In addition to mineralogy, structure is also reading a paper each week for discussion. Since structure is a more advanced class and the students have experience with reading research papers, instead of assigning papers from Geology, I’m looking for papers that are a bit longer, require more structural-based knowledge, and relate to the topic covered in lecture that week. The first paper (which I didn’t blog about) was from GSA Bulletin, which is where I’m going to start my weekly search. This week I branched out to Lithosphere because I couldn’t find a recent rheology-themed paper. Next week for microstructures, we’ll be back in GSA Bulletin.
Post-lunch, structure discussed a relatively short paper on using Field-based constraints on finite strain and rheology of the lithospheric mantle, Twin Sister, Washington by Tikoff et al. In lab last week, the students did an analogue materials lab by Dyanna Czech and we’ve been talking about rheology in lecture, so the paper fit well into where the class currently is.
The questions the students considered when reading the paper:
- what was the motivation for this study?
- what kinds of data were used?
- how was the data analyzed?
- what kind of assumptions were made by the authors?
- terms you didn’t understand?
- concepts that were difficult to comprehend?
Unfortunately, there are a few issues with my structure paper discussions that don’t appear in mineralogy:
- it’s post-lunch and the students are ready for their naps
- there are only three students, so no one can have an “off” day
- so far I’ve chosen papers that require the students to actually remember material learned during previous semesters in other classes (e.g. how thermobarometry works; sedimentary basin formation), which I’ve had some backlash to
I feel like I have to lead the discussion more strongly with structure, which is something I want to move away from. I’m considering assigning the student’s in rotating fashion ownership of the day’s discussion, but with three they’ll have to take a turn fairly frequently. I’d welcome suggestions.
Full citation (paper is behind a paywall):
Tikoff, B., Larson, C.E., Newman, J., and Little, T., 2011, Field-based constraints on finite strain and rheology of the lithospheric mantle, Twin Sisters, Washington: Lithosphere, v.