Petrology > Teaching Petrology in the Field

Teaching Petrology in the Field

Field experiences offer a unique way to apply classroom knowledge to real-world examples and have long been one of the foundations of geoscience education. These experiences are generally engaging and can also strengthen critical thinking and problem-solving skills. In addition to the general benefits to students of working in the field, Petrology provides special opportunities for students to learn to interpret the origin of rocks by linking observations at different scales with their geochemistry. Below, you will find links to references, case studies, and teaching activities presented by participants at several workshops that speak to a variety of ways they have taught geomorphology with and through field work.

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These resources came from the Teaching Geomorphology and Urban Students, Urban Issues workshops in 2008 and the Teaching Geoscience in the Field workshop in 2010.

Petrology in the Field

Integrating Scientific Discovery in a Field-based Igneous & Metamorphic Petrology Course
David Gonzales, Fort Lewis College
Undergraduate Research: Case Studies

Melding Research on the Navajo Volcanic Field into Undergraduate Curriculum to Promote Scientific Literacy
David Gonzales, Fort Lewis College
Undergraduate Research: Case Studies

Evolution of the Precambrian Rocks of Yellowstone National Park and Surrounding Areas–an NSF/REU Project
Dave Mogk and Darrell Henry, Montana State University, Bozeman
Undergraduate Research: Case Studies

An Inquiry-Based Approach to Learning Petrology Using Student-Generated Data: The Sonju Complex Project
Karl Wirth, Macalester College
Using Data to Teach Earth Processes 2003


Boundy, T.M. and C. Condit (2004). Bringing the field into the classroom by using dynamic digital maps to engage undergraduate students in petrology research. Journal of Geoscience Education. v. 52, p. 313-319

Hoskin, W.O. (2000). Urban outcrops and the lunchtime petrology field trip. Journal of Geoscience Education. v. 48, p. 573

Field guides and databases

The NAGT Field Trip Collection contains a number of petrology field trips and examples. The examples in this collection share information about the design of the trips and their important characteristics in addition to providing easy access to field guides.

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