:Goals/Syllabi
Grade Level: College Upper (15-16)
Course Type: Upper Level:Petrology
Theme: Teach the Earth:Course Topics:Petrology
Course Size:

less than 15

Course Context:

This is an upper-division petrology course with prerequisite of introductory physical geology course or mineralogy. The course has a required three-hour laboratory. Lecture and lab are often combined one day per week to allow for extended time in the field.

Course Goals:

Students should be able to:
- To apply physical properties to the identification and classification of igneous and metamorphic minerals and rocks in outcrop, hand sample and thin section.
- To interpret rock and mineral textures in outcrop and thin section.
- To use geochemical evidence to interpret the formation and evolution of igneous and metamorphic rocks.
- To correlate petrologic and tectonic processes.
- To synthesize the petrotectonic history of Maine's coast.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Field-based laboratories and indoor analytical classes and laboratories help students achieve the goals. Assessment primarily is through laboratory assignments and three larger projects.

Skills Goals

- To read and communicate scientific information.

How course activities and course structure help students achieve these goals:

Writing is emphasized for laboratory assignments and project papers.



262-10syllabus (Microsoft Word 81kB Jul3 12)

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