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  • Lecture:
10:00 -11:00; M, W, F; GEO 3.120
  • Labs:
    (Rm. 3.102)
All Labs meet in JGB 3.102  (Lab Syllabus link here)
  • Mon. 11-1 (#27035)
  • Wed. 1-3 (#27040)


  • Instructor:
Dr. Mark Helper, JGB 4.112; 471-1009;
  • Teaching Assistants:
  • Office Hours:
M, W, Fr; 9-10 and whenever my door (JGB 4.112) is open.  TA office hours are in the lab syllabus.
  • Grading:
  • Lab = 35%
  • Exam I = 15%
  • Exam II = 15%
  • Final Exam = 20%
  • Term Project = 15%
  • Prerequisites:
You must be a registered student to participate in the laboratories for this class. This class does not count toward a degree in Geological Sciences.
  • Required text:
Read, Peter G., Gemmology; 3rd edition. Elsevier, 324 pp. Copies are on reserve in the Geology Library and available online at  You need an EID and password to view and/or print the online version.
  • Recommended text:
Cipriani, C. and Borelli, A., 1984. Simon and Schuster's Guide to Gems and Precious Stones. Simon and Schuster. A handy, inexpensive, superbly illustrated book that is useful in lab.
  • Online Notes and handouts:
Notes for material presented during lectures in the last half of the course, are available on this web site.  Many class handouts are available here as well.
  • Other Items:
Term Projects: Can be 1 or more faceted stones, several cabochons, a combination of both, or a paper on a topic of your choosing (subject to approval).  See the project description.
  • Web Sites:
The class website address is   Most of the material posted there is also accessible at the class Canvas site.
  • Academic Integrity:
Scholastic dishonesty of any type will not be tolerated. Violators will be referred to the Office of the Dean of Students for possible disciplinary action, which in the extreme may result in expulsion from the University.
  • Students with Disabilities:

Please notify me of any modification/adaptation you may require to accommodate a disability-related need. You will be requested to provide documentation to the Dean of Students Office, in order that the most appropriate accommodations can be determined. Specialized services are available on campus through Services for Students with Disabilities.

  • Attendance/ Religious Holidays:
By UT Austin policy, you must notify me of your pending absence at least fourteen days prior to the date of observance of a religious holy day. If you must miss a class, an examination, a work assignment, or a project in order to observe a religious holy day, you will be given an opportunity to complete the missed work within a reasonable time after the absence.  The same goes for other UT-sanctioned activities - please let me know in advance so I can arrange an accommodation.

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