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

Carey Legett carey.legett at stonybrook.edu
Fri Oct 20 11:27:35 EDT 2017


Just to add to this,

There is a free app available for iOS and Android called "Chromatic Vision
Simulator" that allows you to just point your phone camera at something and
see a live comparison of the three types of color blindness and normal
vision. I have found this useful both with colorblind students and with
preparing figures for talks and posters.

iOS app:
https://itunes.apple.com/us/app/chromatic-vision-simulator/id389310222?mt=8

Android app:
https://play.google.com/store/apps/details?id=asada0.android.cvsimulator&hl=en

-Chip

On Fri, Oct 20, 2017 at 10:16 AM, Mogk, David <mogk at montana.edu> wrote:

> Hi Lydia,
>
> I am also color blind (or at least color deficient). Although color is a
> useful determinant, it can obviously also be misleading as the wonderful
> world of minerals has such variation in color due to solid solutions, and
> the colors that are seen in thin section may also be an artifact of poor
> preparation related to uneven thickness…. So, I tell my students that color
> can be misleading so beware.
>
>
>
> I’ve had to compensate by emphasizing all the other optical and physical
> properties available to us.  I agree with Linc, index of refraction/relief
> helps a lot , and I also encourage students to look carefully at all the
> other properties such as cleavage, form, habit.   When using the accessory
> plate for either optic sign determination, or for length characteristics, I
> always check the signal  (addition or subtraction) in the preferred
> orientation, and then rotate 90 degrees to confirm that the interference
> colors have “gone up or down”  compared with the original position. A
> quartz wedge can help rather than the 1 lambda plate if you have one.
> Pleochroism largely remains a mystery to me.  I also insist that students
> do the full range of diagnostic tests prior to making the identification
> (relief/RI, habit, cleavage, iso/uni/biaxial, positive or negative, 2V,
> length fast/slow, etc.  I don’t let them get away with “That mineral looks
> like X…”.  It all has to be based on the evidence. Also, as beautiful as
> the various Atlases of minerals in thin sections are, I discourage students
> from using these because the images are a singular representation of
> minerals that often have great diversity in forms, etc., and they think
> that all instances of a mineral must look like the picture in the book.  If
> the students do the full slate of diagnostics, they will get the right
> answer. And color is just one of many observations that can be made.
>
>
>
> The great thing about optical mineralogy is that it really is all about
> doing a series of systematic tests  that lead to a verifiable answer. And
> the mineral has to “make sense” in the geologic context, chemical system,
> assemblage---so these are additional checks on whether a mineral ID  makes
> sense  or not.
>
> Hope this helps, and do affirm to your student that mineral optics is
> important and useful. And yes, many of us do optics without relying (much)
> on color.
>
> Rock on!
> Dave Mogk
>
>
>
> *From: *<msa-talk-bounces at minlists.org> on behalf of "Lincoln S.
> Hollister" <linc at Princeton.EDU>
> *Date: *Friday, October 20, 2017 at 5:53 AM
> *To: *Lydia Fox <lkfox at pacific.edu>
> *Cc: *"msa-talk at minlists.org" <msa-talk at minlists.org>
> *Subject: *Re: [MSA-talk] Tips for helping color-blind students with
> optical mineralogy
>
>
>
> 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.
>
>
>
> Lincoln
>
>
>
> On Oct 19, 2017, at 5:39 PM, Lydia Fox <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 <(209)%20946-2481>|
>
>
>
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-- 
Carey Legett
PhD Candidate
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