Geol. 4043: Earth Materials and the Environment
Spring 2023
  Tuesday - 3:00 - 5:50 pm
E207 Howe-Russell Building (E = East)

"Everything is  a poison, nothing is a poison, the dose alone makes the poison."
- Paracelsus, 1493-1541

Home Page

Instructor:  Dr. Barb Dutrow, Professor
    Room 203 Howe-Russell Building  (Old Geology = West)
Office hours: By appointment M-F
             Note: e-mail is answered within 24 hrs; from 9am - 6 pm M - F

TA: Xiao Tan
       Room E340a Howe-Russel Building
       Office Hours: 10:30 - noon T, Th and by appointment

Required Text:   Reading materials for the course are assembled into a packet from the Mineralogical Society of America.
           Refer to Dr. Dutrow's email for specific instructions.

            Reading assignments should be completed prior to class.

Recommended Text: Klein & Dutrow, 2007, Manual of Mineral Science, 23rd Edition         

Required Materials: One 3-ring binders; for class notes and environmental articles

Evaluation:  Knowledge of materials, Critical thinking and analysis of material is an integral portion of this class.
 In class participation, preparation for discussion materials, assignments, and presentations contribute to the overall grading.
Class evaluation is based on two tests (20% midterm and 20% final exam), two projects (10% energy forum,  20% analytical project),
20% assigned
class presentations (oral and written)  including environmental reports from the media, 10% class participation/quizzes. 
Grading follows university rules for +/- for each letter grade: A+ = 97-100 A = 94-96 A- = 93-90.

Note: Texting and use of cellular devices is not permitted during class unless explicitly authorized by Prof. Dutrow

            Class absences should be reported PRIOR to class.

Course Learning OBJECTIVES:
This course is designed to enhance critical thinking and content knowledge including:


The use of the analytical instruments within the Department of Geology & Geophysics (Optical CL Microscope; Bruker S2 PUMA XRF; Keyence VHX-7100
Automated Digital Microscope) and the Shared Instrumentation Facility (JEOL JXA-8230 EPMA) is supported by a generous gift from Chevron.

Tentative Lecture and Exam Schedule
check for updates

Date topic
Assignments and Reading prior to class

Come with answers prepared to questions.

MMS = Manual of Mineral Sciences, Klein & Dutrow; RiM = Reviews in Mineralogy;
RiM,  Elements articles in course packet
Other articles posted to Moodle

IEA report 2021- 2022 - useful resource

Date Topic
Assignments, Reading Prior to Class

17 Introduction
Class overview: expectations, course-embedded assignments, presentations, critical thinking projects

LSU library informational resources

Earth Materials review, mineralogy, petrology, fluids

Fossil fuel energy, the carbon cycle, and  global warming

Review Mineralogy - Paulings Rules (solid solution, coordination number, mineral structures, chemistry); KD chpt 4. Fluids - geochemistry

resource: Elements 2020 p. 375-380. Hydrothermal fluids

20 (Friday)
G&G Seminar: Lessons learned from global CO2 storage projects
3:30 pm, E130 HRK

The landscape of reporting Energy and Environmental Science
bring article from media; discussion

Sustainability - what it is? How large is the ecosystem? ESG

Solutions to mitigate CO2 - carbon emissions

Reading: Wildavsky, A. in But is it True?
Come prepared for discussion on how to read an environmental article, bring an article

Elements, 2007, v. 3
Macfarlane, A."Energy: The Issue of the 21st   Century"
p. 165-170
Schrag, D."Confronting the Climate - Energy Challenge". p. 171-178
Solutions to mitigate CO2 - carbon emissions

Geologic carbon
sequestration - options
- mineral trapping, solution trapping,
- CO2 phase diagram

- then and now

Mineral Surfaces;  Reactivity, porosity, permeability, 

Overview of Energy Forum assignment, class presentations
Elements, 2007, v.3
Friedman, S.J., "Geologic Carbon Dioxide Sequestration" p. 179-184

Elements, 2008, v. 4
-Perspectives: v. 4 p 293-299
-Oeklers, E and Cole, D., Carbon Dioxide Sequestration: A solution to a global problem. p 305-310.
-Rubin, E. CO2 Capture and transport. p.311-318
-Ocean storage - 319-324
-Benson, S. and Cole, D., CO2 sequestration in deep sedimentary basins. p. 325-332.
-Oelkers et al. Mineral carbonation of CO2.  p333-337.

