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GLG 180: Gems and Gem Formation

Gems and Gem Formation is a unique survey of introductory geology with a subtheme of gem minerals. In rare cases some minerals, the building blocks of the Earth, have the properties that make them desirable as gemstones. Through our understanding of light interactions with crystals we will investigate the origin of color and other optical properties of gems. Gem mineral formation will be explored through the origin and evolution of the Earth, through rock forming processes, plate tectonics, etc. As we explore these topics we focus on unique geological environments in which gem minerals are found including pegmatites, skarns, kimberlites, placers, and hydrothermal deposits. High school chemistry is recommended.

GLG 201: Mineralogy

Mineralogy is one of the foundations of earth science. This course deals with the composition, crystal structure, symmetry and physical properties of minerals; building blocks of the solid earth. Other topics include geologic occurrences of rock-forming minerals, defects in minerals, crystal chemistry, phase transitions, etc. 3 hrs Lec., 1 hr Lab. Pre- or Co-requisite: CHM 137 or 141, 144.


GLG 432/532: Powder X-Ray Diffraction and Clay Mineral Analysis

Clays and clay minerals play a major role in the environmental processes that take place in sediments and soils. Their structure, chemistry and size give them unique properties including high cation exchange capacity, catalytic properties, high sorption affinities, and plastic behavior when moist. The main goal of this course is to develop an understanding of the structure and chemistry of clays and clay minerals and how these dictate their chemical reactivity and physical properties. We will also take an in depth look at the environments in which clays form, the mechanisms of their formation, the processes that take place at the clay-water interface, and materials applications of clays.


GLG 630: Mineral-Water Interface Geochemistry

Reactions between minerals and the hydrosphere, atmosphere, and biosphere play critical roles in most processes at the earth's surface, as well as in many deep crustal processes. For example, the global cycling and distribution of elements, the development of soils and the distribution of plant nutrients, water quality, the fate and transport of toxic species, and the formation of many types of ore deposits are fundamentally tied to interactions that take place at the mineral-water interface. The main goal of this course is to develop an understanding of the structure, chemistry and reactivity of the mineral water interface and the fundamental geochemical processes that take place there. We will also take an in depth look at the techniques used to study mineral surface structure and chemistry.


GLG 632: X-Ray Methods in Crystal Structure Analysis

This course is designed to introduce graduate students to the methods of X-ray absorption spectroscopy and X-ray diffraction for the study of crystalline materials (with an emphasis on powder diffraction and Rietveld analysis). The course will also include principles of X-ray safety and equipment handling. Class lectures as well as laboratory work will comprise the course. Laboratory activities will include sample preparation and the use of X-ray diffractometers combined with the utilization of modern computer software packages used in X-ray diffraction and absorption data reduction and interpretation.


GLG 211: Geochemical Systems of the Earth

In this course you will develop a systems prospective of geology and chemistry of earth processes. You will learn the composition of the major chemical reservoirs on the Earth's surface including the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, soils and sediments. The concept of global biogeochemical cycles will be introduced and you will learn about the fundamental chemical processes that control these cycles. In the laboratory we will be doing wet chemical experiments to study the fundamental processes involved in the earth's biogeochemical cycles. Here you will not only learn how these processes work but you will gain valuable experience in the use analytical techniques commonly employed in environmental geochemistry.


GLG 111: Introductory Geology

Earth as a geophysical-geochemical unit and its internal and external processes. Formation of minerals and their relationships in rocks. Earth stresses and rock deformation, mountain building, and earthquakes. Geomorphic (landscape) evolution by mass wasting and wave, stream, wind, ground water, glacial, and volcanic activity. Geology majors required to take GLG 115.L; optional for non-majors.

GLG 699: Scanning Probe Microscopy (Summer workshop)

There are two specific goals to this workshop. The first is to develop a theoretical and experienced-based working knowledge of atomic force microscopy and scanning tunneling microscopy for characterization of materials surfaces. The second is to develop an understanding of the microtopographic and atomic scale structure of materials surfaces through the hands on application of scanning probe microscopy.


GLG 499/599: Geology and Hydrothermal Mineralization of the Rio Grande Rift. (Summer workshop)

The goals of this workshop are twofold. First, we will study the tectonics, stratigraphy, volcanism, and plutonism associated with the Rio Grande Rift Valley. Our regional understanding of the geology of the rift will then be combined with detailed field studies of the Hansonburg Mining District, Bingham, NM, to understand the processes of hydrothermal ore formation associated with the Rio Grande Rift. The second goal is to develop the skills necessary for field studies in geochemistry and economic geology including mine safety, mapping, sampling, data analysis and interpretation


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