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Posts Tagged ‘top 10’

My Iceland class ended today except for grading, which hopefully I’ll have done by the end of tonight.   We have a week free (research!) and then the spring semester starts.   I have two classes this spring: mineralogy and structural geology.   I’ve taught both before 2 or more times, so I have a basic outline of what I want to cover & how, but am tweaking things here and there.

One aspect I added to mineralogy on the last round was adding the concept of “mineral of the week” and reading a paper from Geology about that mineral.   I can’t claim credit for the idea of a mineral per week — I picked it up at the Using Visualizations SERC workshop (uh, my picture is on the front page…) from Darby Dyar who was talking about her new textbook.   My copy of her book is at work, but ch. 1 includes the “big 10 minerals.”

The following September, Chuck at Lounge of the Lab Lemming posted a top 50 list of minerals.   Several people commented, but the meme took a turn when Callan asked for top 5 minerals that students should know.

Callan went with:

  • quartz
  • plagioclase
  • clays
  • olivine (maybe garnet, spinel & perovskite?)
  • ice

Kim responded by listing:

  • quartz
  • calcite
  • pyrite
  • clays
  • olivine

Silver Fox went with:

  • quartz
  • calcite
  • clays
  • iron oxides
  • olivine

Jay revised a bit more:

  • quartz
  • calcite & aragonite
  • olivine
  • smectite
  • apatite

Ok, why am I dragging this up again?   I have 13 weeks to fill to assign minerals to this spring and I only have 12 minerals.   I’m looking for opinions about what my 13th mineral should be–or even arguments about why I should drop one and swap in two other minerals!

My current list:

  • quartz
  • K-feldspar
  • plagioclase
  • muscovite
  • biotite
  • amphiboles (yes, I grouped them)
  • garnet
  • olivine
  • pyroxenes (one thought is to separate opx & cpx)
  • clays
  • calcite
  • hailte

I feel much more confident about the longer list of minerals we’re going to look at in thin section & hand sample, so I’ll leave that in the drawer.

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