Montana State University
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Intercollege Programs for Science Education

Montana State University
P.O. Box 172805
Bozeman, MT 59717-2805

Tel: (406) 994-5679
Fax: (406) 994-5575
E-mail: msse@montana.edu
Location: 401 Linfield Hall

Director:

Dr. Peggy Taylor

MSSE Course Catalog

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Biology

Chemistry and Biochemistry (CHEM rubric changed to CHMY rubric as of Fall 2009, 580 changed to 591 as of Fall 2010)

Civil Engineering

Earth Science (ESCI changed to ERTH & GEOL changed to GEO as of Fall 2009)

Education

Electrical Engineering

Health and Human Development

Geography

Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

Mathematics

Microbiology

Plant Sciences

Physics

Range Science

Courses with an Elementary Focus

Elementary Education

 

Biology

BIOE 513 Terrestrial Ecology of Plains and Prairies
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Joe Bradshaw, IPSE and Ecology Department, MSU-Bozeman

Grassy areas – plains, prairies and meadows – rarely get the attention that lakes do, for example, or forests. But are grassy areas really that boring? What is the difference between the grass in your lawn and the bunchgrass in the field? Why are grasslands of any size important? How does land use change community composition?

In this course, we will take a closer look at one or two grass communities near your home or school and address these questions and others. You will complete six activities in this course:
1) Examine grass plants and learn some of their biology.
2) Locate and describe an important grassland in your area, a park, for example, explaining why it is special.
3) Locate and describe one or two study areas for your class project that ideally could be used for your own classroom activities.
4) Identify 8-10 major plants in your study areas and construct a dichotomous key to the plants that could be used by your students.
5) Quantitatively compare two features between or within your study areas, collecting data and analyzing them statistically (a sample statistics problem will be provided).
6) Write a short paper on your project, following scientific paper format. A “Question of the Week” will spark discussion among class members.

This course will get you outside, investigating areas that you find interesting and relevant to you and your students. It may be combined with BIOL 519, Biology of Riparian Zones and Wetlands, for observing similarities and differences between drier and wetter communities.

BIOE 516 Terrestrial Ecology of the Northern Rocky Mountains
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Tad Weaver, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

A field oriented study of Montana ecosystems that uses facts and methods which can be extrapolated beyond the region. Objectives are 1) to introduce Rocky Mountain ecosystems, 2) to relate them to North American and world ecosystems, and 3) to review measurements used to extend our knowledge. Discussion will focus on ways to use material for teaching with 'the scientific method'. The course will be plant and ecosystem oriented; attention to animals will depend on student input.

The ecosystems considered occupy the entire altitudinal gradient ranging from grassland/shrubland through dry forest, and cool moist forest to alpine. Climax communities will be compared with seven traditional questions: what is its ... composition (plants and animals), structure (layers, etc), processes (PS and respiration), distribution in time and space, relation to environment (e.g. temperature and water requirements), and classification (Daubenmire HTs).

An ecosystem may be occupied by vegetation other than climax vegetation. Immature vegetation might be seral, i.e. communities occupying the site soon after disturbance. Or the vegetation might be held in a stable sub-climax by forces such as repeated cultivation or fire. 'Seral' and 'disclimax' vegetation will be observed and compared to each other and to climax vegetation in the light of the seven questions posed above.

While content will focus on Montana ecosystems, the process is central to science and extend beyond ecology to most human pursuits. We will practice discovery using a method (scientific method), associated statistics, and ecological tools. Of tools, we will test some - such as shears, rulers, scales, remote (air/satellite) photos, and the library. Each student will design a project, gather data, analyze it, and write a short paper.

BIOE 519 Biology of Riparian Zones and Wetlands
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Joe Bradshaw, IPSE and Ecology Department, MSU-Bozeman

Building a home along the bank of a river (riparian zone) or draining a wet area (wetland) for “useful” purposes are commonplace activities throughout the country. But how do these activities change the functions of naturally occurring riparian zones and wetlands?

In this course, we will explore the structure and functions of these areas transitional between dry and aquatic communities, and their importance in the natural world. You will complete six activities in this course:
1) Read some on-line material about riparian zones and wetlands, and discuss the material.
2) Locate and describe an important riparian zone or wetland, a park for instance, in your area, explaining why it is special.
3) Locate and describe one or two study areas for your class project that ideally could be used for your own classroom activities.
4) Identify 8-10 major plants in your study areas and construct a dichotomous key to the plants that could be used by your students (or friends).
5) Quantitatively compare three features between or within your study areas, collecting data and analyzing them statistically (a sample statistics problem will be provided).
6) Write a short paper on your project, following scientific paper format. We will have a “Question of the Week” for sparking discussion among class members.

Science standards, federal and state, usually require field activities and ecological understanding. This course will get you outside, investigating areas that you find interesting and relevant to you and your students. This course can be combined with BIOL 513, Terrestrial Ecology of Plains and Prairies, for heightening awareness of the similarities and differences between grasslands and wetter areas.

BIOE 520 Understanding & Managing Animal Biodiversity in Yellowstone National Park
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Jay Rotella, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

The Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem is a dramatic setting composed of lands that vary widely in terms of their elevation, soils, habitat features, & animal diversity, as well as in terms of land ownership, land use, and wildlife management. This course is designed to explore how animal diversity is distributed across the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE), why such a distribution exists, & the consequences of those distributions to animal conservation. To gain a better understanding of the causes & consequences of spatial patterns of biodiversity, we will explore a variety of locations in Yellowstone National Park and its surrounding National Forests, Wildlife Refuges, and private lands.

This course will have the following components for studying animal conservation in the GYE in today’s changing world:


  1. Who are the animals of the GYE? Field identification, species ecology and life histories, and species-specific habitat needs.


  2. How are species distributed across the GYE? Where is diversity high versus low? Why might such patterns exist?


  3. How well do the distributions of species overlap with (a) existing National Park lands, (b) other wildlife reserve lands, and (c) private lands?


  4. How can we use knowledge of such patterns to conserve diverse species of wildlife in the GYE?

The course builds foundations in morning lectures, discussion, quizzes and lab exercises. Field trips include visits to diverse habitats in Yellowstone National Park and surrounding lands, techniques of animal identification, and in-depth discussion of key topics in the course. Field trips seek to build an understanding of the unique challenges of and innovative strategies for managing diverse species in a complex and changing world.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Field trips require walking up to 2 miles on moderate slopes on established trails.

BIOE 522 Birds of Prey of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (odd)
Instructor:
Dr. David Willey, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to explore the ecology and habitats of raptor species that live in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (GYE). Birds of prey include all species of raptors. Raptors are birds with unique specializations for killing prey, e.g., raptorial claw-like feet and massive bills designed to rip, tear, and crush their prey. The course will explore strategies raptors use to find things to eat and safe places to nest. We will pay special attention to the influence of human activities on raptors and their habitats.

This course will have the following components for studying birds of prey in the GYE:

1) Who are the Birds of Prey in the GYE? Field identification of raptors, species ecology and life histories, and species-specific habitat needs.
2) Examination of key principles of raptor population ecology (studying survival and reproduction).
3) Reinforce methods of discovery: raptor responses to human encroachment into wilderness.
4) Review inquiry-based learning: the scientific method and things raptors eat (the concept of “resource availability”).

The course builds foundations in morning lectures, discussion, quizzes and lab exercises. Afternoon field trips include techniques of raptor identification and studying raptor ecology. Field trips will integrate methods to study trends in raptor population status and habitat quality.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Field trips require walking up to 2 miles on moderate slopes on established trails.

BIOE 523 Wildlife Ecology of the Northern Rocky Mountains
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. David Willey, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

The course is designed as an introduction to the Ecology of the Rocky Mountains as showcased within Yellowstone National Park. The Park may well be one of the few intact wild ecosystems in the lower 48 states. The course content will include principles and techniques for studying wildlife populations in the field. This course will also focus on large mammalian and avian wildlife populations that occupy terrestrial ecosystems within the Northern Rocky Mountains. The course will have the following components:

  1. Examine key principles of ecology, particularly population ecology, and review fundamental connections among species, populations, communities, and ecosystems.

  2. Use the platform of ecology to discern methods to study wildlife responses to human disturbances (e.g., habitat loss, increased urban development and encroachment in wilderness, and global warming).

  3. Explore contemporary issues of wildlife management within the Northern Rockies (e.g., wolf reintroductions in Yellowstone National Park).

This course will be based in the wildlife lab on MSU's campus on Monday. During Tuesday through Friday, the course will be field-based. We will leave Bozeman on Tuesday and return to Bozeman on Friday mid-day. We will camp for three nights during the week and cook our meals at campsites. Transportation will be provided by the MSU motor pool (vans) - no personal vehicles permitted (no exceptions).

A maximum of 10 students are allowed to take this course. To enroll in this campus summer field course, email the MSSE Office (dianap@montana.edu) and ask to be added to the waiting list.

Students are expected to provide the following minimum equipment for their camping needs:

  1. One- or two-person, light-weight, non-bulky tent (no big, heavy “family” tents – we won’t have room for these); team up with another student to share a two-person tent if possible

  2. Sleeping bag and pad (no bulky air mattresses)

  3. Basic cooking equipment + utensils (team-up with another student) – no big Coleman stoves or lanterns (bring small, lightweight, back-packing equipment)

  4. Minimal clothing for one week (layers for hot and cold weather)

  5. Largest can available of bear “pepper-spray” (active ingredient = capsaicin)

  6. Personal toiletries, sunglasses, hat, daypack, water bottle, sunscreen, camera, field notebook and pen, etc.

  7. Food for 1 day (we will restock food supplies on a daily basis, or as needed)

  8. Large coolers will be provided for perishable food.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Physical Fitness requirements. The course requires moderate outdoor physical activity. Students are expected to walk several miles, often in relatively steep terrain without established hiking trails. Please contact the instructor before signing up for this class if you have concerns about the required physical fitness level and your ability to meet these requirements.

BIOL 591 Alpine Ecology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. John Winnie, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

Our primary goals in this course will be to understand how altitude affects the structure, function and evolution of plants, animals and the communities to which they belong, and to create ways to bring this understanding into the K-12 classroom. Through a mix of online, class and field work, students will move rapidly from basic concepts to hands-on field work and data collection, to the synthesis and presentation of those data. During class time, students will work on ways to integrate the material we gather in the field into multimedia presentations that can be used in teaching modules. In the field, students will collect data that can in turn be analyzed and interpreted later by their own students.

For us to progress smoothly during the class week based out of MSU, 2 to 3 weeks of background reading and study are necessary. Pre-class week materials, including not less than 2 homework assignments, will be posted on the course's Desire to learn (D2L) website beginning June 15th.

Classes based at MSU will primarily take place in the field, in the nearby Bridger Mountains. During the day, students will work cooperatively to gather data, photos and (optional) video clips in the field, then in the evenings will work together to link visual materials back to the data. The goal here is to create a virtual field trip for primary and secondary level students, illustrating every aspect of a simple descriptive natural history study, from initial observations, to (optional) hypothesis generation, to data gathering, to data summary and finally to drawing overall conclusions.

Field Trips: We will spend all or part of 5 days in the field (M-F) regardless of weather. During these trips, students will study field craft, data gathering techniques, and take digital photographs and (optionally) video clips to be used in teaching models to illustrate the process of doing science, and basic ecological concepts.

Readings and Online Materials: Reading assignments, exercises and supplemental materials will be posted on the class D2L website beginning June 15th, and provided during class week at MSU.

BIOL 591 Advanced Ecology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Fall (Winter)
Instructor:
Dr. John Winnie, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozema

Our primary goals in this course will be to understand the theoretical underpinnings of ecological interactions and link these theories to the real world study of ecology. Through a mix of class and field work, students will move rapidly from foundational theory, to hands-on field work and data collection, to the basics of analyses. For us to progress smoothly during the class week, 2+ weeks of background reading and study is necessary.  Pre-class week materials, including not less than 2 homework assignments, will be posted on the course’s Desire to Learn (D2L) website beginning 2 months before the first day of class.

Daily class work will be a combination of lecture, readings, and exercises designed to familiarize students with foundational ecological theories. More generally, we will explore the overall utility of mathematical and statistical models in describing natural interactions. Field work will center on general field craft (seeing and understanding ecology), study design, and techniques for gathering data and recording observations. 

Field Trips: Two field trips per day are scheduled regardless of weather. During outings, students will study field craft and data gathering techniques in an area that has been studied extensively by researchers.

BIOL 591 Land Use Issues in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Jerry Johnson, Department of Political Science, MSU-Bozeman

This course will lay the groundwork for an understanding of the legal and political basis for scientific management of natural resources on public and private lands in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem. Readings, field visits and skill-building exercises will equip science educators with the social context of complex ecological issues.

