Syllabus in PDF format

GEOLOGY 421 / 621 -- MINERALOGY LAB 2011


course information and schedule


Time:                     Wednesday, 12:00 pm — 1:50 p.m.

Instructor:            B. Saini-Eidukat, office 127 Stevens Hall, ext. 1-8785


Office hours:        Tuesdays 2:00 - 4:00 p.m. and by appointment.

Text:                      C. Klein and B. Dutrow, Manual of Mineral Science, 23rd ed.

Web Site:    


This course provides an introduction to applied mineralogy. The prerequisites are Geology 420/620 (or concurrent registration). We will examine minerals from crystallographic, chemical, and physical points of view. We will learn how to identify and classify crystal structures and minerals, and how to measure mineral properties using hands-on exercises.


Aug. 24      Lab 1:    Physical Properties

Aug. 31      Lab 2:    Symmetry and Crystal Systems

Sep. 7        Lab 3:    Crystal Classes and Forms

Sep. 14                   Field Course – No Class

Sep. 21      Lab 4:    Crystal Morphology using Shape

Sep. 28      Lab 5:    X-ray Diffraction

Oct. 5        Lab Exam 1 (covers labs 1-4)

Oct. 12      Lab 6:    Elements and Sulfides

Oct. 19      Lab 7:    Oxides, Hydroxides, Halides

Oct. 26      Lab 8:    Carbonates, Sulfates, other -ates

Nov. 2        Lab 9:    Nesosilicates, sorosilicates, and cyclosilicates

Nov. 9        Lab Exam 2 (covers labs 5 – 8)

Nov. 16      Lab 10:  Inosilicates, phyllosilicates     

Nov. 23      Lab 11:  Clay Mineralogy

Nov. 30      Lab 12:  Tectosilicates

Dec. 7        Lab Exam 3 (covers labs 9 – 12)



Intended Student Outcomes:

¥ To be able to identify common rock forming minerals

¥ To understand the Earth processes that form minerals

¥ To understand chemical, physical, and crystallographic properties of minerals

¥ To understand mineral classification schemes

¥ To be familiar with analytical tools such as X-ray diffraction


Examinations and Grading:

Grading will be based on laboratory assignments and three exams (short answer, problem solving, identification).  Graduate students will be required to do an independent project.

                        Exams 1-3                   50%

                        Lab assignments         50%

The final letter grade will be assigned based on the following table, unless the class average deviates significantly from 75%. In the latter case, a "curve" will be applied.

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

"Borderline" cases will be judged individually, based on grade improvement, demonstrated effort, class participation, etc.


Special Needs: Students who need special accommodations for learning or who have special needs are invited to share these concerns or requests with the instructor as soon as possible.


Academic Responsibility: All work in this course must be completed in a manner consistent with NDSU University University Senate Policy, Section 335: Code of Academic Responsibility and Conduct (


This schedule is subject to change.

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B. Saini-Eidukat
Mineralogy Lab
Geology 421/621