Previous studies:
NAS workshop reports: Carbon management; CO2 dilemma

3 (Friday) 4pm
Required Attendance:
LSU G&G Centennial Energy Forum
Report due Feb. 14
(Assignment on Moodle)
Guest Lecturer - Dr. Matt Loocke

Overview of analytical methods in the Geosciences for solid materials

Tour: The Chevron Geomaterials Lab; facilities for imaging and chemistry of Earth Materials;
Optical CL, microscopy, electron microprobe analyses

Reading to be assigned -
SERC website - geochemical instrumentation overviews

Discussion/ Debate: Energy Forum

Geologic Carbon Sequestration (cont),
- serpentinites, rocks,
- natural analogs (class presentations)

Discussion/Debate: Pros, cons of carbon sequestration, LA options

Risk Assessment: 
What is it? What are the uncertainties associated with Risk Management
Elements, 2008, Perspectives: v. 4 p 293-299

Elements, 2013, v. 9 no 2
-Evans et al., Serpentinite: p. 99 – 106
-Power, et al., Serpentinite Carbonation, p. 115-121

RiMG 77 Geologic Carbon Sequestration
-Natural Analogs, p. 15 – 71
-Natural Analogs for carbonation, p. 361 - 398

Think Green (and Gold and Purple)
Mardi Gras Holiday
Low Carbon Energy Sources - Renewable Energy and the Energy Transition: How green is green?

Wind and Solar Energy - materials needed
    REEs, perovskites

 Elements 8;  2012, REEs
- Chakhmouradian & Wall ,REEs, p. 333-340
- Hatch,Global Markets,  p. 341-346,

-Chakhmouradian & Naldrett, REEs in Ig rocks,  p. 347 – 354

-Kumicky et al., REEs in China, 361-368

- Mariano, REE in US

Trade War and REEs

Review REE minerals, mineralogy,
perovskites, analcime

Geologic settings of REEs;   Pegmatites, carbonatites, mineralogy and petrology

Specific sources: Mountain Pass, CA ores, bastnasite, China, etc.

Global markets, refining and the environment

Mining in the US vs elsewhere: costs and consequences

Lab:  REE bearing minerals
Elements 8, 2012, REEs
-Chakhmouradian & Naldrett, REEs in Ig rocks,  p. 347 – 354

-Kumicky et al., REEs in China, 361-368

- Mariano, REE in US

Elements, 2021,  v 17, no 5, Carbonatites

-Kamenetsky et al.,, Carbonatites, p. 302-314

-Anenburg et al., Formation of RE Deposits, p. 327-332

-Christy et al, Mineralogy of carbonatites, p. 333-338


IEA report 2021- 2022

Reading from the literature

Aspects of Mining: Toxic Metals and surfaces, the US 1862 mining law
Spring Break
think Minerals
Project discussion:
Overview of course-embedded analytical project
     sample assignment
     CL imaging, review of EMPA
     Sign up for lab time

Lab: Optical microscopy on your sample
CL demonstration, thin section scanning

Review EMPA lecture, optical handouts

Mineralogy of REE deposits

Chemical analyses of your sample with EMP,
assigned time
prepare by knowing likely minerals in your sample
Going Electric vehicles: Critical Materials needed for low carbon - batteries, Lithium

Li minerals, sources, issues

Lab: Analytical project - Determining mineral stoichiometry, mineralogy
IEA report 2021- 2022

Elements, 2020, v. 15, no 4, Lithium

Bibenne, et al., Society’s dependence on Li, p. 265- 270

Grew, Li minerals, p. 235-240

Bowell, et al., Li Resources, p. 259-264

Elements 2018 , v.14, no 4, Andes

Fontonte, Ore Deposits, p. 257 - 261

Elements, 2013, v. 9 no 2

Butt, et al., nicket Laterite Ore Deposits, p. 123-127

last two weeks
Analytical project - obtaining chemistry of rocks with REE-bearing minerals, focus on carbonatites


The use of the instruments within the Department of Geology & Geophysics (Optical CL Microscope; Bruker S2 PUMA XRF; Keyence VHX-7100 Automated Digital Microscope) and the Shared Instrumentation Facility (JEOL JXA-8230 EPMA) is supported by a generous gift from Chevron.
Schedule ~ 2 hrs time in EMP lab with Dutrow/Loocke


Geothermal Energy: Introduction, Overview and Energy Prospects for future, pros, cons

Readings from the literature
Geothermal Energy: Case studies,
EGS in Louisiana; pros, cons
Guest Lecturer - either 4 or 11 April

14 (Friday)
MSA Distinguished Lecturer - Dr. Jay Thomas, Syracuse Univ. Pressure determinations in rocks
Please attend
Nuclear Energy - Fuel Cycles, Pros, Cons Nuclear Waste: HL, LL, TRU; Front End

Nuclear Waste: Back End - Storage/Disposal/Management options/ Geologic Repositories;

US solution -  Geologic Repository at Yucca Mtn., NV; History and Plan B

Materials for encasement: storage/adsorption:
Clay minerals, glass, zircon,

Three-mile island - the nuclear stigma;

Lab: materials for containment, betafite, pyrochlor, garnets

Elements, 2006, v. 2
Nuclear Energy - Elements Magazine,  2006, v. 2
Ewing "The nuclear fuel cycle: A role for mineralogy and geochemistry"

Abdelouas, A. "Uranium Mill Tailings:" p. 335-341.

Bruno, J. and Ewing, R., "Spent Nuclear Fuel". p. 343-349.
Grambow, Nuclear Waste Glass. , p. 351-364

Other resources:
Macfarlane, A. Ewing, R. Uncertainty Underground,

USGS Report on Yucca Mtn.