Issues facing policy makers in complex administrative jurisdictions like the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem require a consideration of the social, legal and economic environment as well as understanding the scientific questions. Both are necessary if society is to successfully address issues like recovery of endangered species, rural sprawl, or wildfire. The laws that govern the development of the vast storehouse of natural resources in the West are based in a time some call the era of the "Lords of Yesterday". They are the product of a more freewheeling period of our economic and political history. They include water law, hardrock mining law, timber and grazing, and the designation of Yellowstone National Park in 1872. These laws play a direct role in how and why the resource agencies manage public lands in the West.

Today, economic, social, and political changes are sweeping the West. The emergent New West is often in conflict with the Old as extractive industry gives way to tourism, retirees, and a service-based economy. While the impacts of our extractive history are well understood, those resulting from rapid land use and social change are less so; from employment patterns to politics, the new west is different from the old.

BIOL 591 Ecology of Predators & Prey: Wolves & Elk in Yellowstone National Park
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. John Winnie, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

Our primary goals in this course will be to understand the theoretical underpinnings of predator-prey interactions and link these theories to the real world study of predator-prey ecology. Through a mix of class and field work, participants will move rapidly from foundational theory to hands-on field work and data collection, to the basics of analyses and how theory and data are synthesized to inform management. For us to progress smoothly during the class week on the MSU campus and in the field, 2 weeks of background reading and study is necessary. Pre-class week materials, including not less than 2 homework assignments, will be posted on the course's Desire2Learn website.

Classes at MSU will be a combination of lecture, readings, and exercises designed to familiarize participants with population and predator-prey theory. More generally, we will explore the overall utility of mathematical models in describing natural interactions. Field work will center on general field craft (seeing and understanding ecology), study design, and techniques for gathering data.

We will spend 3 days in the field regardless of weather. During these trips, participants will study field craft and data gathering techniques in an area that has been studied extensively by researchers and is heavily used by wolves and elk.

BIOL 591 Ecology of Trout Streams
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructors:
Dr. Tom McMahon, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Billie Kerans, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

Montana is home to world-renowned trout streams, and this course is designed to delve into how trout and trout streams function and some of the current issues surrounding their management. The course content will include principles and techniques for studying trout and trout streams in the laboratory and the field. The course will have the following components:

  1. Identification of the main types of trout and stream insects found in Montana streams and their life history, habitat use, adaptations for living in fast water.

  2. Examine key environmental components of a trout stream (e.g., water temperature, physical habitat features) and how these factors affect population dynamics of both trout and their main insect prey.

  3. Explore contemporary issues of trout stream management within the Northern Rockies (e.g., whirling disease, habitat restoration).

This course will combine laboratory lectures and exercises with day-long field visits to area streams to collect aquatic insects, conduct habitat analyses, and view various types of stream management practices. On one field trip, students will don wet suits and directly observe trout behavior. Final Projects will emphasize applications to K-12 science classrooms.

BIOL 591 Anatomy & Physiology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Cherie McKeever, Montana State University-Great Falls

This course is designed for high school and post-secondary teachers of human anatomy and physiology and presumes the student already has a solid foundation in A&P.  This course provides an introduction to the use of case studies as an effective way to integrate problem based learning into the human anatomy and physiology classroom.  It is a methodology course designed for  instructors who are already comfortable with fundamental physiological concepts. Students will review various physiological principles of the human body and then explore clinical applications of these principles via case studies.  During the semester, students will participate in discussions regarding various physiological concepts, the use of case studies to improve student  comprehension and build critical thinking skills,  as well as critiques and modifications of presented case studies to help individuals build a collection of classroom-ready case studies. By semester’s end, each student will also develop an original case study for use in their high school or post-secondary A&P classroom..

BIOL 591 Teaching Evolution
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Louise Mead, Education Project Director, National Center for Science Education

This course is designed to provide students with the knowledge, skills, and resources they need to teach evolution effectively. In this course, students will get an overview of evolutionary history and theory, an introduction to current topics of evolution research, tools for making evolution relevant to the science classroom and students' lives, and strategies for lesson development, as well as practical techniques and background knowledge for responding to challenges to evolution instruction.

BIOE 591 Ecology and Conservation of the World's Marine Ecosystems
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall alternate years (odd)
Instructor:
Dr. Tom McMahon, Department of Ecology, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed for students to gain a broad understanding of structure and function of the world's marine ecosystems and a broad knowledge of the major conservation issues in the oceans including climate change, overfishing, coral reef loss, and ocean acidification. The course will integrate in-depth study of each of the major marine ecosystems with reading and discussion of major conservation issues.


Chemistry and Biochemistry

CHMY 594 Science Lab Safety and Risk Management
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. Steven Holmgren, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This seminar provides information on safe school laboratory practices including protocols for chemical purchase, storage and disposal, as well as safety equipment. Evaluation and modification of common laboratory experiments and demonstrations will be included, with participants providing sample lab exercises for evaluation. Explicit chemical fire control procedures will be addressed with a hands-on fire extinguishing experience. Insurance risks will be considered.

CHMY 505 Critical Concepts in Chemistry
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Chris Bahn and Dr. Bill McLaughlin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This course explores new learning strategies that encourage discovery-based learning. A practical laboratory component will enable students to develop laboratory and/or demonstration projects using new approaches and new technology. For each concept, students will pool their current understanding, review texts, develop increased depth and facility in the topic and invent and share practical projects related to the topic.

CHMY 506 Enhancing Laboratory Instruction with Use of Computers
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructors:
Dr. John Amend, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This course provides an opportunity for grades 7-14 science teachers to explore innovations in curriculum, technology, modern laboratory facilities, and new learning strategies that encourage discovery-based learning. Properly used, a personal computer and an inexpensive data acquisition interface can enhance the teaching of laboratory science. Graduate students enrolled in this class will learn ways to use computer technology to engage students in discovery-based learning, to improve laboratory time utilization, to reduce equipment and chemical costs, and to improve safety.

This course involves three integrated content threads. The first introduces the basic principles and tools involved in electronic and computer-based laboratory measurement. The second uses these tools to build understanding of chemical principles, and the third uses technology and laboratory design to support inquiry-based teaching strategies.

Chemists and scientists in other fields profit from an understanding of the electronic principles involved in use of common environmental sensors. The first thread provides a “hands-on” introduction to sensors for measurement of light, temperature, pressure, pH, colorimetry, turbidity, and the simple electronic circuits that support them. It presumes no background in electronics

The second thread involves use of computer based measurement and software tools to investigate real chemical systems. Experiments involve thermochemistry, spectroscopy and atomic structure, acid-base chemistry and indicators, kinetics, colorimetry, fluorescence, turbidimetry, and nuclear chemistry.

The third thread introduces teaching strategies that use computer technology and innovative laboratory architecture to engage students in experiment design, fast high quality data acquisition, and group discussion and concept synthesis from real data.

This course will be held in a state-of-the-art laboratory facility equipped with a networked high resolution computer data acquisition system at every lab station. Modern software tools permit projection and group discussion of any team’s data, as successes and mistakes create learning situations for the entire laboratory group.

Each afternoon, students will work with faculty as individuals or teams to develop experiments useful in the courses they teach. These experiments can be drawn from their course content, or from experiments and lab equipment they wish to learn to use.

Friday afternoon the group convenes to present experiments that they have developed. These reports are printed and provided as curriculum resource for course participants.

CHMY 591 An Atoms-First Primer for AP/IB Chemistry Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructors:
Dr. Chris Bahn, Department of Chemistry & Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to introduce teachers of Advanced Placement (AP) or International Baccalaureate (IB) Chemistry courses to an Atoms-First pedagogy in the teaching of their courses. The course is an elective content course for students in the MSSE program at MSU, but will also attract teachers needing credits for re-licensure, salary advancement, or re-assignment. The textbook and its ancillary materials will be used as the primary basis for the course, but students will be required to utilize materials from various resources, including but not limited to the Internet. Students will be exposed to the an Atoms First approach to teaching AP or IB Chemistry which emphasizes a pedagogy of building chemical foundations before moving onto more difficult topics. Students will finish by developing lesson plans using this pedagogy to teach AP or IB Chemistry at the high school level.

CHMY 591 Chemistry of the Environment: Water, Air, Earth
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. Bill McLaughlin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Steve Holmgren, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman
Amy Washtak, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to familiarize students with basic general science and chemistry concepts of the environment, including water, air and Earth. Since this course will be building upon basic chemistry concepts, it is assumed that teachers taking this course have taken general chemistry at the undergraduate level, or the equivalent.

The course will integrate chemistry concepts of water, air and Earth with environmental context. Instructors will use narratives, supplement reference book examples, Internet examples and material complied on the student’s part. The textbook will be used as a basis for the course but students will be required to utilize materials from various resources, including but not limited to: the Internet, local professionals and their own classroom materials. Students will complete two original curriculum teaching projects derived from course content.

    Students will be assessed through the following ways:
  • Weekly on-line discussions of a topic posed which is derived from the weekly narrative
  • Concise weekly homework questions derived from chemistry concepts explored in narratives and supplemental textbook
  • Final exam including multiple-choice questions and essay responses
  • The development of two complete and original curriculum projects derived from course content

CHMY 591 Environmental Measurement: Sensors & Electronics
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery:Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. Alex Whitla, Department of Chemistry, Mount Allison University, Canada
Dr. John Amend, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

Chemists and scientists in other fields can profit from an understanding of the electronic principles involved in the use of common environmental sensors--sensors for measurement of light, high resolution measurement of temperature, pressure, pH, colorimetery, turbidity, and thermocouple high temperature measurements--and the simple electronic circuits that support them. This course's "hands-on" approach introduces digital voltmeters and simple DC circuits, operational amplifiers, basic principles of digital logic and counting circuits, and analog-to-digital conversion.

CHMY/BIOL 591 Examining Life in Extreme Environments
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. John Peters, Department of Chemistry, MSU-Bozeman
Monica Brelsford, Thermal Biology Institute, MSU-Bozeman

This 2-credit course is designed for teachers participating in the Master’s of Science in Science Education (MSSE program) at Montana State University.  This course, sponsored by the NASA Astrobiology Biogeocatalysis Research Center at MSU, will investigate how studying the extremes of life will aid in a better understanding of early earth conditions and how scientists use this information to look for signs of life on other planets.  The course will begin with a survey of astrobiology and then concentrate on four extreme environments with content lectures and hands on activities.  Environments include extremely high and low temperature environments as well as shallow marine high salt and high pressure deep sea environments.  The class will include a one day field trip to Yellowstone National Park, and include discussion and activities focused linking the properties of mineral and chemical gradients to prebiotic chemistry on early earth.   Special guest scientists will join the class throughout the week. This course may be taken as biology credits or chemistry credits.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Field trips will require walking distances of up to 2 miles with moderate slopes and will involve being in the field for the majority of the day. Weather may vary!

CHMY 591 Exploring Biochemistry
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Angie Sower, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

The course will consider the reactions of the principle biochemical molecules (carbohydrates, lipids, proteins, and nucleic acids) with additional emphasis on biomedical topics.  The primary goal of this course is to promote critical thinking about important, current health issues and to examine the role of laboratory modules in teaching these concepts.  General biochemistry principles will be presented to understand the diseases under review. Written material will be provided on advanced topics.

CHMY 591 Exploring Biochemistry II: Metabolism
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Angie Sower, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to serve as the second semester of a two-semester sequence of biochemical principles. The course will build on topics covered in CHMY 591 (Exploring Biochemistry I) such as carbohydrates, lipids, proteins and nucleic acids. The proposed course will investigate the metabolism of each of these biological molecules while exploring applications of these topics to a classrooom setting. The textbook will be used as a basis for the course but students will be required to utilize materials from various resources including chapter summaries, related internet websites, scientific journals, and material compiled on the students's part.

    Students will be assessed through the following methods:
  • online discussions of a topic related to the weekly material
  • homework sets and/or unit/chapter exams that reflect the application of material from weekly content (composed of multiple-choice questions)
  • final exam (composed of multiple-choice questions)
  • development of a project (classroom lesson or other application) that incorporates content from the course

CHMY 591 Exploring Chemistry
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. Chris Bahn, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This course provides an in depth discussion of critical concepts in chemistry. Chemical principles will be presented in the context of real-world issues including energy production (biofuels), chemistry of water, and polymers. Additional emphasis will be placed on the role of experimental sciences in teaching reading, writing, and logical thinking across multiple student backgrounds. Appropriate student laboratory designs will be addressed.

CHMY 591 Exploring Organic Chemistry
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Bill McLauglin, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

This online course targets science teachers, Grades 6-12. The course will provide a general review/background in organic chemistry with an emphasis on functional groups and covalent chemistry reaction mechanisms while focusing on applications including polymers. Providing a solid foundation of basic principles of organic chemistry will allow teachers to describe and explain practical applications of organic chemistry.

