Course Details

Course Number: GEOS 3134  Section Number: 101

Fall 2015

Location: Bolin Hall

Classroom Number: 115

Days & Times:
  • Lecture: 11:00 am - 11:50 am MWF
  • Lab: 1:00 pm - 2:50 pm W

Course Attachments

Revised Topics Schedule  Min-date schedule-20150819-141133.pdf


Minerals Their constitution and origin
An introduction to minerals and the processes that form and change them
  ISBN: 0521529581

Introduction to the Rock Forming Minerals
Recommended to all students, particularly those continuing on to petrology.
  ISBN: 9780903056274

Laboratory Manual for Mineralogy
MSU Faculty Member
Dr. Jonathan D. Price   
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Course Objectives

Mineralogy introduces students to the crystalline components found in rocks.  Students successfully completing the course will be able to identify common minerals by their macroscopic and microscopic properties.  Moreover, students completing the course will understand natural crystallization processes and products, their relationship to rock-forming processes, and how minerals record the environments of formation and subsequent alteration.

Students will...

  • Understand the nature of atomic bonding and ionic coordination as it pertains to natural crystals
  • Understand the organization of coordinated complexes into lattices as defined by unit cells
  • Understand and define the symmetry of lattices and single crystalline forms
  • Learn the physical characteristics, chemical composition, and common origins of several dozen of the most common minerals, as well as important ore-forming and accessory minerals.
  • Learn the nature of crystallization, including solidification and dissolution processes
  • Comprehend the interactions of wave energy and physical media.
  • Expand their skills in reasoning, logic, critical thought, and spatial intuition.

Course Expectations

The course is divided into two components: lecture and laboratory.

Lecture will be evaluated through the following means:

  • Field trip assignment (5%)
  • Research activity and report (10%)
  • 2 examinations (exam 1 - 15%, exam 2 - 20% )

Laboratory will be evaluated through the following means:

  • Weekly lab assignments and quizzes (40%)
  • Lab final examination (10%)

Grades will be posted regularly.

Grading Standards

The class uses a simple (non-progressive) grading structure:

In terms of credit percentage: 90-100: A, 80-89: B, 70-79 C, 60-69 D.  Accumulated scores below 60 result in an F.

Final Exam12/7/2015  10:30 AM

Submission Format Policy

Assignments may be remitted in class to the professor, in person or to his mailbox in Bolin 102.  You may also scan and submit your work through email. Some assignmetns may require submission through 2DL.

Note: You may not submit a paper for a grade in this class that already has been (or will be) submitted for a grade in another course, unless you obtain the explicit written permission of me and the other instructor involved in advance.

Late Paper Policy

Late papers are the bane of our mutual existence: they are disadvantageous to you, because you fall behind the class, they are detrimental to the class, because they hold up grading, and they are disconcerting to me, because they require me to return to a previously graded assignment.   In an attempt to prevent tardy assignments, you will receive 10% points on the assignment for handing it in at the due time.  Any late submission will result not receive this 10%.  In effect, you lose a letter grade if your assignment is late.

Needless to say, this will not be an issue if you complete your assignments well ahead of the due date.

Plagiarism Policy Plagiarism is the use of someone else's thoughts, words, ideas, or lines of argument in your own work without appropriate documentation (a parenthetical citation at the end and a listing in "Works Cited")-whether you use that material in a quote, paraphrase, or summary. It is a theft of intellectual property and will not be tolerated, whether intentional or not.

Student Honor Creed

As an MSU Student, I pledge not to lie, cheat, steal, or help anyone else do so."

As students at MSU, we recognize that any great society must be composed of empowered, responsible citizens. We also recognize universities play an important role in helping mold these responsible citizens. We believe students themselves play an important part in developing responsible citizenship by maintaining a community where integrity and honorable character are the norm, not the exception. Thus, We, the Students of Midwestern State University, resolve to uphold the honor of the University by affirming our commitment to complete academic honesty. We resolve not only to be honest but also to hold our peers accountable for complete honesty in all university matters. We consider it dishonest to ask for, give, or receive help in examinations or quizzes, to use any unauthorized material in examinations, or to present, as one's own, work or ideas which are not entirely one's own. We recognize that any instructor has the right to expect that all student work is honest, original work. We accept and acknowledge that responsibility for lying, cheating, stealing, plagiarism, and other forms of academic dishonesty fundamentally rests within each individual student. We expect of ourselves academic integrity, personal professionalism, and ethical character. We appreciate steps taken by University officials to protect the honor of the University against any who would disgrace the MSU student body by violating the spirit of this creed. Written and adopted by the 2002-2003 MSU Student Senate.

