Course code:



IM - Introductory/Intermediate

Class size limit:


Meets the following requirements:

  • ES - Environmental Science

Lab fee:


This course will focus on rock and mineral formation and identification. Students will learn to identify around 40 minerals and more than 30 rock types in samples using standing observation and classification techniques.

In tandem with learning to identify the rocks and minerals, students will learn about rock and mineral forming processes. Beyond learning about igneous, sedimentary, and metamorphic rock-forming environments, we will cover topics such as plate tectonics, geologic time, basic petrology and mineralogy, tools and instruments used for chemical and physical analysis, and natural resources related to rocks and minerals.

By the end of the term, students will be able to relate a rock to its environment of formation, identify common rocks and minerals in hand sample, and synthesize the geologic history of Mount Desert Island and Maine based on the types and spatial distribution of rocks.

The format of the course will be a lecture/discussion twice a week with a lab and/or field trip once per week. We will have at least one weekend-long region field trip for rock and mineral collection and to observe regional Maine sites. This course will serve as a prerequisite for advanced geoscience courses.




Always visit the Registrar's Office for the official course catalog and schedules.