A class discussion forum will be part of the course and allow teachers to share and explain teaching, demonstrations and lab activities from the course. In addition to on-line homework sets and exams, participants will also design a teaching project that uses course topics to develop an original teaching component to use in their own teaching setting. Participants will receive extra help with course topics through a chapter-by-chapter commentary.  Where appropriate, emphasis will be on applications of organic chemistry to everyday life.  

This course provides background for future courses in biochemistry for middle and high school teachers.

CHMY 591 Special Topics: Equilibrium, Thermodynamics, & Kinetics
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructors:
Dr. Chris Bahn, Department of Chemistry and Biochemistry, MSU-Bozeman

Equilibrium, Thermodynamics, and Kinetics explain why reactions stop where they do, why they get hot or cold, and how fast they occur.  The rusting of a car and the explosion of a stick of TNT are actually the same type of process – thankfully happening at a different rate.  How can reactions be so similar and so different at the same time?

These three topics make up a large portion of the “Reactions” section of the AP exam (35-40%) as well as a significant portion of the second half of an International Baccalaureate Chemistry course.  These topics also represent some of the more difficult material to understand in General Chemistry. 

This course is designed to help instructors bolster their background in equilibrium, thermodynamics, kinetics as well as provide assistance in the teaching of these topics. A classroom population represents a distribution of learning styles and a goal of this course is to provide a variety of instructional tools for teachers to utilize in their classrooms.

 

Civil Engineering

ECIV 591 Snow and Avalanche Physics for Science Educators
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. David Walters, Department of Civil Engineering, MSU-Bozeman

This course begins with establishing the necessary backgroung for understanding snow and avalanches. The course then progresses into methods for solving problems related to snow and avalanche mitigation including topics from route selection to explosives placement. This course is designed to educate the teachers in the basics of snow and avalanche physics such that they may apply what they learn in their own classrooms to excite their students about science and physics. The course requires comfort with simple mathematical calculations, independent research, and communication with your peers and instructor via the on-line interface.

 

Earth Science

ERTH 594 Field Geology Summer 2013: Bahama Montana
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Dave Lageson, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

"Bahama Montana" is an excursion into the blue, tropical marine waters that once covered Montana between 400 and 300 million years ago, and the fossil-rich sedimentary rocks that were deposited during this time. These rocks now form the sharp, serrated crest of the Bridger Mountain Range. This one-day field course will focus on observations and concepts that enable geologists to interpret the stratigraphy, invertebrate fossil content, past depositional environments, and geologic history from the ancient sedimentary units that comprise the highest peaks of the Bridger Range near Sacagawea Peak (966 ft/2946 m). Be prepared for a day of brisk hiking in a high alpine setting, collecting fossils of extinct Paleozoic marine invertebrate organisms (crinoids, brachiopods, bryozoans, horn corals, tabulate corals, etc.), and learning to interpret the sedimentary and tectonic history of this incredible outdoor classroom called the Bridger Range. An important objective of the field trip is to study the unique and exceptionally well-exposed Waulsortian bioherms (carbonate mounds) in the lower Lodgepole Limestone (Mississippian Period) south of Sacagawea Peak.

ERTH 512 Mountains and Plains Riparian Processes
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructor:
Dr. Steve Custer, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

This course examines hydrologic and geomorphic processes that operate adjacent to streams. Examples will be drawn from both plains and mountain settings. Topics will include ground-water discharge, springs, wetland soils, soil temperature, runoff production, partial variable runoff areas, sapping, sediment production and sediment delivery from riparian areas and adjacent slopes, and riparian best management practices. The interaction between physical hydrologic and geologic processes and riparian ecology will be explored. Students are encouraged to enroll in the companion Biology 519 Biology of Riparian Zones and Wetlands course that will examine the biological dimension of riparian systems in more detail. Students will integrate what they learn into classroom projects that focus on areas near their school.

ERTH 516 Northern Rocky Mountain Geology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Dave Lageson, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

This course will investigate the geological history and evolution of the Northern Rocky Mountain region. Topics to be covered will include local stratigraphy, the Laramide and Sevier orogenic events, volcanism in and around Yellowstone National Park, earthquake activity within the Intermountain Seismic Belt, and many more. Daily field trips from campus will provide “hands-on learning” in some of the best-exposed, classic geologic localities in the Rocky Mountains. The course will integrate many aspects of physical geology, historical geology, geomorphology, structural geology, seismology, volcanology, and tectonics in a manner that is relevant and applicable to the region surrounding Montana State University.

Physical fitness requirements: In order to study the geology of the greater Yellowstone region in the field, this course will involve outdoor physical activity. Students are expected to hike in moderate mountainous terrain in order to accomplish course goals, namely hands-on field experience with geologic observations and interpretations. Please contact the instructor before signing up for this class if you have concerns about the required physical fitness level and your ability to meet these requirements.

ERTH 517 Electronic Hydrology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring alternate years ( odd)
Instructor:
Dr. Colin Shaw, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

This course focuses on hydrologic data acquisition, analysis and interpretation. Electronic data in the public domain will be downloaded from National Oceanographic and Atmospheric Administration, US Natural Resource and Conservation Service, US Geologic Survey, and Montana Bureau of Mines and Geology. Students will analyze rainfall (long term average, variance and trends; monthly average; storm average), snowfall (snow water equivalent, density, change with elevation, distribution), temperature (change with elevation and location through time), stream flow (hydrographs, mean annual discharge, peak flow, low flow, runoff, recurrence interval, flood probability), and water level and geologic information from wells in Montana (water level trends, lithology, well parameters). Goals include: data download techniques and sources, statistical analysis of data, and lesson plan development for 6th to 12th grade classrooms.

ERTH 519 Hydrology of Streams and Lakes
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (odd)
Instructor:
Dr. Steve Custer, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

We will study the hydrology of steams and lakes in the mountains and plains.

Streams:
• Drainage basin analysis
• Stream hydraulics
• Slope
• Channel plan
• Channel cross section
• Channel types

Lakes:
• Geologic origin
• Evaporation
• Ground water recharge/discharge
Applications in the K-12 science classroom will be emphasized (habits of a scientific mind).

ERTH 591 K-14 Earth System Science
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Jerry Nelson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Geology Professor, Casper College, Casper, Wyoming

Participants will learn to find the Internet's abundant digital Earth Systems Science (ESS) resources and use these resources to create integrated mathematics and science lessons. Participants will learn to adapt online resources to their own instructional environments at the K-14 levels.

ESS emphasizes the dynamic interrelationships among changes in the atmosphere, ocean circulation patterns, and environmental processes on and beneath the earth's surface. Internet-Based K-14 Earth System Science Instruction is designed for K-14 teachers already familiar with using basic computer and Internet tools. Participants will integrate concepts from ESS with Internet resources, such as digital weather images, near-real-time earthquake data, and archived climate data, for examples. Necessary ESS scientific background is provided and effective pedagogical strategies are discussed for using computer technology with students at all levels K-14. Although the course science content is based in ESS, emphasis will be on the integration of mathematics and earth systems science, using discovery and constructivist methods.

ERTH 591 Middle School Earth System Science
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Jerry Nelson, Associate Dean for Academic Affairs/Geology Professor, Casper College, Casper, Wyoming

This course is taught in conjunction with the Earth System Science Alliance. ESSEA has a large repository of modules focused on the subject of earth system science. All modules use problem based learning to explore the events and interactions between the lithosphere, hydrosphere, biosphere, and atmosphere. The middle school course is composed of 3 modules plus an introduction module. Teachers utilize problem based learning to study both event to sphere interactions as well as sphere to sphere interactions and how one interaction can lead to other interactions.

ERTH 591 Weather and Climate for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Jadwiga (Yaga) Beres, National Center for Atmospheric Research, Boulder, Colorado

Our dynamic atmosphere serves many roles in the Earth system. Ranging from weather forecasting meteorology that considers the day-to-day changes in Earth's atmosphere to large-scale climatology that characterizes long term changes in Earth's atmosphere, this course, specially designed for practicing science teachers at the middle school level, serves as a survey of topics in atmospheric science. The topics are closely aligned with the concepts emphasized in the NRC National Science Education Standards, and the instructional strategy uses electronic collaborative group discussions in concert with hands-on laboratories and activities that use NOAA data easily accessed via the Internet.

ERTH 591 Fundamentals of Oceanography
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor: Dr. Sean Griffin, Marine Science

Fundamentals of Oceanography offers an introduction to the physical, biological, chemical and geological processes of the ocean and its ecosystems. Teachers will learn about the complex interactions between these properties, their influence on terrestrial ecosystems and the impacts humans have on these processes. Exciting laboratory exercises can be adapted to be offered at any grade level.

ERTH 591 Geology of the Moon
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructors: Cassandra Runyon & Noah Petro, NASA Science & Eduation Public Outreach Team

The Geology of the Moon on-line course is designed for practicing teachers who want to understand more about the Moon and its history and relationship to Earth. We will explore theories for its formation and the geologic processes involved in its evolution, including the differentiation of its layers, volcanic activity, and impact cratering, with each discussion encompassing comparisons between the Earth and Moon. We will investigate the Moon’s orbital characteristics (revolution, rotation, phases and eclipses) and explore current and upcoming missions to the Moon. The material will be connected to National Science Education Standards. During this course you will interactively participate through a combination of presentations, assigned readings, on-line discussions, classroom exercises and dynamic activities.

The instructors, Cassandra Runyon and Noah Petro, both have their PhDs in Geology and have been working in the field for over 10 years. They are members of the Science and Education and Public Outreach team for a mission to the Moon—Chandrayaan-1/Moon Mineralogy Mapper—whose data are providing a more complete understanding of the geologic history of the Moon and helping to create a detailed compositional map of the lunar surface.

ERTH 591 Historical Geology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr.Colin Shaw, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

Special Goals:  The course will provide grade 7-12 science teachers with a rigorous overview of the evolution of the Earth and life and of the methods that geologists use to investigate the history of our planet.

This course is intended strictly for science teachers enrolled in the Masters of Science and Science Education degree program and other science teachers with a minimum of 2-years teaching experience. Students will be required to complete 2 class projects in addition to participating in online class discussion, completing homework assignments, and taking 2 exams or quizzes. The class projects will require students to create lesson plans designed to adapt content from the course to their own classrooms. The course prerequisites include science teaching experience, enrolled in MSSE degree program, enrolled in MSSE as a non-degree student or instructor approval.  Participants must hold a bachelors degree in science, science education or a related area and should have had a college course in physical geology.

ERTH 591 Geology of Glacier National Park & Surrounding Areas
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (odd)
Instructor:
John Terrill Paterson, IPSE and Math Departments, MSU-Bozeman

This field course will involve hiking and will focus on the geology of past and present glaciers, glaciers as indicators of climate change, the structural geology of Glacier National Park, alpine geomorphology, and other geo-topics as revealed by the wonderful outdoor laboratory of Glacier National Park.  Camping and outdoor cooking will be the expectation.

Physical fitness requirements: In order to study the geology of the greater Yellowstone region in the field, this course will involve very strenuous outdoor physical activity. Students are expected to hike several miles at high elevations in rough, rocky, mountainous terrain in order to accomplish course goals, namely hands-on field experience with geologic observations and interpretations. To assure that all students will have the full benefit of the program, please contact the instructor before signing up for this class if you have concerns about the required physical fitness level and your ability to meet the expectations of this course. If you require an accommodation because of a disability, please contact the instructor.

GEO 521 Dinosaur Paleontology of Hell Creek Formation
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (odd)
Instructors:
Dr. James Schmitt, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Frankie Jackson, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed as an introduction to the geology and dinosaur paleontology of the Hell Creek Formation of eastern Montana. The Hell Creek Formation has long been known for it’s diverse dinosaur taxa, including Tyrannosaurus rex and Triceratops, as well as exposures of the iridium layer associated with dinosaur extinction 65 million years ago. The combination of slide presentations, labs, and daily hiking in Makoshika State Park will provide both background information and “hands-on” learning experience. Techniques covered during the class include interpretation of sedimentary environments, taphonomy, and fossil collection and preparation. This course will integrate many aspects of biology, physical geology, paleogeography, and tectonics.

Two transportation options are available: 1. Vans will leave from the Hannon Hall (Graduate Dorm) Entrance on the MSU campus at 8 a.m. Monday morning and drive to Makoshika State Park near Glendive, MT. Approximately driving time is seven hours. 2. Participants may drive their own vehicles and meet Monday evening at the Lion’s Club facility, Sleepy Hollow Lodge within Makoshika State Park. Lunch will be provided on travel days.

