Courses Taught

Dr. Osinski considers teaching an integral and enjoyable part of his work as a scientist. He believe that students should be actively involved in the learning process. This approach involves developing research skills through field experiences and guided research projects as part of coursework. In particular, it is often easier to visualize complex geological problems by seeing the actual rocks themselves, whether it be under a microscope or in the field, than trying to understand often abstract ideas in a book or on a computer screen. Dr. Osinski also believes that enthusiasm for subject matter is as important as the subject matter itself in facilitating student learning. This enthusiasm in the classroom is contagious and itself promotes learning amongst students.

Impact Cratering: Processes and Products

Impact cratering is one of the most fundamental, yet poorly understood, geological processes in the Solar System. On many planets, impact craters are the dominant geological landform. On Earth, erosion, plate tectonics and volcanic resurfacing continually destroy the impact cratering record, but even here, the geological, biological, and environmental effects of impact cratering are apparent. Impact events are destructive and have been linked to at least one of the “big five” mass extinctions over the past 540 Ma. In recent years, it has also become apparent that impact craters can also have beneficial effects: many impact craters are associated with economic metalliferous ore deposits and hydrocarbon reservoirs. Impact events can also create new biological niches, which can provide favourable conditions for the survival and evolution of life and potentially on other planets such as Mars. This course will introduce students to the processes and products of impact cratering on Earth and throughout the Solar System. Particular emphasis will be placed on what meteorite impact craters can tell us about other planetary bodies.

ES 2250Y
Introductory Field Mapping Techniques

The field camptakes place near the village of Whitefish Falls, which is on the north shore of Lake
Huron, approximately 25 km south of Espanola or a similar distance north of Little Current. The region is underlain by Precambrian (meta)-sedimentary rocks of the Huronian Supergroup, which is a thick (maximum thickness ~ 12 km) Paleoproterozoic (2.4 – 2.2 Ga) succession, deposited on the southern margin of the Archean (>2.5 Ga) Superior Province of the Canadian Shield. The Huronian rocks were folded during the Penokean Orogeny (1.8-1.9 Ga). The Huronian Supergroup forms part of the Southern Province of the Canadian Shield. It is one of the best-exposed and most accessible Paleoproterozoic successions in the world. To the east, the Huronian rocks are truncated by the northwestern edge of the Grenville Orogen or Province, which represents a continental collision that terminated at about 1.0 Ga. On its southern margin, the Southern Province is overlain unconformably by a thin succession of fossiliferous Ordovician (~480 Ma) rocks that regionally dip gently (a few degrees) to the SW and form the NE margin of a large circular structure called the Michigan Basin. The course begins with an introduction to the regional geology of the area. There is a field trip to introduce some of the common rock types and structures in the area and to explain their settings and relationships. The main task of participants in the field course is the production of a geological map and stratigraphic sections of small areas. One day will be occupied sketching a road outcrop, examining fossiliferous limestones, and measuring crossbeds for paleocurrent analysis. Students will participate in a 1 day field trip to the Sudbury area, which is famous for being the site of a large-scale meteorite impact that took place approximately 1.85 billion years ago. It is also world famous for its economic deposits of Ni and Cu. There will be a final examination, both practical (rock identification) and a set of questions on all aspects of the field course.

ES 1023a
Planet Earth: Shaken and Stirred

Course Calendar Description for ES 1023a:
An overview of the origin and development of Earth and Solar System; constitution and active processes of Earth interior; how these processes have shaped Earth evolution in the past and how they continue to control surface phenomena such as earthquake and volcanic activity. Labs will introduce the main resource exploration techniques.