Information for Students

If you are reading this page, you are probably taking a course in petrology. Most students find petrology courses challenging because of the abstract concepts and multidimensional diagrams that they must work with in the class. The diagrams that petrologists use are complex and intitially confusing, but important information about igneous and metamorphic processes can be revealed by them. Although the uninformed are inclined to side with Andy Capp, who told us what he thinks about those who use complex diagrams,


most scientists find that graphical representations of data really do help them answer important questions. The purpose of this website is to help you become an "expert" by learning to use the diagrams and other tools of petrologists.

This website presents opportunities for you to learn about igneous and metamorphic rocks and about the ways that petrology experts study them. Many of the pages are interactive, with buttons, sliders, mouseover actions, and questions. What you learn from this website, as in all learning, depends on you and on the effort you make to learn. If you take advantage of the interactivity by pressing the buttons, using the sliders, moving your mouse, and answering the questions, learning petrology will be easier. But don't just do things to make the screen change. Use the tools to learn. Use the tools to convince yourself that you HAVE learned, that you understand how each diagram works and how it can help interpret igneous and metamorphic rocks. You CAN develop petrologic expertise!

And if you need a break, try the "Procrastinate" button on the page footer bar.

*See more of Andy's philosophy at the GoComics Site.