The facilities include individual cabins that are rustic but completely furnished and accommodate 4 to 6 students, a lodge where meals will be provided, and a separate shower house with toilet facilities. Students should furnish their own bedding and personal items such as towels, shower shoes, etc. Special dietary requirements should be noted on the registration form. Students should have appropriate hiking boots and be prepared for rain and cool weather. Additional required items include backpack, field notebook and pencils, and water containers (3-4 liters total capacity).

Physical fitness requirements: The course requires moderate to strenuous outdoor physical activity. Students are expected to walk several miles, often in relatively steep terrain without established hiking trails. Temperatures are often in the 90°F range. Please contact the instructor before signing up for this class if you have concerns about the required physical fitness level and your ability to meet these requirements.

GEO 560 Geology of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Jim Schmitt, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

The purpose of this course is to provide an understanding of the geology of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center, the largest active explosive continental volcanic center on Earth. To provide the necessary geologic background for understanding the geologic significance of the Yellowstone region, students will first gain insight into volcanism, seismology, geothermal activity, glaciation, and mountain building within the context of the plate tectonics paradigm. Special emphasis will be placed on understanding the controls on and types of volcanic processes characterizing active volcanic regions of differing eruptive styles (explosive and effusive). Differing tectonic models for development of Yellowstone volcanism, the history of caldera formation and related volcanic activity, landscape evolution of the Yellowstone Plateau and surroundings, earthquake hazards, the record of Pleistocene glaciation, geothermal processes and the geomicrobiology of thermal features, and implications of all of these for humanity will be investigated in detail.

Application of new technologies aimed at providing a better understanding of the volcanic and earthquake hazards of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center including use of satellite imagery, the Global Positioning System (GPS), Geographic Information Systems (GIS), and earthquake seismology will also be explored. In addition, the use of Yellowstone thermal features and their microbial life as comparative analogs for understanding the origin of life on the early earth as well as for the exploration for extinct and extant life in the solar system will also be discussed.

Students will also have the opportunity to explore how integration of various aspects of Yellowstone geology may be usable as focal points for student exploration and investigation in their own classrooms employing varying instructional methods and pedagogies.

This course will consist of 3 days of in-class instruction on campus employing lectures, directed learning experiences, and extensive use of web-based resources, and 2 subsequent days of field trips designed to explore the geology of the Yellowstone Volcanic Center. Trips will be designed to specifically examine evidence of caldera formation, differing styles of volcanic eruptions, minerals and microbe interactions at thermal features, consequences of seismic activity, and controls of volcanic activity on such landscape components as topography, soils, plant distribution, and water resources.

GEO 522 Dinosaur Paleontology II
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructor:
Dr. Frankie Jackson, Department of Earth Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

The goal and purpose of this course is to provide an in-depth course for grade 7-12 teachers in geology and paleontology that builds on previous experience and field techniques acquired from GEOL 521 Dinosaur Paleontology of the Hell Creek Formation. In addition to providing basic information on geology and paleontology, this field course includes information on how paleontologists use rocks, fossils and extant animals and modern environments to formulate interpretations about the past. By the end of this course, students will be able to identify sedimentary rocks in which fossils are found, use sedimentary structures for interpretation of depositional environments, and have a better understanding of Montana's geologic past.

 

Education

EDCI 504 Assessment and Evaluation in Education
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall and Spring
Instructors:
Dr. Eric Brunsell, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. John Graves, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Jewel Reuter, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Walt Woolbaugh, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

Evaluation is an ongoing process in education. This course will engage teachers in an ongoing discussion and study regarding the construction, selection and use of criterion-referenced, norm-referenced, and alternative assessment methods. The teachers' own instructional settings (classrooms, museums, aquariums, outdoor schools, etc.) are used as "research bases" to conduct classroom assessment studies. The results of the assessments provide immediate feedback on both teacher effectiveness and student learning.

The following are what teachers are saying about this course:

"This course represents the bread and butter of what I was hoping my master's degree would accomplish...becoming a more effective science teacher. Thanks again for creating a course that allows us to implement these assessments."

"This is only my second education class ever and after 20+ years of teaching, one is ready for some new ideas and energy that come from interacting with others."

"I loved the course. Being able to read, discuss, and implement [assessment strategies] is a great way to learn."

EDCI 505 Foundations of Action Research in Science Teaching and Learning
Credit: 3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructors:
Dr. Eric Brunsell, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. John Graves, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Jewel Reuter, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Walt Woolbaugh, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

A course in the design of action research-based educational research for practicing teachers and informal science educators.. Students will learn the basis of action research in professional development and construct an action research proposal based on their individual teaching situation.

EDCI 509 Implementing Action Research in Teaching and Learning
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructors:
Instructors:
Dr. Eric Brunsell, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. John Graves, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Jewel Reuter, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Walt Woolbaugh, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman n

A course in the implementation of action research for practicing teachers. Students will learn how to effectively conduct action research based on their individual teaching situation and its implications for their professional development. Prerequisites are EDCI 504 Evaluation and Measurement in Education and EDCI 505 Foundations of Action Research in Science Teaching and Learning.

Teacher Quote

The inquiry science notebooks are working amazingly in my classroom. My students are writing and exploring more than I ever would have asked them to. The students having ownership over the labs is really awesome.

Florida Teacher

EDCI 518 Master Strategies for Science Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. John Graves, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

Becoming a master teacher is a process. Once a teacher is comfortable with the content being taught and the overall curriculum, the focus can shift to instructional strategies. This course will engage students in discussions and practice regarding the construction, use and reporting of numerous master instructional techniques. The emphasis of the course is on classroom instruction with the intent of informing and improving the effectiveness of one's instruction. A classroom or teaching setting such as museum, planetarium, zoo, outdoor school in which to complete the required instructional "assignments" is absolutely necessary.

EDCI 536 Construction of Curriculum
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. John Graves, IPSE & Department of Education, MSU-Bozeman

So, you've been asked to participate on the science textbook selection committee. Perhaps you've been appointed to chair the committee to write your school's science curriculum or develop instructional materials for an informal science education setting such as a museum or zoo.. If asked by an administrator or a parent, could you describe the curriculum you are currently teaching? All teachers talk ABOUT curriculum, but have you ever considered the factors that drive the construction of curriculum? This course examines the philosophical, historical, and social influences that drive the construction of curriculum. Emphasis is placed on science curriculum past, present, and future. Where did it start? How has it evolved? What is around the bend in the future? Current trends such as standards, inquiry, and high-stakes testing that influence curriculum will be considered in relationship to your own teaching experiences. After completing this course, science teachers will be equipped with a greater understanding of the workings of science curriculum development.

EDCI 537 Contemporary Issues in Science Education
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor: Dr. John Graves, IPSE & Department of Education, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to provide an overview of pertinent contemporary science education issues and how to incorporate these ideas into an instructional setting.

This course will help students learn the conceptual underpinnings of modern approaches to science education and professional development as they relate specifically to teaching and learning science at multiple levels including traditional classrooms and informal science education settings. Topics covered include science education reform efforts, technology in instruction, science education standards, assessment, teachers as leaders, controversial issues in the science classroom and more.

Spring Capstone Forum
Credit:
0
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring

During the spring semester, students participate in the Capstone Forum. The Capstone Forum is an online forum in D2L that requires student participation during the spring before the capstone presentation. It is where the student will continue communication with their advisor regarding the capstone project/paper and will receive important information on the requirements and deadlines from the MSSE office regarding capstone week and graduation. Your participation is mandatory and part of the EDCI 575 capstone course that students will register for during the summer. No formal registration by the student for the Capstone Forum is required as the student will be automatically entered.

EDCI 575 Professional Capstone Paper & Symposium in Science Education
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Peggy Taylor, MSSE Director, MSU-Bozeman

Each Master of Science in Science Education (MSSE) student, with the cooperation of her or his graduate committee, identifies and completes a science education capstone project. Each project is designed to provide experience and information that aids our understanding of science teaching-learning or science curriculum. The capstone project topic is identified during the student's graduate program and relates to science education in the student's educational setting; it links multiple courses in the student's program of study in both the core and science content areas. A student begins the capstone in the fall of the final year by submitting a brief proposal to his/her advisor.

The results of each student's capstone project is summarized in a written, professional paper completed by mid-term of the final summer session. In addition, during the final summer session of a student's graduate program each student presents their capstone project to their committee, their classmates, and other interested persons at the Symposium in Science Education.

Capstone Projects from the Symposia in Science Education:

Abstracts 2013
Abstracts 2012
Abstracts 2011
Abstracts 2010
Abstracts 2009
Abstracts 2008
Abstracts 2007
Abstracts 2006
Abstracts 2005
Abstracts 2004
Abstracts 2003
Abstracts 2002
Abstracts 2001
Abstracts 2000
Abstracts 1999

EDCI 591 Technology in the Science Classroom
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Paul Anderson, Biology Instructor, Bozeman Senior High School and 2011 Montana Teacher of the Year

This course provides instructional technology professional development for practicing 7-12 science educators, promoting the use of appropriate instructional technology in the classroom. Teachers will study instructional technology practices through classroom exercises that demonstrate the use of technology to enhance instruction. "Hands-on" experience with technologies in a classroom setting will include both instruction and practice/application time for teachers. Integrating strategies to use instructional technology in current teaching practices will be explored. Technologies include, but are not limited to, the following: Smartboard, videoflex camera, GIS software, integrating internet, video, data probes and PalmPilots.

MSSE 501 Inquiry through Science and Engineering Practices
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Distance
Semester Offered: Fall, Spring, Summer
Instructor:
Dr. John Graves, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

This course takes a practitioner's look at the “art” of inquiry instruction appropriate to all learning settings, including, but not limited to classrooms, museums, planetariums, etc. Using many of the current pedagogical approaches of instruction including constructivism, misconceptions, models of inquiry instruction, the learning cycle, reflective practice, conceptual change theory and others, students in this course will critically examine their current instructional practice and together craft new approaches to teaching inquiry in the science classroom. Course assignments include readings, reflections on classroom discussions and content, evaluation of inquiry research by MSSE graduate candidates and the completion of an individualized inquiry project. Students in the course can expect a highly active, fully engaging, professionally stimulating class session each week.

John has over 25 years experience with middle school and university instruction. He has a passion for inquiry instruction and will model thought-provoking, challenging examples of research-based “best practices” of inquiry instruction. The emphasis of the course will be on helping teachers gain the skills necessary to improve inquiry teaching in their own classrooms.

MSSE 591 Web Tools for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Eric Brunsell, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

This class will provide educational technology professional development to practicing science teachers.  The purpose of the course is twofold.  First, the course will assist educators in effectively using the web to enhance their professional learning. Second, the course will assist educators in using web tools, many of which students are already comfortable with using in social settings, to enhance student learning and ownership.  The specific goals of this course include the following:

  1. Articulate a rationale for using Internet-based technology during instruction.
  2. Use a web aggregator and social bookmarking to increase efficiency in information gathering.
  3. Develop an initial personal learning network.
  4. Explore a variety of Web 2.0 tools and example projects, including blogs, wikis, Google Docs, Google Earth, podcasting, screen capture, and photo sharing services, for professional growth and enhancing instruction.
  5. Create a plan for integrating at least three Web 2.0 tools into current instructional efforts.

MSSE 591 Integrating Literature into the Science Classroom
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Joe Bradshaw, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

Integrating Literature into the Science Classroom is a fourteen-week, three-credit course. Cross-level instruction will be utilized for elementary, middle, and high school instructors. It provides an effective way to integrate master teaching strategies with current practices of teachers. The goal of this course is to engage and equip teachers in the area of science and literacy by integrating science-related literature into science classrooms. This course is intended for teachers enrolled in the Master of Science in Science Education degree program and other teachers with a minimum of two years teaching experience. The course supports the integrated approach to providing reading and science instruction.

MSSE 591 Science Across Cultures
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Irene Grimberg, Physics Department, MSU-Bozeman

The goal of the course is to present science knowledge across cultures embedded in inquiry-based instruction. This approach will facilitate the integration of science teaching to other curricular areas and will engage students of diverse cultural backgrounds. The science content will address the ideas presented in the Framework for K-12 Science (2011) and in the New Generation Science Standards (2012) including units in Life Sciences, Astronomy, and Physics. The online course will require science content readings; and research and practice-based readings on science education, and diversity and equity; and the use of interactive multi-media tools. Students are expected to participate in online discussions about science teaching and learning from a multicultural perspective.

MSSE 591 Capstone Data Analysis
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
John Terrill Paterson, IPSE and Math Departments, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to provide graduate students in science education with a background in basic descriptive and inferential statistics. By the end of the course, students will be able to choose the most appropriate method to both describe their data and display that data in a clear and concise manner. Students will be able to perform hypothesis tests using a variety of parametric and non-parametric methods with an understanding of the assumptions and limitations of each method as applied to the analysis of capstone data. Students will be able to perform one-way analysis of variance tests in addition to chi-square tests for categorical data. Through the examination of the appropriate use of each of these statistical tools, students will be able to better design their capstone projects so as to maximize the likelihood of addressing their research topics.

