[MSA-talk] Tips for helping color-blind students with optical mineralogy

Lincoln S. Hollister linc at Princeton.EDU
Fri Oct 20 08:53:33 EDT 2017

Hi Lydia,

As you may remember, I am very color blind.  However, optical mineralogy does not rise to the level of disability abuse that computer graphics has risen to, but that is another story.

For optical mineralogy I quickly learned that relative index of refraction (relief) was more reliable for identification than color.  Colors can often be misleading and not according to the book.  So it is just a question of the becke line at grain boundary, between known mineral and unknown.

Many color blind people see yellow very well.  Tell your student he (note student must be a “he”) will likely do very well with staurolite, which is pleochroic in shades of yellow.  Regular people can’t see this, in many cases.  So I spent lots of my career on the study of staurolite.


On Oct 19, 2017, at 5:39 PM, Lydia Fox <lkfox at pacific.edu<mailto:lkfox at pacific.edu>> wrote:

I am looking for tips to help a color-blind student who is really struggling with the optical component of my course this semester.  I’d appreciate any ideas you can pass along!

Lydia Fox

Lydia K. Fox
Department of Geological & Enviornmental Sciences
University of the Pacific | 3601 Pacific Ave | Stockton, CA 95211| p. 209.946.2481|

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