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.

    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 Lunar and Planetary Science Conference, the premier conference of its kind in the world, or the Geological Society of America, among others.

    The Robert Noyce Teacher Scholarship Grant provides scholarships and internships for talented science and math undergraduates. Interns work with our partners, including Fargo and Moorhead Public School Districts and Lakes Country Service Cooperative, to assist in the delivery of summer opportunities for K-12 students in the subjects of science and math. Scholars will receive up to three years of forgivable loans and partial living expenses to pursue secondary licensure in mathematics or science (physics, chemistry, earth or life science) in the state of Minnesota. Scholars will also receive special training in best practices for teaching science and math to English language learners (ELL), and will agree to teach in a high needs school district upon receiving licensure, providing invaluable service to the diverse K-12 students and numerous districts in our region.