Geology 102C Metamorphic Petrology! Fall Quarter

This class focuses on understanding metamorphism and metamorphic rocks, which are the heart of geology.
Roughly 99.5% of Earth is made of metamorphic rocks. The plate-tectonic engine, climate, oil maturation, gold crystallization, etc. are all driven by metamorphic processes.

Earth-science employers tell us that the most important things they look for in recent graduates are the ability to interpret rocks, synthesize information, think critically, and communicate. This class is designed to help you develop those skills.

Related Web Sites
You may find the following webpages useful in this and other classes:
Mineralogy Database
WebElements Periodic Table
Geochemical Earth Reference Model
Molecular Calculator
Physical Constants

Dr. Bradley Hacker
Webb 2120.
Office hours: anytime. Please come and talk to me when you want help--I care deeply about your education and want to help you attain your educational goals.

Teaching Assistant
Francisco Apen

Lecture material is here.
T,R 9:30-10:45, PSBS 2711.
Please be in the classroom and ready to learn before class starts. If you must come in late, enter quietly. 

Background Material
You should know the minerals and their compositions in this list.

Laboratory Sections
PSBS 2711; Wed 14:00-17:00

There will be one quiz each week based on material given to you or on reading assigned from the textbook.

There will be a series of homework assignments.

Lecture exams
Midterm: Tuesday Nov 5
Final: Thurs Dec 5, 9:30-10:45

Lab exam
Wed Dec 4

Principles of Igneous+Metamorphic Petrology by Philpotts & Ague

Field Trip
There will be a great field trip on Nov 2 during which you will learn a great deal. Information about how to write your report follows below.

Letter grades will be assigned according to total points earned.

Course Fees

Field Trip Report
Due one week after the trip, by electronic submission.


Field Methods



Conclusions or Summary

Field + Laboratory Report Due two weeks after the trip


Field and Laboratory Methods

Field Observations

Laboratory Observations


Conclusions or Summary

General notes on your report
One of the most important things you are in University to learn is how to communicate. If you work hard to produce an excellent report on the field trip, I will work hard to help you become a better writer.

Proofread your paper before submitting. Misspelled and missing words are NOT OK. Demonstrate to the reader that you respect them and wish to be taken seriously.

Do NOT include words for which you do not know the meaning or spelling. Look them up. Be a scholar.

Use complete sentences, including verbs. I will not consider acceptable papers that contain one-sentence paragraphs or sentences without verbs.

Run a spell check on your finished text before submitting it. You must spell correctly even words you may not have heard before--don't just guess some random phonetic spelling. I will not read papers that are rife with misspellings.

Use past tense for things that happened in the past. Use present tense for things that are still true. For example, "Below the sandstone is a bluechist-facies volcanic rock, whose fragmentary texture suggests it was deposited as a debris flow." Or, "The rock has a white mineral". Or, "The rock was deposited".

Words that end in "ing" (e.g., fracturing) are actions or processes--and we did not see that. We saw things (e.g., fractures). Boudinage is a process; boudin is a thing.

Avoid use of the word "very"--unless it is a specifically defined term such as "very fine grained". One person's "very" is another person's ordinary. Be quantitative instead.

"Outcrop" is a noun; "to crop out" is a verb. For example, "the outcrop is dominantly quartzofeldspathic gneiss" or "quartzofeldspathic gneiss crops out throughout the region".

Use Late, Middle, Early for volcanic rocks and times; use Upper, Middle, and Lower for sedimentary rocks. Weirdly, epochs are lowercase--e.g., middle Miocene--and everything else is uppercase.

Write a scientific report, not a travel log. For example "the northernmost outcrop is chert"; not "the first rock we walked up to and saw was a rock that appeared to be chert". Do not write "First we saw a green block..., 2nd we saw a red block..." Instead, use geological context: "The Franciscan is in fault contact with the Matilija Fm. The latter unit is... The Franciscan is a broken formation and melange. The matrix consists of ... The blocks in the melange consist of ..." etc

Use the metric system; no miles or feet. Even though Ronald Reagan disbanded the U.S. Metric Board in 1982, nine years later George Bush The Smarter signed Executive Order 12770 directing all executive departments and federal agencies to implement the use of the metric system so that the US would not be the only country mired in the dark ages. Unfortunately, this didn't work, and the rest of Earth is moving on without us. Converting English measurements into metric units isn't exactly rocket science, but NASA blamed the loss of its $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter on Lockheed Martin Astronautics, which submitted acceleration data in English units instead of metric units.

Use directions "north, west, etc" and not "next" or "after"

Be quantitative; do not write "big" when you can write "2 x 3 m"

Have a non-geologist whose English skills you admire read and criticize your paper or go to Campus Learning Assistance Services and have them read your paper.