Radiation Effects and Radioactive Waste Management
Research Group

(and associated field trips)



GEOSCI 231 - Elements of Mineralogy



This course offers a comprehensive introduction to the nature, properties, structures, and modes of occurrence of minerals. The general features of the common rock-forming minerals are covered in lectures (3 hours per week). Topics that will be covered include an introduction to crystal chemistry, phase equilibria and crystallography, as well as the use of the SEM and XRD in characterizing solids. The principal rock-forming minerals such as sulfides, oxides, carbonates, garnets, olivines, pyroxenes, amphiboles, micas, and feldspars are individually reviewed with respect to properties, structures, genesis, and their natural associations. The laboratory (three hours per week) includes systematic study of the properties and associations of the common rock-forming minerals and the routine use of the polarizing microscope for mineral identifications. In early October, there is a required four-day field trip to Bancroft, Ontario, and a one-day trip to northern Ohio. Students will each collect a rock-forming mineral and prepare a term paper on a study using optics, XRD and SEM observations. This provides an independent research experience. The grade is based on two midterms and a final exam, laboratory exercises, the term project, and class participation.

Field Trips:

         New Mexico Mineralogy Field Trip - 2011

         New Mexico Mineralogy Field Trip - 2009

         New Mexico Mineralogy Field Trip - 2008



GEOSCI 344 - Sustainable and Fossil Energy



         GS 344 Wyoming 2009

Camp Davis 344 2009.jpg

Summer 2010.jpg



NERS 531 (ENSCEN 531) - Nuclear Waste Management



Based on the nuclear fuel cycle, this course will review the origin, composition, form and volumes of waste generated by commercial reactors and defense programs.  The scientific and engineering basis for near-field and far-field containment in a geologic repository will be reviewed in the context of performance assessment methodologies.