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Dr. Matthew Heizler


I typically teach 2 or 3 courses per year in argon geo- and thermochronology.

GEOC-516 is the core background and theory of 40Ar/39Ar geochronology, statistics and methodologies. Covered materials include 40Ar/39Ar application to igneous, metamorphic, and sedimentary rocks with emphasis on thermochronology and volcanology. Course includes multiple problem sets and weekly reading of 2-3 papers.

GEOC-517 is offered on demand and is a seminar style course based on current literature in argon geochronology or systematics of other geochronology systems. Topics are partially chosen by the students, and students are assigned to be session leaders on a weekly basis. Occasionally the course involves a class project where students conduct argon analysis to solve a specific current problem.

GEOC-567 is a lab-based course where students are provided hands-on training in noble gas measurement, argon extraction and vacuum technology. The course teaches concepts of mass spectrometer resolution, backgrounds, blanks, and sensitivity. Also gas handling procedures and concepts of experiment writing are covered. Each student analyzes a small set of samples, writes a research paper and presents a 15-30 minute talk of their findings.

NM Tech Course Catalog Descriptions

GEOC-516, 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs Prerequisite: ERTH 444 or consent of instructor Offered fall semester Principles and applications of 40Ar/39Ar geochronology and thermochronology, with applications to geologic systems.

GEOC-517, Advanced 40Ar/39Ar Geochronology, 3 cr, 3 cl hrs Advanced topics, specialized applications, and current research in 40Ar/39Ar geochronology.

GEOC-567, Practical Aspects of Argon Mass Spectrometry, 2 cr, 2 cl hr Prerequisites: GEOC 516 or consent of instructor Offered spring semester Theory and application of noble gas mass spectronmetyr. Through lectures, problem sets, and laboratory exercises, students obtain hands-on experience for analysis of geologic samples to determine sample age and/or thermal history. Each student conducts a research project and presents the results in written and oral reports.