 

Electrical Engineering

EE 591 Solar Cell Basics for Science Teachers
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Todd Kaiser, MSU-Bozeman

Solar Cell Basics is a course for science educators, to train them to teach principles of solar cells. The course is designed to help science teachers, grades 6 to 12, understand the operating principles and the fabrication processes of modern solar cells that convert light energy to electrical energy. The course has a laboratory component in which solar cells will be fabricated in the Montana Microfabrication Facility (MMF). Each student will process 4 inch silicon wafers using the various steps necessary to make solar cells.

The course prerequisites are a minimum of 2 years successful science teaching experience, enrolled in MSSE degree, or by instructor approval.  Participants must hold a bachelors degree in science, science education or a related area. Participants should have an understanding of basic chemistry and physics principles.

 

Geography

GEOG 591 Global Warming, Climate Change & Our Environment
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall or Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Irina Soha, MSU-Bozeman

Study the "hot topic" of global warming by exploring the geography of climate change and resultant wildlife changes in the mountains and plains of the US and Russia. A primary objective of this course is to become skilled at using interactive methods for teaching future generations about global change issues.

Basic concepts and projections of climate change and impacts of global warming are studied. Other course activities include: in-class experiments on the greenhouse effect; calculating greenhouse gas emissions of your own household, assessing potential effects of climate change on individual wildlife species and ecosystems, word games, observing weather patterns and rising sea levels using the simplest of instruments, and studying cloud types.

 

Health and Human Development

HDFN 524 Teaching Adolescent Nutrition
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Mary Stein, Department of Health and Human Development, MSU-Bozeman

Nutrition habits of children and teens are known to have an impact on their present and future health, their ability to learn and physical performance (athletics). However, many of these young people are not making the grade nutritionally. For example:
• The rate of obesity has doubled in the past decade
• Symptoms of adult diseases (diabetes, hypertension, heart disease) are showing up in younger children and teens largely due to poor nutrition habits
• During the important growth period of adolescence many teen diets lack the recommended amounts of such vital nutrients as calcium, iron and zinc
• According to a recent study done by the US Department of Agriculture, only 1% of children met all of the nutrition recommendations of the Food Guide Pyramid
• Eating disorders are on the rise
Throughout this course teachers will investigate various content areas applicable to adolescent nutrition. These areas include:
• Current concerns and health statistics relative to adolescent nutrition,
• Key nutrients of concern in adolescent diets,
• Sports nutrition,
• Dietary supplements,
• Eating disorders and body image,
• The Food Guide Pyramid and nutrition label interpretation,
• Food safety
• The important role of the school environment in supporting sound nutrition.

Selected classroom resources, which engage the student and provide for experiential learning, will be highlighted for all content areas. Course participants will be required to complete weekly reading assignments, take part in online discussion (asynchronous), complete weekly or bi-weekly activities and complete a course project related to the development and implementation of a lesson plan on one of the topics covered.

HDFN 526 Nutrition for Fitness and Performance
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Patti Steinmuller, Department of Health and Human Development, MSU-Bozeman

Exploring nutrition for physical fitness and athletic performance has never been more interesting or exciting! Food provides fluids, energy, nutrients, fiber, and phytochemicals. But what nutritional strategies are optimal? Do dietary supplements work? Using nutrition to meet the demands of physical activity is a dynamic process that combines scientific research, nutrition guidelines, and the practical aspects of fueling active people in specific situations.

This course examines the latest developments that link nutrition with physical fitness, sport performance, and health promotion. Resources include a text, course supplement, nutrition analysis software, peer-reviewed scientific literature, current news, and Internet resources. Participants contribute to asynchronous online discussions throughout each week. Expect to relate each week's topic to your areas of interest and expertise. A diverse group of participants (practicing teachers in various specialties, coaches, trainers, registered dietitians, nutrition educators, exercise consultants, fitness leaders, and other health professionals) ensures that discussions will be interesting, lively, and challenging. Topics include energy, fluid, and nutrient needs for physical activity; nutrition around exercise (before, during, recovery); free radicals and antioxidants; dietary supplements; body composition; weight management; disordered eating; and the female athlete triad. Sport-specific nutrition strategies for endurance, team sports, and strength training are addressed. Controversial issues such as high protein-low carbohydrate diets and creatine supplementation are discussed. Internet resources are used extensively.

Assignments challenge participants to apply science-based nutrition strategies in practical situations such as case studies, classroom activities, athletic training, and client consultations. Participants demonstrate competency in the following areas: locating credible nutrition resources on the internet; accessing, analyzing, and evaluating nutrition information; and using nutrition analysis software to develop meals, snacks, and a personalized fitness menu. The course project entails selecting a dietary supplement to evaluate and investigating a claim for consuming that supplement. Published, peer-reviewed scientific literature retrieved from the National Library of Medicine databases provides the evidence needed to evaluate the claim. Participants demonstrate competency in developing a written evaluation of the safety, legality, effectiveness, quality control, and potential benefits versus risks of consuming the dietary supplement.

 

Land Resources and Environmental Sciences

LRES 557 Thermal Biology in Yellowstone National Park (Co-listed as MB 547)
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. John Peters, Departments of Chemistry & Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman
Christine Smith, Thermal Biology Institute, MSU-Bozeman

This course will provide a survey of the ecology of important organisms common in thermal habitats of Yellowstone National Park, including a review of different life forms and the physical and chemical habitats that define their environment. The course is structured to provide (1) a basic understanding of the ecology of a variety of life forms in thermal habitats, (2) a survey of observational techniques and hands-on activities appropriate for science educators, and (3) field trips to visit and characterize several geothermal habitats environments. Fundamental principles of thermal biology will be emphasized during morning lectures on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Methods of chemical, physical and biological analyses will be emphasized during the laboratory component (afternoons). Two days of field trips (Tuesday and Friday) will be used to visit, discuss, sample and characterize diverse geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park.

Course Outline:
1) Introduction: Ecology of Thermal Environments
2) Chemical and Physical Properties Important in Geothermal Systems
3) Microbial and Viral Diversity in Thermal Habitats
4) Fungi, Algae, and Plants; Eukaryotes in Thermal Environments
5) Field Experience: Observe, describe and characterize diverse geothermal environments.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Field trips will require walking distances of up to 2 miles with moderate slopes and will involve being in the field for the majority of the day. Weather may vary!

LRES 569 Ecology of Invasive Plants in the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Bruce Maxwell, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

This five day course includes 3 days in the field making measurements on exotic invasive plants at a range of sites from the Gallatin Valley to the Gallatin National Forest and 2 days analyzing the data and using simulation models to explore plant invasiveness. The focus of this course is to directly involve students with testing methodology for monitoring the invasive potential of several exotic species in otherwise pristine mountain environments.

The questions that we will examine are:

  1. Can we detect change in non-indigenous plant populations that will allow us to judge them as invasive?

  2. What should be the criteria for determining if a non-indigenous plant species can have a significant impact on the ecosystem?

  3. What should be the criteria for determining if a non-indigenous plant species can have a significant impact on the ecosystem?

Students will read the most current theories on what makes species invasive and what conditions invite or detour non-indigenous plant species. At least 1/3 of the field time will be used to discuss how these theories apply to our system.

Data analysis will place each student with a computer and include the use of Excel software. Small groups will be created and each group will analyze a different portion of the field data. Integration of field ecology into K-12 classes will be discussed throughout the course.

LRES 591 Streamside Science: Hands-On Approach
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Suzanna Carrithers Soileau, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

The primary goal of this course is to increase the water resource knowledge of students through hands-on, field-based curriculum. To accomplish this, students will be asked to adopt a local stream and perform lab assignments "in the field" to better understand hands-on water quality monitoring techniques. The course will improve the teaching skills of secondary science teachers utilizing distant delivery technologies. By completing this course, secondary science teachers will have a better understanding and hands-on working knowledge of the characterization and quantification of water quality as it relates to secondary school science curriculum and environmental issues on a global scale. Curriculum standards will be linked to each lesson plan so that teachers can easily incorporate the content into their core curriculum.

LRES 591 Twelve Principles of Soil Science
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Suzanna Carrithers Soileau, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

Playing with DIRT! At your age? Believe it or not, soil (to some known as "dirt") is part of all of our lives on a daily basis. And, as environmental issues such as water quality, waste management, ecological biodiversity, land resource carrying capacity, and alternative land uses continue to gain more attention from the public, increasing demands will be placed on earth science, physical science, geology, geography, and general science teachers for curriculum to support our understanding of these issues. Soil science is not a new science, but one that has gained much attention and interest in the past decade. And, the study of soil science has taken on new, "real-life" meaning and significance in the last decade.

The goal of this course is to introduce teachers to the basic principles of soil science as an integral part of the curriculum for environmental sciences, ecology, earth science, geology, water quality, and geography. The course is structured around twelve basic soil concepts, beginning with the significance of soil in our everyday lives and progressing through soil formation, the physical and chemical properties of soils, and the role soil and the earth play in environmental management today and in the future. This course is filled with "how to" classroom teaching opportunities and resources. A good share of the course addresses contemporary issues and readings. We'll integrate teaching DIRT with math, language arts, geography, social studies, artistic expression, chemistry, physics, and biology.

You'll learn about the soil in your own school yard or back yard, who to contact to get local "experts" and how to get your students more interested in environmental studies. This course is "hands on", participation oriented. What goes on in the DIRTY DOZEN?
• Study the significance of soil and the processes involved in soil formation and differentiation (did you know that all soils have names and identities and more than 14,000 different "soils" are recognized in the United States alone?).
• Learn how to use such readily available resources as National Geographic, Science, and other popular magazines to introduce students to soil science and develop lessons that are fun in the classroom.
• Develop better understanding of the relationship between soil and water quality, crop and vegetation management, and environmental science.

LRES 591 Water Quality
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Suzanna Carrithers Soileau, Department of Land Resources and Environmental Sciences, MSU-Bozeman

Today's science teacher faces challenges and issues, which were just beginning to gain attention 10, 15, or 20 years ago. And, teaching today's science requires both an integrated background and approach in the classroom. Water Quality: Teaching the Science of Water Quality in the classroom - is a 'must' course for teachers involved in any aspect of biological sciences. Water quality can be called an "integrating" science, in that it serves as a platform for expanded applications of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, geology, earth science, political and social sciences, and creative arts.

The Water Quality course has three central foci: 1) to increase student knowledge and assessment skills about the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of water quality investigations, 2) to develop and implement new pedagogies for teaching water quality concepts in the secondary school science classroom, and 3) increase student awareness and understanding of some of the more significant global water quality issues that will face science teachers and their students in the 21st century. This course teaches water quality concepts and how to demonstrate, explain, and teach them in the science classroom. Course format includes weekly "kitchen counter" experimentation, library and independent research, written homework, discussion.

LRES 591 Lake Ecology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Stephanie McGinnis, Department of Land Resources Environmental Science, MSU-Bozeman

Join us to learn more about the physical, chemical, and biological processes that regulate lake systems. Focus will be on secondary production, the small eukaryotes that are at the base of the food chain, and how it influences food web interactions at other tropic levels within and beyond the shores of the lake. The course will be held in the field and on the MSU campus. Teachers will conduct field research collecting eukaryotic organisms and will perform genetic analysis on collected specimens in a laboratory on the MSU campus. How to apply newly learned skills in your classroom will be an emphasis throughout the courses. Local resource managers and educators will join the class, providing a multi-disciplinary perspective. Participants should anticipate some short treks and be prepared for any type of weather while in the field.

 

Mathematics

MATH 518 Statistics for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
TBA, Department of Mathematics, MSU-Bozeman

This course will focus on the stochastic concepts that arise in mathematics and science education, including the probabilistic underpinnings of statistics, measures of central tendency, variability, correlation, distributions, sampling, simulation, and experimental design. This course will also focus on the issues of teaching statistics concepts at the pre-college level, including methods and materials.

Microbiology

MB 536 Exploring Microbiology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Barry Pyle, Department of Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman

The goals of the course are to provide science educators with fundamental knowledge of microbiology that will allow them to expand and enhance their teaching activities in this subject. Teachers will gain an appreciation of the biology of microorganisms through reading, web searches, assignments and discussions on the life and death of microorganisms, the microbial world and microorganisms in their environments. They will also learn how a fundamental knowledge and understanding of microbiology can be applied in daily life as well as in biotechnology and in studying complex issues such as the origins of life. The course will provide a sound grounding in microbiology for students who intend to take courses on infectious diseases and environmental microbiology.

