GEO 3510 EARTH RESOURCES:  Fall 2009

Tuesday-Thursday 1950-2105

Florida International University

Department of Earth Sciences


Rodolfo Rego, Hydrogeologist/Environmental Scientist

Phone:  (305) 348-2365 (Department Office)



Required text:

Resources of the Earth, Custom Publishing, taken from Resources of the Earth: Origin, Use, and Environmental Impact by Craig, Vaughan and Skinner (3rd Edition) and Essentials of Geology by Lutgens, Tarbuck, illustrated by Tasa (10th Edition).


Course Goals:

The main objectives of this course are:  1) to identify the earth resources that are the basis of our present and future survival; 2) to understand how these resources formed in geologic terms, which is the basis for the discovery of new resource deposits, the estimation of reserves and planning of resource use; and 3) to understand the environmental consequences of the extraction, utilization and disposal of resources.


Attendance Policy:

You absolutely MUST attend the exams and at the scheduled times.  If you cannot attend, you must contact me IN ADVANCE to take the exam at a different time (no later than 2 weeks after).  If you supply proof that you could not make it to the regular exam due to a serious personal emergency at that time (e.g., a note from your physician), I may allow you to take a make-up exam which will be entirely essay-type.  Attendance at athletic events, practices, family outings or trips, hangovers, sniffles, sick friends, trips for other courses or forgetting the date of the exam, among many other excuses, are NOT acceptable and will NOT result in being allowed to take a make up exam.  If you fail to attend an exam for any reason that does not in my opinion constitute an emergency, and if you do not contact me in advance, you will receive a zero for that exam.  There will be no exceptions to this policy.


Grading Policy:

Grades will be based on four scores:  one midterm, one final exam, one research project and an attendance grade.  The midterm will count for 40%, the final exam will count for 35% and the project will count for 15%.  I will take attendance throughout the semester, and the attendance grade will make up the remaining 10% of your course grade.



Class Schedule                                                                                                  

Date                Topic                                                                                          Reading


Aug. 25            Course Introduction                                                                   

Aug. 27            Structure of the Earth and Basic Geology                                   Chapter 14


Sept. 1             Minerals and Igneous Rocks                                                       Chapter 15 & 16

Sept. 3             Sedimentary Rocks and Metamorphic Rocks                              Chapter 19 & 20


Sept. 8             Plate Tectonics                                                                            Chapter 2 & 21

Sept. 10           Minerals: The Foundations of Society                                        Chapter 1


Sept. 15           Earth Resources through History                                                Chapter 3

Sept. 17           Mining Methods & Consequences of Mining                              Chapter 4


Sept. 22           Energy resources & Fossil Fuels                                                 Chapter 5

Sept. 24           Fossil Fuels & Petroleum Storage Systems                                  Lecture Notes


Sept. 29           Fossil Fuels & Regulations for Contamination Cleanup              Chapter 5 & Notes

Oct. 1               Mid-term Exam Review                                                             


Oct. 6               Midterm Exam                                                                         

Oct. 8               Consequences of Fossil Fuel: Acid Rain, Global Warming         Chapter 4     


Oct. 13             Energy alternatives:  nuclear, solar, hydropower, geothermal      Chapter 6

Oct. 15             Water Resources                                                                         Chapter 11


Oct. 20             Biscayne Aquifer                                                                        Lecture Notes

Oct. 22             Types of mineral ores (Projects Assigned)                                 Various Chapters


Oct. 27             The abundant metals: iron, magnesium and aluminum               Chapter 7

Oct. 29             The abundant metals: titanium and silicon                                  Chapter 7


Nov. 3              The ferroalloy metals: manganese, vanadium, chromium           Chapter 8

Nov. 5              Base metals: copper, lead and zinc                                             Chapter 8     


Nov. 10            Precious metals:  gold and platinum (Projects Due)                   Chapter 8

Nov. 12            Contamination and Remediation of Metals                                 Lecture Notes


Nov. 17            Fertilizers & Phosphate in Florida                                               Chapter 9

Nov. 19            Building Materials                                                                       Chapter 10


Nov. 24            Diamonds, industrial minerals                                                    Chapter 10

Nov. 26            Thanksgiving Holiday (University Closed)


Dec. 1              Soils                                                                                            Chapter 12

Dec. 3              Final Exam Review


Dec. 7-12         Final Exam-Official Examination Period