Initial Publication Date: June 26, 2012

Petrology Course Goals

The following list of goals for Petrology courses was selected from course descriptions in the course goals/syllabus database. The goals are taken from descriptions of Petrology courses contributed by faculty members. In most cases the goals are quoted directly; a few have been paraphrased to achieve a common format. To contribute to the collection, share your course description.

Jump down to Skills Goals or Attitudinal Goals

Petrology Knowledge Goals

I want students who have completed my Petrology course to be able to

  • predict what suites of igneous and metamorphic rocks should be found in different plate tectonic settings
  • explain to a peer how magma is generated in the Earth's mantle
  • explain at least three ways magma typically evolves en route to the surface
  • explain magma differentiation and observations of layered mafic intrusions using a fractional crystallization model

Skills Goals

Specific to Petrology

I want students who have completed my Petrology course to be able to

  • describe the types and relative abundances of phases in a rock based on observations from hand specimens and thin sections
  • interpret the geologic history of igneous rocks based on mineral assemblage and textures using both hand sample and microscope techniques
  • use metamorphic mineral assemblages and textures to constrain deformation history and P-T conditions
  • use geochemical data (partition coefficients, REE plots, etc) to constrain petrogenetic processes
  • integrate their research findings with those of peers in developing a consensus model that (a) explains mineral occurrences and interplay (micro- and macroscopic) in field samples, and (b) holds up to public scrutiny (as a consensus model and as individual components) at a departmental mini-poster symposium
  • design and implement a field sampling campaign
  • use a portable X-Ray Fluorescence Spectrometer to collect elemental analyses
  • use MS Excel to organize, plot, and evaluate the petrogenesis of CRB using elemental data

Broadly Applicable

I want students who have completed my Petrology course to be able to

  • collaborate effectively
  • critically evaluate online resources and professional literature
  • evaluate the quality of a data set using basic statistics

Attitudinal Goals

By the end of my Petrology course, I want my students to

  • be confident of their abilities to "read" rocks