MB 538 Cell and Molecular Biology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Pati Glee, Department of Microbiology,MSU-Bozeman; LigoCyte Pharmaceuticals

An inquiry-based laboratory in prokaryotic and eukaryotic cell and molecular biology, this course provides training in microbiological techniques such as:

  • recombinant DNA
  • phylogenetic analyses
  • growth & cell cycle regulation
  • gene expression
  • protein purification
  • immunoassays

Current literature and laboratory discussions cover molecular approaches for investigating complex cellular mechanisms.

MB 539 Infection and Immunity
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructor:
Dr. Elinor Pulcini, Center for Biofilm Engineering, MSU-Bozeman

The fields of infectious disease and immunology have developed side-by-side, are closely intertwined, and are very active fields of research and practical medical application. Remarkable achievements in these fields have changed our lives. Some examples are the eradication of naturally acquired smallpox, the discovery and development of antimicrobial agents, and the development of vaccines that dramatically decrease the incidence of specific infectious diseases. But new challenges appear each year. We again worry about smallpox - now about the intentional release of this and other potential agents of bioterrorism. The emergence of drug-resistant microbes is an increasing problem. Previously undiscovered infectious agents are being described and associated with disease. The population of immune deficient humans is getting larger and the associated opportunistic infections are an increasingly important and difficult problem.

In this course, we will first address some basic aspects of microbiology as they relate to infectious disease. How are microbes different from each other and from humans, and why do these differences matter? How do antimicrobial agents kill or inhibit microbes without seriously harming humans? How do microbes acquire resistance to antimicrobial agents? Attention will then turn to the immune system, with emphasis on the roles of the immune system in infectious disease. Finally, and for about two-thirds of the course, we will examine important infectious diseases of humans: their causes, pathogenesis, epidemiology, diagnosis, treatment and prevention. In addition to assigned textbook and syllabus readings and online discussion, participants in the course will analyze scientific journal articles and solve case histories involving infectious disease and immunology.

MB 540 Environmental Microbiology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring (alt yrs odd)
Instructor:
Dr. Barry Pyle, Department of Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman

The course will provide students with fundamental knowledge of environmental microbiology. Through reading assignments and discussions on freshwater, marine, food and soil microbiology, students will gain an appreciation of how microorganisms maintain the biosphere in a balanced state. Students will also learn how this fundamental knowledge of microbial ecology has been exploited by man to remediate soils contaminated with toxic wastes and waters polluted with residential, industrial and agricultural waste.

MB 541 Microbial Genetics
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring semester
Instructor:
Dr. Elinor Pulcini, Center for Biofilm Engineering, MSU-Bozeman

This course is designed to provide an understanding of the fundamentals of genetic processes in bacteria (prokaryotes). Why bacteria instead of higher organisms or eukaryotes?

1) The study of bacterial genetics has provided much of the understanding of fundamental genetic processes for all organisms, especially through the use of in vivo and in vitro genetic tools.

2) Prokaryotic genetics is somewhat simpler than eukaryotic genetics due to the organization of the cell, its genome and transfer of genetic information. However, the basic concepts such as transcription, translation, mutation, and recombination are similar if not identical in all organisms.

3) The short generation time of bacteria lends themselves to genetic studies. Bacterial genetics labs are becoming easier to use, are relatively inexpensive and provide an ideal platform for genetic studies in the secondary school setting. It is critical that science teacher, then understand the fundamental processes of genetics particularly as they apply to microorganisms.

MB 542 Microbial Ecology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring (alt yrs even)
Instructor:
Dr. Barry Pyle, Department of Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman

This course will provide students with fundamental knowledge of microbial ecology and its methods. The ecology of microorganisms in relation to nutrition, growth, control, metabolism, biogeochemical cycling, natural environments and microbial interactions will be covered. Readings from the text and other sources, discussions, and assignments will be included to facilitate learning and for evaluation. This course is intended for middle, high school, and lower level college teachers, as well as others in education roles e.g. at nature facilities such as zoological and national parks.

MB 547 Thermal Biology in Yellowstone National Park (Co-listed as LRES 557)
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructors:
Dr. John Peters, Departments of Chemistry & Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman
Christine Smith, Thermal Biology Institute, MSU-Bozeman

This course will provide a survey of the ecology of important organisms common in thermal habitats of Yellowstone National Park, including a review of different life forms and the physical and chemical habitats that define their environment. The course is structured to provide (1) a basic understanding of the ecology of a variety of life forms in thermal habitats, (2) a survey of observational techniques and hands-on activities appropriate for science educators, and (3) field trips to visit and characterize several geothermal habitats environments. Fundamental principles of thermal biology will be emphasized during morning lectures on Monday, Wednesday and Thursday. Methods of chemical, physical and biological analyses will be emphasized during the laboratory component (afternoons). Two days of field trips (Tuesday and Friday) will be used to visit, discuss, sample and characterize diverse geothermal habitats in Yellowstone National Park.

MB 591 Biofilms: The Biodiversity of Slime
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall
Instructor:
Dr. Elinor Pulcini, Department of Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman

This course will explore the biodiversity of microbial communities present in environmental and medical biofilms using an inquiry based approach. Biofilms have been found to have tremendous impact in industry and in medicine. The biofilm lifestyle is now regarded to be the predominant life form for the majority of microorganisms in the environment.  More recently, the impact of bacterial biofilms in medicine has been recognized in such areas as antibiotic resistance and chronic infection. In this course, emphasis will be placed on the ramifications of bacterial biofilms in both environmental and medical settings as well as advances in the techniques to study biofilms. A review of current literature will examine topics relevant to the study of biofilms including cell-cell communication, extracellular polymer production, and antimicrobial resistance.

MB 591 Current Topics in Microbiology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Elinor Pulcini, Department of Microbiology, MSU-Bozeman

This course will provide an inquiry based examination of current microbiology related topics. Topics may vary from semester to semester and will be selected by the assessment of what is considered “newsworthy.”  Topics could include but not be limited to hospital acquired and community acquired infections, antibiotic resistance, immunizations, food safety and drinking water. Emphasis will be placed on the ramifications of issues with respect to industry, medicine, and personal health. A review of literature will provide background information for the topics in order to provide teachers sufficient and correct information to hold discussions regarding these topics in their classrooms. The goal of this course is to provide a rigorous examination of these topics for students in the Masters of Science in Science Education (MSSE) Program.

 

Physics

PHSX 401 Physics by Inquiry I
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Greg Francis, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Physics 401 is entirely laboratory based. Instead of absorbing facts from a lecture, the students make observations and build scientific models to account for their observations. The course emphasizes the development of basic concepts and reasoning skills, and efforts are made to actively engage students in the learning process. Staff-to-student ratio is of necessity high (two instructors for approximately 20 students), and interactions with staff are through Socratic dialog: the instructors do not give answers, but help the students to find their own. Available computer technology is utilized as appropriate.

Physics 401 will begin with a series of activities/observations that will lead to the development of a scientific model for DC electric circuits. The students will be able to solve both qualitative and quantitative problems involving very complicated circuits containing batteries and bulbs. For example, they will be able to rank the brightness of the identical bulbs without relying on the rote use of equations.

The in-service teachers will also use shadow plots to develop a model for the relative motion of the earth and sun during the course of the semester. They will also make careful observations of the moon, and from their observations piece together a model to explain the phases of the moon.

The curriculum used will be the Physics by Inquiry modules developed by the Physics Education Group at University of Washington. This curriculum is based on two decades of research on student misconceptions. Each activity is designed to elicit those misconceptions known to block learning, and to allow the student to confront and resolve the difficulties. Students are often presented with several opportunities to confront the same misconception in increasingly rich contexts to insure that they are completely free of the misconception. This teaching approach has a three-fold advantage when used with future teachers: 1) They come away from the class with a clear understanding of the physics based on their own experience; 2) They acquire an awareness of those difficulties with which their future students are likely to be struggling; 3) Most importantly, they acquire a self-confidence in their ability to do science, to face unknown situations and find their own answers. Their teaching will be free of references to higher authority. They will be able to predict the time of the high tide (a skill more useful in other states) by looking at the phase of the moon and using their model. And it will be their model because they will build it for themselves, from the ground up.

PHSX 402 Physics by Inquiry II
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternates with PHYS 404
Instructor:
Dr. Greg Francis, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Physics 402 is a continuation of the Physics 401 experience. Physics 402 is entirely laboratory based. Instead of absorbing facts from a lecture, the students make observations and build scientific models to account for their observations. The course emphasizes the development of basic concepts and reasoning skills, and efforts are made to actively engage students in the learning process. Staff-to-student ratio is of necessity high (two instructors for approximately 20 students), and interactions with staff are through Socratic dialog: the instructors do not give answers, but help the students to find their own. Available computer technology is utilized as appropriate.

The course will begin with a careful investigation of light, color, and geometrical optics. The study of optics will lead to an understanding of pinhole cameras, lenses, and prisms. We will then explore the differences between the concepts of heat and temperature. This will include a study of heat capacity, specific heat, phase change, and heat transfer. The in-service teachers will also use shadow plots to develop a model for the relative motion of the earth and sun during the course of the term.
The curriculum used will be the Physics by Inquiry modules developed by the Physics Education Group at University of Washington. This curriculum is based on two decades of research on student misconceptions. Each activity is designed to elicit those misconceptions known to block learning, and to allow the student to confront and resolve the difficulties. Students are often presented with several opportunities to confront the same misconception in increasingly rich contexts to insure that they are completely free of the misconception. This teaching approach has a three-fold advantage when used with future teachers: 1) They come away from the class with a clear understanding of the physics based on their own experience; 2) They acquire an awareness of those difficulties with which their future students are likely to be struggling; 3) Most importantly, they acquire a self-confidence in their ability to do science, to face unknown situations and find their own answers. Their teaching will be free of references to higher authority. They will be able to say “I know that the acceleration is constant on a sloped incline because I measured it.” They will be able to predict the time of the high tide (a skill more useful in other states) by looking at the phase of the moon and using their model. And it will be their model because they will build it for themselves, from the ground up.

Physics 401 is either a prerequisite or a co-requisite for Physics 402.

PHSX 403 Physics by Inquiry III
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternates with PHYS 402
Instructor:
Dr. Greg Francis, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Physics 403 is a continuation of the Physics 401 experience, but it may also be taken concurrently with Physics 401. The course will begin with a careful investigation of geometrical optics, leading to an understanding of pinhole cameras, lenses, and prisms. This will be followed by an exploration of magnetic interactions and magnetic materials.

The curriculum used will be the Physics by Inquiry modules developed by the Physics Education Group at University of Washington. This curriculum is based on two decades of research on student misconceptions. Each activity is designed to elicit those misconceptions known to block learning, and to allow the student to confront and resolve the difficulties.

Physics 401 is either a prerequisite or a co-requisite for Physics 404.

PHSX 405 Special Relativity
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Nora Thornber, Department of Physics, Raritan Valley Community College, NJ

This course seeks answers to the questions: In what ways does Nature behave differently at high relative speeds than at low speeds? Do moving clocks really "run slow"? Do fast-moving objects really shrink and get heavier? Why can't we move faster than light? Why can't we travel backward in time? Can mass really be converted into energy and energy into mass? What does it mean to say that space and time are part of a larger unity called spacetime? And what predictions do all these statements make for actual experiments? Developing skills in answering these questions will help you to pose and answer your own questions, assisted by interactive visual computer software.

PHSX 491 Conceptual Physics
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Robert Wilson, Department of Physics, San Bernadino Valley College, CA

This course describes the workings of the world around us. The everyday: how a ball moves when it is thrown, the forces you feel on a roller-coaster, what happens when you turn on a light switch; and the esoteric: time and space from the perspective of Einstein's relativity, the basic structure of atoms and nuclei. The course is mostly at the conceptual level, with some simple algebraic problem solving. A unique feature of the class is a series of at-home experiments using simple materials to illustrate some basic ideas of physics.

PHSX 511 Astronomy for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Tim Slater, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

As a fundamental science, astronomy is the study of the motions in the sky, the formation of planets, the evolution of stars, and the origin of galaxies. This course, specially designed for practicing science teachers at the middle and high school levels, serves as a survey of topics in astronomy. The topics are closely aligned with the concepts emphasized in the NRC National Science Education Standards and the instructional strategy uses electronic collaborative group discussions in concert with hands-on laboratories and activities that use NASA data easily accessed via the Internet.

PHSX 512 General Relativity On-line
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Nora Thornber, Department of Mathematics, Raritan Valley Community College, NJ

• How long do you live after you fall through the horizon of a black hole?
• Can you detect the moment at which you cross the horizon?
• As you float comfortably inward, can you see the starry heavens?
• Receive messages and packages from your friend on the outside?
• Why can't you send messages to your friends on the outside?
• Can you tell when you are approaching the center?
• How quickly will it be over at the central crunch point?

You can answer these questions for yourself with calculus, starting from a simple formula, the "metric", for the black hole. In fact, with the metric you can answer every possible (non quantum) scientific question about spacetime surrounding the black hole. You can also answer every possible question about trajectories of light and satellites around the black hole as well as around familiar centers of gravitational attraction such as Earth and Sun.

