Earth Science Education Learning Opportunities

The hallmark of an Earth Science Education major at MSUM is the dedicated faculty mentoring you receive beginning your freshman year through graduation. You will immerse yourself in a variety of meaningful, experiential learning opportunities, including standards-relevant investigative learning experiences in the classroom and opportunities for cutting-edge science research with faculty. In addition to interacting with faculty in your major, you will gain experiences in middle and high school classrooms, tutor, attend social gatherings and more, where you’ll uncover countless abilities and opportunities.

In addition to field experiences with geology of the region, as an Earth Science Education major you’ll also have opportunities for classroom field experiences, where you’ll spend time observing, assisting and teaching in local classrooms prior to your final semester of student teaching. As you’re immersed in classrooms of different grade levels and with varying teaching styles, you will be able to identify what type of classroom is the right fit for you.

You’ll spend time observing, assisting and teaching in local classrooms for more than 100 hours prior to your student teaching experience, so you’ll be exceptionally prepared to lead your own classroom. Geology and other earth science fieldwork is also a critical component of the major. You may participate in multiple formal field experiences, including one-day and multi-day field trips to see regional geology, such as geology in Theodore Roosevelt National Park, a tour of the world's largest Layered Intrusive Igneous Complex in Duluth, a tour of mining districts in northeast Minnesota, a tour of caves and geological parks in southern Minnesota, and elective multi-week field experiences in South Dakota and Wyoming. Other optional experiences include field work as part of research projects carried out with faculty.

You will work in well-equipped labs, including the experimental petrology, stratigraphy and thin-sectioning, and geophysical laboratories, and have the option to receive hands-on training with cutting-edge technology such as GPS equipment, GIS software, high precision GPS receivers, geospatial apps and drones.

  • Anthropology & Earth Science Library
    KH 223
  • Multimedia Ethnography Lab
    KH 102
    Directed by Dr. Erik Gooding
  • Archaeology Lab
    KH 115A
    Directed by Dr. Michael Michlovic
  • Electron Microprobe Lab
    KH 115B
    Directed by Dr. Russ Colson
  • Environmental Magnetism and Geophysics Lab
    KH 116
    Directed by Dr. Rinita Dalan
    The Environmental Magnetism and Geophysics Laboratory located in King Hall 116 houses soil sampling and geophysical remote sensing equipment for field studies as well as laboratory equipment for investigating the magnetic behavior of materials. The environmental magnetic laboratory is the first of its kind in this country dedicated to archaeological application.
  • Stratigraphy Lab
    KH 116C
    Directed by Dr. Karl Leonard
  • Advanced Geology Lab
    KH 118A
    Directed by Dr. Karl Leonard
  • Experimental Petrology Lab
    KH 118B-C
    Directed by Dr. Russ Colson
  • Intro Geology La
    KH 218
    Directed by Drs. Russ Colson and Karl Leonard
  • GIS Lab
    KH 216/215C
    Directed by Dr. Paul Sando
  • Ceramics Lab
    KH 231
    Directed by Dr. George Holley

You will have the opportunity to present research and/or attend professional conferences at the local, regional and national level. Every year, many students present at MSUM’s Student Academic Conference. Other opportunities may include the American Association of Geographers, Geological Society of America, the Society for American Archaeology, the Plains Anthropological Society, the Minnesota GIS/LIS Consortium, the North Dakota Association for Women Geoscientists, the Lunar and Planetary Science Conference or the Council for Minnesota Archaeology among others.