 "One step at a time": The staged development of repositories for high level nuclear waste. NRC Report 2003 (Dutrow was one of the authors)         

Nuclear Waste Legislation - Mar.2000
21 (Friday)
REQUIRED Attendance:
Centennial Lecture - Prof. Rodney Ewing,
Nuclear Energy
Stanford Univ, NAS member
Nuclear Accident - Fukushima
new reactors

giving presentations, peer evaluations of presentations, rubric for such. Poster preparation
Elements 2011, v. 8 Fukushima
p. 181-221
28 - Friday
LSU G&G Rock Star Poster Competition
Present poster on your analytical project!

STUDENT Oral PRESENTATIONS of research project 
11 (Th)
7:30 - 9:30 AM

Other links:  Learn more about the periodic table, minerals and gems

Other useful reading materials:

              But is it True? A Citizens Guide to Environmental Issues, A. Widavsky, 1995. Harvard Univ. Press

       Others for reference or an interesting read.   
            Silent Spring, Rachael Carson, 1962, Houghton Mifflin Co. Boston
                   (A classic, widely credited with starting the environmental movement;  bringing to light the consequences of chemicals in the environment- ecology).
             Environmental Mineralogy
, 2000, Eds. David J. Vaughn and Roy A. Wogelius.
                             EMU Notes in Mineralogy 2.  Eotvos University Press, Budapest.
            An Inconvenient Truth. 2006. Al Gore.  Rodale Press.    

Class Policies:
            Attendance: Mandatory.
If you are going to be absent, you must notify Prof. Dutrow ahead of time for an excused absence.
            Make up exams:
Lecture exams will be 5 essay questions
            Makeup quizzes
: None will be given.
            Cell Phones: No cell phone use is permitted during class. If you use your cell phone, you will be asked to leave class.
                 Class is a concentrated study time, if you are on your phone, you are distracted.

Enjoy !!!!!

 Students with disabilities: Louisiana State University is committed to providing reasonable accommodations for all persons with disabilities.
The syllabus is available in alternate formats upon request. If you are seeking classroom accommodations under the Americans with Disabilities Act,
you are required to register with the Disability Services (DS). DS is located in 115 Johnston Hall. Phone is 225/ 578-5919.
To receive academic accommodations for this class, please obtain the proper DS forms and meet with me at the beginning of the semester

Code of Student Conduct: Louisiana State University is an interactive community in which students, faculty, and staff together strive to pursue truth, advance learning, and
uphold the highest standards of performance in an academic and social environment. It is a community that fosters individual development and the creation of bonds that
transcend the time spent within its gates.  To demonstrate my pride in LSU, as a member of its community, I will:

  1. accept responsibility for my actions;
  2.  hold myself and others to the highest standards of academic, personal, and social integrity;
  3. practice justice, equality, and compassion in  human relations; 
  4. respect the dignity of all persons and accept individual differences; 
  5. respect the environment and the rights and property of others and the University;
  6. contribute positively to the life of the campus and surrounding community;
  7.  and use my LSU experience to be an active citizen in an international and interdependent world.

The continued success of LSU depends on the faithful commitment by each community member to these, our basic principles.

There are two areas that we will be particularly alert for in this class:

(1) Plagiarism is an extremely serious violation of academic integrity. The Code of Student Conduct defines plagiarism as “the unacknowledged inclusion,
 in work submitted for credit, of someone else’s words, ideas, or data.” (8.1-C.6)  

Plagiarism can occur in a myriad of forms and media. Although most commonly associated with writing, all types of scholarly work, including computer code,
 music, scientific data and analysis, and electronic publications can be plagiarized. The aim of this section is to help students and faculty deal with the complex
and important issue of plagiarism on campus.

(2) Copying - Copying from another student's test paper or assignment.

Alcohol Policy (PS-67 Illegal Use of Drugs and Alcohol Misuse): Louisiana State University is committed to maintaining an environment which supports the research, teaching, and service mission
of the University. Although the University respects an employee's right to privacy, the illegal use of drugs or alcohol within the University community interferes with the accomplishment of the
University's mission.  Louisiana State Law prohibits the consumption, possession, distribution, possession with intent to distribute, or manufacture of drugs described as controlled dangerous
substances in the Louisiana Revised Statutes 40:964; and other statutes define the illegal possession and/or use of alcohol.  As such, the Department has reaffirmed the University policy of
alcohol-free and drug-free environment on University property at all times and in areas and at times and locations where an assembly of students and faculty would be viewed as representative of LSU
 (field trips and field camp property as both represent LSU)

updated 01/18/2023 (c) Barbara L. Dutrow

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Interesting and Useful Mineralogy Links:

Mineralogical Society of America (MSA)
MSA Links
Mineralogical Association of Canada (MAC)
Mineralogy Database
Geometry games click on "Kali" and load appropriate version
CalTech Mineral Spectroscopy Server
The Mineralogical Record (Magazine)
International Mineralogical Association
Keck Museum, Univ. of Nevada-Reno
Fersman Museum Collectionsy
AGI Image Bank
Gemological Institute of America (GIA)