Integrating Research and Education > For Educators

Resources for Educators

These modules address topics of high priority in the NSF Directorate for Geosciences including:

  1. Earth System Science - changes on earth result from interactions among the atmosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, lithosphere and humanity
  2. Diversity - exercises designed to increase the recruitment and retention of underrepresented groups in the geosciences
  3. Geoscience Instruments, Data and the New Cyberinfrastructure - tutorials on how to effectively use infrastructure including analytical instrmentation, distributed databases, and information technologies

Earth System Science

All Things Cretaceous

This collection features an assortment of digital resources relevant to the Cretaceous Period (145.5-65.5 million years ago). These resources cover a broad range of topics and include an array of media types. A variety of images, maps, visualizations, virtual field trips, databases, technical papers and general information are among the resource types found here. The Cretaceous collection was created to allow students and teachers to explore the complex relationships between physical Earth, changing climate and sea level, biota (evolving and extinct), and implications for modern society that are related to this amazing period of Earth's history.

Exploring the Yellowstone Geoecosystem

This collection features an assortment of digital resources relevant to the many components of the Yellowstone Geoecosystem, including: geology, physiography, hydrology, biota (from microbes to grizzly bears), and human activities and their consequences in this amazing natural laboratory. This collection contains an abundance of maps, images, virtual field trips, datasets, technical papers and general information, as well as compelling research and policy questions (e.g. is Yellowstone volcanism caused by a deep-seated plume?; Should geothermal energy resources around Yellowstone Park be developed?).

GIS Layers

Environmental Health Risk Inventory

This digital resource is designed to help instructors and students locate and use internet based health-related tools and databases. This site includes step-by-step instructions for using the online tools and databases, an example environmental health risk inventory, and activities. This module accesses numerous on-line databases to allow students to do an environmental risk assessment of their hometowns.

Teaching with Hurricane Katrina

This collection of digital resources and teaching ideas is relevant to the many components of the Hurricane Katrina disaster. This collection is designed to provide scientific information and resources to help students understand the science behind the storm and make informed decisions about recovery. Topics include the geology and geography of the region, its climate, human impacts and developments in the affected regions, natural resources, the aftermath of the storm, hurricane science and history, and effects of the disaster on human health.

Advances in Paleontology

This resource collection is devoted to paleontological subjects of scientific and public interest, this collection is designed to provide scientific resources and information to help students explore paleontology topics and learn about the research and researchers working in the field of paleontology. Topics include morphology, histology, evolution of development, biomolecules, taphonomy, ichnology, paleontology in the news, and paleontology ethics.

Diversity

Image courtesy of Doug Brugge

Impacts of Resource Development on Native American Lands

This module features six case studies looking at the natural setting and cultural heritage of Native American lands, and the environmental, economic and health impacts of resource development. This site has been developed to help recruit Native American students to careers in the geosciences by demonstrating connections between the Earth sciences and their people. The following six case studies have been created:

  1. Uranium Mining on the Navajo Nation

    A case study looking at the environmental, economic and health impacts from uranium mining.
    Image courtesy of Doug Brugge

  2. Gold Mining on the Fort Belknap Reservation

    A case study looking at the environmental, economic and health impacts from gold mining.
    Image by Edward S. Curtis

  3. Coal Bed Methane and the Crow Reservation

    A case study looking at the environmental, economic and health impacts from coal bed methane.
    Image courtesy of The National Archives

  4. Water Resources on the Nez Perce Reservation

    A case study looking at the environmental, economic and health impacts from water resources. This case study was written by Josh Kryston, a lower division undergraduate student who is not an Earth Science major.
    Image courtesy of CORBIS

  5. Gold Mining on the Pine Ridge Reservation

    A case study looking at the environmental, economic and health impacts from gold mining. This case study was written by Ellen Dockery, a lower division undergraduate student who is not an Earth Science major.
    Image courtesy of Brian Smale

  6. Resources of the Pribilof Islands

    A case study looking at the resources of Pribilof Islands. This case study was written by Jeannette Wolak, a graduate student in the Earth Sciences at Montana State University-Bozeman.
    Image courtesy of NOAA Photo Library .


Geoscience Instruments, Data and the New Cyberinfrastructure

Geoscience Education in the New Cyberinfrastructure

This resource collection is devoted to exploring ways that new cyberinformatic databases and related tools can enhance geoscience education, using undergraduate petrology courses as case studies. College instructors and students can use this site to learn more about the benefits and challenges of using large databases, and to download and contribute tutorials, exercises, and activities using large digital databases.

Teaching Mineralogy with Crystal Structure Databases and Visualization Software

This resource collection explores new ways to incorporate Mineralogical Society of America Crystal Structure database and 3-D visualization software within undergraduate mineralogy courses. College instructors and students can use this site to learn more about the benefits and challenges of using crystal structure databases and visualization programs, and to download and contribute tutorials, exercises, and activities.

Teaching Phase Equilibria

This resource collection includes a complete curriculum to support teaching and learning about phase equilibria, including: the Phase Rule, binary and ternary igneous phase diagrams, PT diagrams and pseudosections, balancing metamorphic reactions, introduction to thermodynamics, Gibbs Free Energy, the Clapeyron equation, activity models, Schreinemakers, experimental petrology, classical geothermobarometry, PTt paths, and tutorials and worked examples of advanced modeling programs such as ThermoCalc, Perplex, TWQ and Melts.

Geochemical Instrumentation and Analysis

The purpose of this project is to supply an on-line tutorial of the analytical techniques commonly used to characterize geological materials. The goal is to help novices (e.g. students, or scientists working out of their field) to become critical consumers and producers of data using the arsenal of mineralogical, petrological and geochemical analytical techniques available.

Analytical Instrument Registry

This service is provided to help lab managers build their user base, to help researchers, instructors and students gain access to analytical equipment to support scholarly work and to build capacity by optimizing the use of existing analytical equipment to support excellence in science and the training of geoscientists. Users can both add instruments to the database using our instrument registry tool, and find existing instruments in the registry.

Teaching with GeoPads

This site is designed to help teachers and students effectively and efficiently use GeoPads in field-based instructional and research activities. This site provides practical advice on selecting software and hardware, accessing and formatting data, and designing and implementing instructional activities. In addition, "best instructional practices" in using GeoPads are described, including learning goals, expected outcomes, and assessment strategies.

The Montana-Yellowstone Geologic Field Guide Database

This digital resource is devoted to integrating field-based research, teaching, and learning. This collection demonstrates how to "capture" essential geologic information from the "gray literature" to make these resources broadly available for instruction on field trips and field camps.

The Trail Guide Project

This collection of web pages features a set of field guides for hikes around the Bozeman, MT. Each field guide provides a photo overview of the sites you will see on the the trail and more background information about the geologic history of the area (fossils, landforms, rock types, structures) with links and references to help you explore these topics in more detail if you have interest.

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