Recommended: A colored pencil set and a ruler/straight edge will be helpful in some of the labs. Access to a scanner/photocopier (to make hardcopies of the labs to turn in) and a stapler.
The point of the lab is to hone your skills as an observer and to teach you the methods of the field. It is vital that you actually examine the specimens yourselves so that you can discern the various features and attributes of the rocks and fossils.
Please read the introductory material in the lab manual by the time we meet in lab.
Labs are due the next lab meeting (1 week later). If they are turned in on the next
class time (Friday) there will be a 10% grade reduction; on the following Monday a total
of 30% grade reduction; and a full week late will garner a 50% grade penalty. Labs won't
be accepted for a grade later than 1 week overdue (barring legitimate extenuating
Lab specimens will remain out for your examination through the end of the week and on
the following Monday. However, Dr. Holtz will typically replace lab specimens sometime on
You are encouraged to collaborate and interact with each other and with Dr. Holtz
while working on the labs. However, all work you turn in must be your own.
DON'T be a specimen hog! Make sure that others get adequate access to the hand
ALWAYS return specimens to their appropriate boxes
Use the dilute HCl wisely:
Use small drops, only leave it on long enough to validate whether there is
effervescence or not; and wipe it up afterwards.
Leaving acid on the hand samples will allow the reaction to run its course, and leave
a reaction rind on the rock. This will mislead students in the future)
In general, only use acid on fresh surfaces.
In general, don't drop acid on the fossils.
We have limited samples, so please be careful with them. Doubly so with the fossils!!
If you are having problems, don't be shy; ask for help!
Jan 24: Introduction; Overview of Policies; Prior Knowledge Survey
Jan. 31: Sedimentary Rocks (incl. Pre-Lab Exercises) (Gore Chapter 4, but read 2 & 3 as well)