mountains and river

Earth Science topics at the interface of human society

Understanding of Earth Surface Processes is critical to sustainable decision making at local to global scales. 


The Next Generation Science Standards (NRC 2012) dramatically increased the importance of Earth Sciences in K-12 education, also creating significant professional development needs for in-school teachers to overcome educator barriers and develop or adapt curriculum. Out-of-school programs also play a critical role in STEM training, though they often lack assessment and outcomes linked to science standards. The need for subject matter training and educational resources is especially important in the Earth Sciences, which has been referred to as the "poor cousin of STEM programs".


The resources and courses linked on this website are designed to increase knowledge about Earth surface processes. The content you will find within is focused on soil, slope, and stream processes that shape our land surface and impact human lives. 

Course Series

This three-course series is designed for educators from diverse backgrounds, including those at the K-12 level, instructors at nonprofit organizations, staff and administrators of after-school and outdoor programs, and others who want to teach and/or learn more about Earth surface processes.

Participants can earn Montana Office of Public Instruction (OPI) credits and will be issued a digital badge by completion of all three courses. 

Did you miss the original enrollment? All course-one content including the video recordings is open access and freely available on the Video Series page

Soils, Slopes and Streams 1: Content Knowledge

Course One is asynchronous and delivered using video recordings and quizzes. The course will be open and freely available after August 2, 2021. Content is self-paced, and is free and available to all. 

Soils, Slopes and Streams 2: Pedagogy

Course Two runs August 16 - September 14, 2021 and will focus on integrating content with pedagogy through coursework and reflections. This course is self-paced and contains approximately four hours of content to be delivered via MSU’s online learning management system Brightspace (D2L). The fee is $25, and “Soils, Slopes and Streams 1: Content Knowledge” is a prerequisite. 

Soils, Slopes and Streams 3: Workshop

Course Three runs September 13-24, 2021 and will guide participants through developing course-related teaching activities during four interactive class sessions. This course will be delivered via Brightspace (D2L). Participants should plan for two to three hours of reading and preparation in total for the live sessions. The fee is $145, and a $25 discount is applied when the code "STREAM" is entered at registration. “Soils, Slopes and Streams 1: Content Knowledge” and “Soils, Slopes and Streams 2: Pedagogy” are prerequisites. Participants who complete the three part series of courses can earn Montana Office of Public Instruction units and a digital badge. 



Support and Funding

The content and courses provided here were developed with financial support from Academic Technology and Outreach at Montana State University and by the National Science Foundation under grant no. GLD-1644624. 

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