Al's Abbreviated Optical Mineralogy; A Hypermedia Based Short-course/tutorial On The Fundamentals Of Optical Mineralogy
Abstracts With Programs - Geological Society Of America
The petrographic microscope combined with the techniques of optical mineralogy is one of the most powerful analytical tools available to the geologist. Unfortunately, this powerful investigative approach is becoming less and less a part of undergraduate geology training because learning to use the petrographic microscope is a slow and expensive process, both in time and resources. The demands of modern geology force many undergraduate programs to expand curricular offerings in new areas, often at the expense of optical mineralogy. Many undergraduate programs, the University of Puget Sound included, now only offer optical mineralogy as part of undergraduate mineralogy or petrology courses. Traditional optical mineralogy courses, which lasted a semester or more, are now condensed into a few weeks, or less, of a mineralogy or petrology course. In such courses students have great difficulty in beginning to master basic skills and acquire the experience needed to use the petrographic microscope to identify and investigate the properties of common minerals and rocks in thin-section. Abbreviated Optical Mineralogy is a computerized, practical tutorial designed to help the beginning student develop these skills. The approach of the tutorial is very pragmatic. It is designed not to teach theory, but to provide skills. The tutorial, distributed to students on CD-ROM, uses text, audio, still images, and video sequences showing students how to determine optical character, estimate relief, evaluate color & pleochroism, measure retardation and birefringence, evaluate extinction and extinction angles, determine sign of elongation, find and analyze interference figures, and to deal with crystal form, alteration, zoning, and twinning.
Valentine, Michael J., and Albert Eggers. 2000. "Al's abbreviated optical mineralogy; a hypermedia based short-course/tutorial on the fundamentals of optical mineralogy." Abstracts With Programs - Geological Society Of America 32(6; 6): 73-73.