GEOSCIENCES 311                    MINERALOGY                        Fall 2008
Lecture MWF, 11:15am – 12:05pm   Morrill 3, room 225
Lab T 1:00pm – 4:00pm
Lab W 1:25pm – 4:25pm

Chris Koteas
Office: Room 12, Morrill 4 south
Office Hours: Monday 1:30 pm - 3:00 pm & Tuesday 11:00 am - 12:30 pm or by appointment
Office phone: 545-0175
Department office: 545-2286

Jason Kaiser
Office Hours: Thursday 9:05 am - 10:10 am & Friday 1:25 pm - 2:30 pm or by appointment

COURSE DESCRIPTION: (From the UMass course catalog) Systematics in mineralogy, including crystallography, the physics and chemistry of minerals, the genesis of minerals, and determinative methods in mineralogy. Prerequisite: CHEM 111 (or concurrent enrollment).

(From the instructor) Mineralogy is the study of the physics and chemistry of the fundamental building blocks of rocks.  This field is of paramount importance in understanding how the Earth and other planets were formed and continue to metamorphose.  Mineralogists use multiple disciplines, including geology, to describe and quantify the characteristics of minerals, such as chemical composition and crystal structure, to establish a better understanding of the occurrence, distribution, and stability of rocks in nature as well as the geological processes that have and continue to modify our environment.  Minerals play a crucial role in the global economy and their exploitation is critical to the creation of technological materials such as metals, semiconductors, glasses, and ceramics.  The overarching goals of this class are to develop an understanding of the physical and chemical properties that make specific minerals similar and unique, identify minerals optically, learn the fundamental techniques of mineral analysis, and understand the relationship between minerals and broader geological processes.

Required: Dyer, Gunter, and Tasa (2008) Mineralogy and Optical Mineralogy, ISBN# 978-0-939950-81-2. Mineralogical Society of America.
Recommended: Deer, Howie, & Zussman (1992, 1993) An Introduction to the Rock-Forming Minerals, ISBN# 0-582-30094-0. Longman Scientific & Technical.
  Both texts are available in the UMass textbook annex and will be on reserve along with other reference materials during the semester in the Department of Geosciences graduate lounge (Morrill 4 south, room 254).

  A handlens, field notebook, and set of colored pencils must be purchased before the first laboratory session (the University Bookstore and A.J. Hastings stock all these items).

Read and gain a general understanding of assigned text and auxiliary assignments before the lecture for which they are assigned.  Class lectures move rapidly and advanced reading will greatly aid you during lectures and labs.

Two in-class mid-term exams and the lecture final: (15%+15%+15% = 45%)
Homework/quizzes + In-class presentation(s): (10% + 15% = 25%)
Lab exercises and lab final: (15% + 15% = 30%)

100-90=A     89-80=B       79-70=C      69-60=D      <59=F

Two exams will be held during regular lecture time, in addition to the final exam, and will consist primarily of short answer questions.  In some cases, mineral or rocks hand samples or thin sections may be used.  This course is being taught using a spiral learning technique such that topics are covered multiple times during the semester with each additional exposure focusing on greater detail; consequently, all exams are cumulative.  Lecture exams are closed book and closed notes.  Laboratory notes only will be allowed for reference during the lab final provided that the notes are your own work.  Discussion at any time during exams is not permitted.

All exams must be taken at the scheduled time unless there is a documented conflict and arrangements have been made with the instructor before the exam or you have a medical emergency and you bring proof of such to the instructor before final grades for the given exam are computed.  In any other case, missing an exam will result in a grade of “F” for that exam.

Beginning the second full week of classes, homework will be assigned every Friday and must be turned in the following Friday.  The purpose of these assignments is to reinforce lecture and lab concepts as well as material from assigned readings not directly covered by the instructor.  Please take advantage of links on the course website as well as the CD that accompanies the Dyer et al. textbook.

Labs are handed out on Monday during the lecture and are due the following at the beginning of the following week’s laboratory period.  Attendance in lab is mandatory.  Labs associated with this class run 3 hours during which time your will be expected to complete a series of practical exercises.  Group work in lab is strongly encouraged; however, you must turn in your own completed assignments.  During some lab periods we will take field trips.  Come to lab on-time and prepared having read the lab assignment before the exercise is to begin.  Bring a pencil, the textbook, a handlens, and colored pencils to every lab.

It is expected that you will complete every lab and homework assigned.  Due to the amount of preparation involved in setting up lab assignments, if you miss one, it is not possible to make it up.  The TA and instructor reserve the right to use weekly lab attendance as a guide to adjust final lab and homework grades.  You have a full week to complete lab and homework, so late assignments will not be accepted.

We hope to take two field trips in this class.  One will be scheduled for lab time to look at exposures north of campus on the Pelham Dome.  The other will be over a weekend and will be scheduled early in the semester to ensure maximum class participation.

The expectation of all students in this course is that complete academic integrity will be demonstrated at all times.  Violations of academic dishonesty will be reported for administrative action.  Group discussion and collaboration is strongly encouraged, especially in the lab setting, as are questions directed to the instructor or TA; however, your answers should be written by you.  The study of mineralogy is complex and multifaceted and asking questions of the instructor and TA as well as your classmates is absolutely necessary to successfully complete the course.  Nevertheless, it is absolutely unacceptable to turn in any work that is not your own.

Please note that there is no point penalty specified for class absences, but there is a definite correlation between poor class attendance and low grades.  Keep all class and lab work in an organized fashion as these materials will be your most critical study aids throughout the semester.  I expect you to be on time and make every effort to learn such that we can all become better scientists by learning from one another.