Students with Disabilities The Americans with Disabilities Act (ADA) is a federal anti-discrimination statute that provides comprehensive civil rights protection for persons with disabilities. Among other things, this legislation requires that all students with disabilities be guaranteed a learning environment that provides for reasonable accommodation of their disabilities. If you believe you have a disability requiring an accommodation, please contact the Disability Support Services in Room 168 of the Clark Student Center, 397-4140.

Safe Zones Statement The professor considers this classroom to be a place where you will be treated with respect as a human being - regardless of gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, religious affiliation, sexual orientation, political beliefs, age, or ability. Additionally, diversity of thought is appreciated and encouraged, provided you can agree to disagree. It is the professor's expectation that ALL students consider the classroom a safe environment.

Contacting your Instructor All instructors in the Department have voicemail in their offices and MWSU e-mail addresses. Make sure you add your instructor's phone number and e-mail address to both email and cell phone lists of contacts.

Attendance Requirements

Required.  You may miss up to 3 of the lecture periods and 2 of the lab periods without penalty.  For every period missed beyond the limit, I will subtract two percentage points from your final numerical score. 

Note: you are still responsible for missed assignments and quizzes  (most labs will include an assignment or quiz).

Other Policies

Extra credit

The MSU Counseling Center is pleased to offer fall workshops designed to help students meet their academic goals. Attend one for 3 points added to your final grade for this course. All students attending Counseling Center events will be given an attendance verification slip. – turn that in to your professor for the credit.

All workshops are held in the third floor meeting room Sundance Court Apartments.  Open to all enrolled MSU students.

Monday, September 21 or November 9                 3:30-4:30 pm       Time Management and Organization

Tuesday, September 22 or November 10               3:30-4:30 pm       Four Steps to a 4.0

Wednesday, September 23 or November 11        3:30-4:30 pm       Taming Test Anxiety

Thursday, September 24 or November 12             3:30-4:30 pm       Choosing a Career and a Major

Please call 940-397-4618 for any additional information.

Research and Creative Activity Opportunities at MSU

Enhancing Undergraduate Research Endeavors and Creative Activities (EURECA) is a program that provides opportunities for undergraduates to engage in high-quality research and creative activities with faculty. EURECA provides incentives and funding through a system that supports faculty and students in a cooperative research process. For more information contact the Office of Undergraduate Research, (940) 397-6275 or by sending a message to eureca@mwsu.edu or better yet, stop by the UGR office located in the atrium of the Clark Student Center, room 161. Information and resources are available at www.mwsu.edu/eureca.

Undergraduate Research Opportunities and Summer Workshop (UGROW)

Like EURECA, UGROW provides opportunities for students to conduct research with faculty.  However, the research occurs in the summer. For five weeks UGROW students experience the authenticity of scientific research in faculty’s laboratories, in a highly interdisciplinary environment. Students work on projects of their choice and present their findings at the end of program and the MSU Undergraduate Research Forum.  Faculty members publicize research projects in the spring.  The application deadline for UGROW 2016 is has not been established yet; however, it will be in the spring.  Information and resources are available at www.mwsu.edu/ugrow

Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)

To support undergraduate research and creative activities, Midwestern State University holds an enhanced institutional membership with the Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR).  This institutional membership includes unlimited memberships for any interested faculty, staff, and students. Students may find information on benefits and resources at www.cur.org/resources/for_students and may sign up at members.cur.org/members_online/members/newmember.asp.

Challenges in this class

Mineralogy ranks is one of the most challenging classes within the undergraduate geoscience curriculum.   It covers a number of abstract concepts.  It incorporates attributes of inorganic chemistry, solid-state physics, and Euclidean geometry.  It relies heavily on largely non-intuitive, frequently arcane, and always cumbersome nomenclature.  In short, plan on spending a good portion of each week on this class.


Writing Proficiency Requirement All students seeking a Bachelor's degree from Midwestern State University must satisfy a writing proficiency requirement once they've 1) passed English 1113 and English 1123 and 2) earned 60 hours. You may meet this requirement by passing either the Writing Proficiency Exam or English 2113. Please keep in mind that, once you've earned over 90 hours, you lose the opportunity to take the $25 exam and have no option but to enroll in the three-credit hour course. If you have any questions about the exam, visit the Writing Proficiency Office website at http://academics.mwsu.edu/wpr, or call 397-4131.