The metric for the even more interesting rotating black hole may tell us about quasars, the most powerful steady energy sources in the universe. Where do quasars get their power? Is falling into a rotating black hole an experience different from plunging into a static black hole? Ask the metric!

SYLLABUS: The course begins by examining the idea of spacetime curvature and the Schwarzschild metric for a non-rotating black hole. From the metric springs energy as a constant of the motion of radially plunging observers. More general orbits follow after the metric also predicts that angular momentum is a second constant of the motion. Trajectories of light reveal what one will SEE as one stands, falls, or orbits in the vicinity of a black hole. The last part of the course is a series of student projects examining life inside the horizon of a black hole, the spacetime around a rotating black hole, and a simple model of the cosmos as a whole.

PHSX 513 Demystifying Quantum Mechanics
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Rongmei (Ruth) Chien, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Can quantum mechanics be made SIMPLE? What lies behind wave functions, wave equations, and atomic structure? How is the sub-microscopic world really put together?

In his popular little book, QED, The Strange Theory of Light and Matter, Richard Feynman reduces the rules of quantum mechanics to a simple command for the electron and the photon: Explore all paths. In 1948 Feynman proved that this command leads to all the same results as the usual wave mechanics.

Our course studies the command "Explore all paths" and its consequences. Using hands-on software, you interact with animated illustrations from Feynman's book. On-line, you discuss with other participants the deep paradoxes of quantum mechanics. But deep does not mean mathematical: NO EQUATIONS until one-third of the way through the course. Then the quantum wave function emerges as a natural consequence of the command "Explore all paths." It accounts for the smoothness of a friend's skin and the gold of sunset.

Some comments from students during previous semesters:

The reading was incredible...I really get a kick out of Feynman's totally off-wall way of describing this stuff...Truly a ground-breaker!...He brings up some REALLY interesting ideas that I am excited to discuss with the rest of the class...Feynman does a great job of explaining a post graduate physics topic in nearly everyday language...I enjoy reading him because he seems so honest about what he (and everyone else) does not know...Man, it made me feel good to read that Feynman couldn't understand this stuff either...I was very pleased to have Feynman tell us that what we will learn is absurd.

This course is pretty addictive! I find myself constantly thinking of the concepts presented in the reading as well as the items brought up (in the on-line discussion)...I find it similar to a good novel. Hard to put down or out of my mind...I am learning SO MUCH from all of you. That's one of this course format's strongest features...I'm learning twice as much as I ever hoped to, and we have just scratched the surface...I got an A in my intro qm class without having even a fraction of the understanding I have now...I find the power of this weekly conferencing unmatched by any course or book I have read. This medium allows us all to resonate and reflect our views of Physics.

As I breeze through Feynman, it occurs to me that the reading is easy because of the software simulations we have run...It is very nice to have these computer programs to "experiment" with...This all makes so much more sense now, and I owe a large part of that to the software.

PHSX 514 Comparative Planetology
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Elizabeth Roettger, Astronomy Education Consultant, Ed-Ventures, Chicago, IL

As viewed by the modern astronomer, the Solar System is more than 70 diverse worlds interacting as a dynamic system. This online course for K-12 in-service teachers focuses on fundamental questions driving NASA's exploration of the Solar System: How did it form? What's in it? How is it arranged? What does the study of other worlds (planets, moons, asteroids, and comets) teach us about our own? How do we learn about other worlds? How are these worlds similar and different? How do they interact, forming mini-systems within the Solar System? What are their surfaces, atmospheres, and interiors like, and how do we know? By taking advantage of NASA's virtual presence in the Solar System, course participants conduct individual investigations and explore how K-12 students can use similar tools to conduct authentic scientific inquiries. Course participants learn how to integrate NASA products (online images, imaging software, and other resources) effectively in the classroom. Study Guide from previous semester is online and available (btc.montana.edu/ceres/worlds/guide.html). Sponsored by Montana State University NASA CERES Project.

PHSX 582 Astrobiology for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor:
Dr. Tim Slater, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

The Invisible Universe Online: The Search for Astronomical Origins for Teachers covers the long chain of events from the birth of the universe in the Big Bang, through the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets by focusing on the scientific questions, technological challenges, and space missions pursing the search for origins in alignment with the goals and emphasis of the National Science Education Standards.
Course Goals:
• Develop scientific background knowledge of astronomical objects and phenomena with peak emissions outside of the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum
• Understand contemporary scientific research questions related to understanding:
• How galaxies formed in the early universe
• How stars and planetary systems form and evolve
• Describe strategies and technologies for using non-visible wavelengths of EM radiation to study various phenomena
• Integrate the related issues of astronomical science, technology, societal issues, and career guidance for classroom teaching
• Develop specific strategies for implementing concepts in the National Science Education Standards related to "invisible" astronomy and the search for astronomical origins
The topics are closely aligned with the concepts emphasized in the NRC National Science Education Standards and the instructional strategy uses electronic collaborative group discussions in concert with hands-on laboratories and activities that use NASA data easily accessed via the Internet.

PHSX 583 The Invisible Universe: The Search for Astronomical Origins
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: Fall & Spring
Instructor:
Dr. Tim Slater, Department of Astronomy, University of Arizona, Tucson, AZ

The Invisible Universe Online: The Search for Astronomical Origins for Teachers covers the long chain of events from the birth of the universe in the Big Bang, through the formation of galaxies, stars, and planets by focusing on the scientific questions, technological challenges, and space missions pursing the search for origins in alignment with the goals and emphasis of the National Science Education Standards.
Course Goals:
• Develop scientific background knowledge of astronomical objects and phenomena with peak emissions outside of the visible region of the electromagnetic spectrum
• Understand contemporary scientific research questions related to understanding:
• How galaxies formed in the early universe
• How stars and planetary systems form and evolve
• Describe strategies and technologies for using non-visible wavelengths of EM radiation to study various phenomena
• Integrate the related issues of astronomical science, technology, societal issues, and career guidance for classroom teaching
• Develop specific strategies for implementing concepts in the National Science Education Standards related to "invisible" astronomy and the search for astronomical origins

The topics are closely aligned with the concepts emphasized in the NRC National Science Education Standards and the instructional strategy uses electronic collaborative group discussions in concert with hands-on laboratories and activities that use NASA data easily accessed via the Internet.

PHSX 591 Night and Day Sky
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus and Online (Hybrid course)
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Dr. Jeff Adams, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman
Paul Robinson, IPSE Department, MSU-Bozeman

The course is designed to provide graduate students in science education with a background in basic observational astronomy. Specifically, by completion of the course, students will be able to perform naked-eye and telescopic observations of the Sun, Moon, stars, and planets. Students will demonstrate an understanding in the conceptual background and theory that underlies the motions and appearances of objects in the day and nighttime sky. Students will demonstrate proficiency with standard telescopes, software and demonstration equipment used in the teaching of observational astronomy. Additionally, students will demonstrate familiarity with common misconceptions and naive conceptions encountered by K-16 students within the topics covered in the course.

PHSX 591 Particle Physics for Teachers
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA
Instructor: TBA

Elementary particle physics is the realm in which the nonintuitive fields of special relativity and quantum mechanics are most clearly manifest. As such, it is an endless source of fascination and intrigue as well as the study of nature at its most fundamental level. This challenging course will present a survey of our current understanding of the field, with an emphasis on the current "Standard Model" of particle interactions and the physical evidence supporting this model. The course will focus on concepts, but some ideas may be enriched with basic differential calculus. The course will include:
• Review of Quantum Mechanics and Special Relativity
• The Four Fundamental Interactions
• Quarks and Quantum Chromodynamics
• Current Research in Particle Physics

PHSX 591 Space Based Observatories
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA

During this online course, participants will complete a series of online units centered on astronomy to build core knowledge that can be incorporated into the classroom. Students will develop an understanding of how scientists develop theories of the universe by making sense of observational evidence. Specific attention will be given to the use of space-based observatories, including NASA’s “Great Observatories” project and the Kepler Telescope. Students will learn about the nature of science inquiry as they explore topics in cosmology and extra-solar planets and systems. As this course is intended for classroom teachers, instruction will place an emphasis on creating classroom materials appropriate for secondary science classrooms and consistent with the National Science Education Standards.

Objectives - Students who successfully complete this course will be able to do the following:

  • Describe the necessity of space-based observatories.
  • Discuss historically significant discoveries made possible by space-based observatories.
  • Provide an overview of the Big Bang theory and key supporting evidence.
  • Explain the various processes used in planet hunting.
  • Evaluate the potential of finding terrestrial planets in the future.
  • Describe future technologies and their possible impact on space based astronomy.

PHSX 591 Teaching Electricity and Magnetism Using Research-Based Curriculum
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (odd)
Instructor:
Dr. Greg Francis, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

Many science teachers feel more comfortable teaching mechanics than the more abstract concepts of electricity and magnetism. This is unfortunate, as the application of these principles can be so much more exciting that the block-down-the-inclined-plane types of problems treated in mechanics. Students can be taught how to wire their own home or build electric motors.

This five-day course uses essentially the same mode as in "Teaching Mechanics Using Research-Based Curriculum", except that the topics covered will come from the second semester of the typical introductory physics sequence. Participants will learn how to teach an integrated course built around Tutorials in Introductory Physics (McDermott, et al.). This research-based curriculum challenges students to confront their misconceptions and build gut-level models of the key concepts of electricity and magnetism. The course will showcase both the student-centered tutorial instruction and the supporting active-engagement PowerPoint lectures. We will also review the physics education research literature that provides the foundation for these curricular materials.

Participants will receive 70 PowerPoint lectures, each with its own description and learning outcomes, designed to engage the students in active learning and provide the necessary links to the Tutorial experience. A complete description of supporting demonstrations will also be provided. Finally, participants will receive a large bank of research-based homework and exam questions designed specifically to elicit the common misconceptions addressed in the Tutorials.

Instructor: Dr. Francis is the director of the Conceptual Astronomy and Physics Education Research (CAPER) Team in the Department of Physics at Montana State University, where he teaches algebra-based physics in classes of up to 210 students per section. Over the last several years, he has developed a relatively low-budget, high-impact program of physics instruction that is producing gains on the Force Concept Inventory (a widely used test of conceptual understanding in basic mechanics) that are as good or better than lab-based programs that, by their design, require resources that are simply not available to many physics instructors. In addition, a study demonstrating a high long-term retention rate (“Do They Stay Fixed?” The Physics Teacher, 36(8), p. 488 (1998).) suggests that the program is doing much more than training them to give the right answers—it is changing their world view.

PHSX 591 Teaching Mechanics Using Reserach-Based Curriculum
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer alternate years (even)
Instructors:
Dr. Greg Francis, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman
Dr. Jeff Adams, Department of Physics, MSU-Bozeman

The goal of this five-day course is to prepare participants to teach an mechanics integrated course built around Tutorials in Introductory Physics (McDermott, et al.). This research-based curriculum was designed to be used in recitations to augment traditional lecture courses operating essentially independent of the lecture. As a test site for this curriculum, Francis has taken the next step by totally redesigning his courses so that the lectures in fact serve to supplement the tutorials. The course will model both the student-centered tutorial instruction and the supporting active-engagement lectures for a selection of topics from the first semester of the two-semester sequence. A special emphasis will be placed upon training of peer-instructors for the effective use of the Tutorials. Participants will receive 70 PowerPoint lectures, each with its own description and learning outcomes, designed to engage the students in active learning and provide the necessary links to the Tutorial experience. A complete description of supporting demonstrations will also be provided. Finally, participants will receive a large bank of research-based homework and exam questions designed specifically to elicit the common misconceptions addressed in the Tutorials.

PHSX 591 Using Robotics in Lunar Expeditions
Credit:
3
Mode of Delivery: Online
Semester Offered: TBA

This course will introduce students to the fundamentals of unmanned exploration of the lunar surface using autonomous robots. The course will begin with an introduction to past, current, and planned techniques for lunar exploration and the application of robotics to this field. The course will then introduce the students to the building blocks of robotics including locomotion, computer system functionality, sensors, and autonomous decision making. The course will culminate in a final project in which the students will design a robot to accomplish an autonomous task. The robotics platform that will be used in this class is the LEGO® MINDSTORM® NXT Educational Kit. The target audience for this course is K-12 math and science teachers who wish to incorporate robotics learning modules into their classroom for the purpose of promoting the opportunities in the science and technology field. Students taking this course will be provided with enough background to assemble a team of students who will participate in the annual First Lego League robotics competition held at Montana State University in January.

