Plate Tectonics and People


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Lesson 5 will take us one week to complete. This lesson is about mineralogy and forensic geology. First we'll examine a case study of sorts by reading an account about FBI agents and geologists who tracked down the origin of some soil adhering to the body of a murdered DEA agent in Mexico in the 1980s. Then you will come up with a short learning activity of your own in which students would examine local mineralogy.

What will we learn in Lesson 5?

By the end of Lesson 5, you should be able to:

  • Describe the unique mineral assemblage present in the samples of soil discussed in "Death of an Agent."
  • Differentiate between different types of volcanoes and the igneous rocks they produce.
  • Guess which minerals to expect in soil or sand based on local knowledge of bedrock characteristics.
  • Construct a short activity in which students investigate different soils or sands.

What is due for Lesson 5?

The chart below provides an overview of the requirements for Lesson 5. For assignment details, refer to the lesson page noted.

Lesson 5 will take us one week to complete. 8 Jul - 14 Jul 2020.

Lesson 5 Assignments
Requirement Submitted for Grading? Due Date
Reading assignment "Death of an Agent" No
Activity: Design your own forensic mineralogy activity. Yes - submit to Canvas assignment called "Forensics Lesson". 14 Jul 2020


If you have any questions, please post them to our Questions? Discussion Forum (not e-mail). I will check that discussion forum daily to respond. While you are there, feel free to post your own responses if you, too, are able to help out a classmate.