 

Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology

PSPP 548 Flowering Plants of the Northern Rocky Mountains
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Robyn Klein, Department of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology, MSU-Bozeman

A field oriented study of the flowering plants of Montana with an emphasis on plant keying skills. Objectives are 1) to identify the parts of flowering plants and become familiar with botanical terms, 2) to learn morphological characteristics of common plant families, 3) to learn how to use a plant key to successfully identify flowering plants, 4) to apply plant identification skills to the classroom. Discussion will emphasize application of these skills and botanical texts to the classroom.

Physical Fitness Requirement: Field trips require walking up to 2 miles on moderate slopes.

PSPP 591 Plants, People, and Health
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Robyn Klein, Department of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology, MSU-Bozeman

This interdisciplinary course investigates how plants and people intersect, with a focus on the current popular and scientific interest in using plants and their compounds for health and medicine. The subject will be applied to ethnobotany, botany, and phytochemistry. Enhancing the links between the natural world and the classroom can bring meaning to all the science and instill an interest in the investigation of plants and their uses. The course will have the following components:

  1. Application to Ethnobotany: relationships between people, flora, and environment.

  2. Application to Botany: plant defense, co-evolution, chemical communication.

  3. Application to Phytochemistry: plant biosynthetic pathways for secondary compounds and classes of plant compounds.

  4. Application to Chemistry: making herbal products from plant material.

Laboratory: The last day will be spent with hands-on experience making some herbal products to enhance the learning opportunity.

PSPP 591 Biomimicry: The Technology of Biology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Robyn Klein, Department of Plant Sciences & Plant Pathology, MSU-Bozeman

Grades 7-12 teachers will:

a.  Practice biomimicry, a design tool that can be used to inspire technological innovation and bring relevancy to science curriculums.
b.  Learn how biology can inform design for diverse industry disciplines such as engineering, architecture, chemical products, land management and communications.
c.  Apply these skills to biology, chemistry and physics science courses for grades 7 to 12.

Skills needed for this course:

A sense of adventure and wonder
A love of nature
An ability to cooperate with a group
An appreciation of patterns and beauty
A willingness to step out of your comfort zone

 

Range Science

ARNR 529 Yellowstone Wildlife Habitat Ecology
Credit:
2
Mode of Delivery: Campus
Semester Offered: Summer
Instructor:
Carl Wambolt, Department of Animal and Range Science, MSU-Bozeman

This course will describe the native communities of the internationally prominent northern Yellowstone winter range for wild ungulates. The ecology of many organisms, both plant and animal will be studied. Plant identification skills will be incorporated with an emphasis on the recognition of the northern range’s flora and its importance as wildlife habitat. Ecosystem interrelationships will form the basis for understanding the ecology of the range and interpreting the consequences of management alternatives. The course will have the following components:

1) Plant geography of the region and northern Yellowstone winter range (NYWR).
2) Taxonomic principles and identification of important plants on the NYWR.
3) Ecology of plants and wildlife of the NYWR.
4) Ungulate ecology as influenced by Yellowstone National Park.
5) Diets, foraging habits, and nutrition of wild ungulates.
6) Habitat types and their interaction with wildlife.
7) Fire ecology in the region and NYWR.
8) Community successional trends in the region and NYWR.
9) Herbivory on the NYWR.
10) Evolution of policy regarding the region and NYWR.

 

Courses for Elementary Teachers

Elementary Education

BIOL 591 Plant Science: It Grows on You
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

This course will look at familiar seeds and their early growth into seedlings (with experimentation with the seedlings). You will  grow the little mustard known as Brassica, the Wisconsin Fast Plant. It is called the fast plant because it goes from seed to seedling to mature plant with flowers and fruits, and back to seed, in six weeks. In order to get the plant to grow satisfactorily, you must have a grow-light (shipped as part of your  materials) that can be on 24/7 (24 hours a day all week) for the entire six weeks, and you must get the seeds planted on Day 0 (January 29).
The goals of this course are to...

  • Watch seeds germinate
  • Learn about uptake of water in seeds
  • Think about seeds as food
  • Observe how plants respond to gravity
  • Learn the parts of a flower
  • Act like a pollinating bee
  • Watch a flower part turn into fruit with seeds

You will keep journals with growth data, answer questions from the instructor based on your journals and the manual, and participate in discussions. If you are already familiar with Wisconsin Fast Plants, you can either participate in this class with more experimentation with your plants.

ERTH 591 Elementary Weather
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

In this six week online course we will take a look at learning weather concepts and how to incorporate them into the elementary classroom using hands-on activities. Observing weather patterns from the past, present and future is easy and fun! The principles you learn will apply to air pollution, crop selection and forecasting.

The goals of this course are to…

  • Identify the parts that compose the atmosphere
  • Count time and space coordinates
  • Identify weather elements and icons
  • Analyze and read weather maps
  • Uncover the importance of temperature
  • Use pressure scales to enhance understanding of barometry, density and buoyancy
  • Evaluate pressure patterns in storms
  • Identify cloud types and their formations
  • Describe humidity as related to precipitation and dew point
  • Measure and observe wind
  • Evaluate wind patterns in storms
  • Incorporate a Native American perspective on Weather Science

ERTH 591 Landforms for Elementary Teachers
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

In this online course we will investigate landform science. Observing landforms and how they change is fun! We will look at a variety of landscapes and how they came to look like they do. We will model landforms and encourage sharing and discussions of teaching ideas in our course. The principles you learn will increase your confidence in teaching science in general as well as landforms in particular.

The goals of this course are to...

  • Introduce concepts of structure, process and time
  • Review the battle between living and non-living forces and the relationship it has to landforms
  • Model and represent landforms using resources such as remote sensing, maps, physical models and math models
  • Uncover the importance of orders of landforms
  • Distinguish between continent and ocean basin movement versus minor slope elements
  • Compare and contrast varying degrees of arid regions
  • Classify volcanic landforms by their composition
  • Compare and contrast varying degrees of water erosion regions
  • Identify landscapes formed by landslides and glaciers
  • Incorporate a Native American perspective on Landform Science

ENTO 591 The Fascinating Bug: Learning About Insects Through Observations
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

This course, co-taught by a Smithsonian science consultant and an award-winning nonfiction children's book illustrator, is designed to launch you into the intriguing world of entomology. Our central goal is to introduce you and your students to the excitement of hands-on, inquiry based learning. Through activities, investigations, readings and discussion groups, you will learn about insects in general and one species in particular. A starter kit of "safe, fascinating, classroom-friendly and easy-to-maintain" live bugs will be sent to you as part of the course.

Our methodology is based on the premise that close observation, followed by careful drawing, writing and further observation, build the essential skills of science. NOTE: your drawings will be based on accuracy and attention to detail, NOT "artistic ability".

In this course you will:

  • Identify the basic needs of insects through observation and inquiry.
  • Learn about the anatomy of insects through drawing and labeling.
  • Observe the life cycle of your insects and learn to describe it using scientific terminology.
  • Investigate and write about common behaviors of your insects.
  • Incorporate a Native American perspective on Insect Science.

LRES 591 The Dirt on Soil Science
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

This is an exciting 6-week online course, directed toward K-6 elementary school teachers who want to understand the science of "dirt." This includes conversing with your instructor and classmates in weekly online discussions. The focus will be on basic soil physical properties and processes.

The specific goals of this course are:

  • Expand your understanding of the concepts of soil science and use soil as a platform to teach other science disciplines.
  • Gain understanding of how soil is formed.
  • Begin to understand your local soil/ landscape interactions.
  • Getting dirty while discovering different soil textures.
  • Gain understanding of soil and water relationships.
  • Gain understanding of the biology of soil.
  • Study how children's concepts of soil and land resources are developed in the classroom setting.
  • Strengthen skills in teaching basic soil science concepts, engaging students, and responding to student needs in the classroom
  • Incorporate a Native American perspective on teaching activities and lessons in soil science and land resources.
  • Develop our own professional community of course participants, sharing teaching ideas, expertise and experience.

PHSX 591 Electricity
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

In this six week online course we will get you acquainted with the basic concepts of electricity. The course will give you the information you need to successfully integrate the study of electricity into your own class. Electricity is related to energy, and this is where we start the course. The central topic is electric circuits. We wrap up the class by taking a brief look at the connection between electricity and magnetism. Participation in online discussions, laboratory work, journaling, homework and collaboration between participants and instructor are necessary components to succeeding. I hope you enjoy this exciting journey through the world of electricity!

The goals of this course are to...

  • Review and reemphasize the concept of energy
  • Define charge, electric force and potential
  • Explore bulbs, conductors and insulators
  • Conduct experiments with circuits, both series and parallel
  • Identify generation and redistribution of household electricity
  • Define magnetism
  • Utilize resources to make an electromagnet
  • Incorporate a Native American perspective on Electrical Science

PHSX 591 Teaching & Learning in Science: Elementary Space Science
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

The Sun rises, the Sun sets. There must be more to life than that.

There is. The patterns of day and night - of the Sun, Moon, planets, and stars - are complex and wonderful. Some are very easy to figure out if you have the right tools; others take a bit of practice. All can be studied at different levels, and so can be used for different grade levels and for the focus of scientific inquiry.

This course is intended for elementary school teachers who use hands-on curricula. The topics include the Moon and lunar phases, patterns and changes in the night sky, the Sun’s appearance over the day and over the year at different locations on Earth, and some keys to understanding the surface patterns of planets and other worlds in our Solar System. Throughout the course are ways of learning about student ideas, limitations, and misconceptions. Each week, participants work through a selection of activities and contribute to asynchronous online discussions. The available activities focus on each week’s topic, but each participant is encouraged to choose activities that will best contribute to her or his own learning and teaching needs. Many of the activities parallel student activities in popular space science curriculum kits, though most are geared for adult learners. At the same time, participants experience a long-term observation-based inquiry. Discussions provide a way for participants to learn about a wide assortment of activities, exchange tips and ideas, and bounce thoughts and questions off colleagues as they work through their own understandings.

Participants examine and deepen their own understanding of space science, uncover and correct misunderstandings, and explore different ways of learning particular topics. In doing so, participants gain skills to support inquiry-based learning and guided kit use among their students. Resources include a Teacher’s Guide, star wheel, and access to templates participants and their students can use to make tools to understand space science. Internet resources are used throughout the course. Activities use household materials.

PHSX 591 The Science of Sound
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

In this exciting six week online course we will investigate principles of Sound. Conducting and observing hands-on, “ears-on” science is easy and fun! You will record the principles you learn in a science notebook and share your investigations with other teachers through collaborative assignments and weekly discussions. This is a course that allows you to play as you learn. By participating in this course, you will...

  • Have a clearer conceptual understanding of how sound works and what it is.
  • Know how to examine sounds by looking at the whole "sound system" (force vibration, medium, receiver).
  • Learn about sound energy and how it moves through a medium.
  • Examine how the properties of materials affect the sounds you hear.
  • Learn about ears and how they work.
  • Experience the true Scientific Method and collaboration.

This is a conceptual physics course that is designed especially for Elementary teachers with little or no formal training in science. Teachers with significant previous experience teaching physical science are welcome, but are encouraged to contact NTEN for more information.

PHSX 591 The World of Forces
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

This 1-credit course is designed for 4-8 grade teachers who are exploring the concepts of forces in their classrooms. Its broad purpose is to introduce elementary and middle school teachers to core ideas about forces, as they relate to modern hands-on, inquiry-oriented science curricular materials. The course aims to help teachers use such materials more effectively by increasing their understanding of physics concepts, especially as those concepts may emerge in a classroom engaged in hands-on active learning. It is not a course in how to use a particular curriculum. The goals of this course are to...

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the concept of force and the different kinds of force
  • Develop expertise in representing forces with free-body diagrams
  • Gain a thorough understanding of the relationship between forces and Newton's three laws of motion
  • Understand how forces determine the conditions for balancing
  • Learn how forces explain the operation of simple machines such as pulleys and levers
  • Study how children's concepts of force, torque, and work are developed in classroom settings
  • Become more effective users of inquiry-based curricular materials in teaching about forces
  • Develop your own professional community of course participants, with whom you can share teaching ideas, expertise, and experience.

PHSX 591 The World of Motion
Credit:
1
Mode of Delivery: Online

In this fast-moving six-week course, we will focus on the fascinating concepts of measurement and motion, and how they relate to hands-on physical science in the elementary classroom.

The goals of this course are to…

  • Gain a thorough understanding of the concepts of velocity and acceleration, central to a description of motion
  • Learn how to describe motion graphically and using data tables
  • Study how children’s concepts of motion are developed in the classroom setting
  • Become more effective users of inquiry-based curricular materials in teaching about motion
  • Learn about supplementary materials that help connect motion concepts to Native American cultures and communities
  • Develop our own professional community of course participants, sharing teaching ideas, expertise and experience

 



*Campus - course offered on-campus during a summer session
**Distance - distance delivery course offered by asynchronous, computer-mediated communication