Montana State University

LRES 591-801: Water Quality in the Classroom: A Characterization of the Science and Issues

The Office of Continuing Education at Extended University offers both face-to-face and online learning opportunities:

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Jan 25-Apr 22, 2016
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Suzanna Soileau

Course Description

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 in the Classroom - A Characterization of the Science and Issues - is a 'must' course for teachers involved in any aspect of biological sciences. Water quality can be called an "integrating" science, serving as a platform for expanded applications of chemistry, physics, biology, mathematics, geology, earth science, political and social sciences, and creative arts.

The Water Quality in the Classroom course has three central foci:
  • To increase teacher knowledge and assessment skills about the physical, chemical, and biological aspects of water quality investigations,
  • To help teachers develop and implement new pedagogies for teaching water quality concepts in the secondary school science classroom, and
  • Increase teacher 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 15-week course teaches water quality concepts and how to demonstrate, explain, and teach them in the science classroom. The course format includes weekly "kitchen counter" experimentation, library and independent research, written homework, and discussion.

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers log into the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week and spend approximately 9 - 12 hours each week while the course is in session, either online or offline working on course related assignments, to stay current and successfully complete this 3 credit graduate course. This time estimate WILL VARY dependent on the student's online experience and/or comfort with the content.


Suzanna Soileau, ME. Suzanna spent seven years as the Education Coordinator and Water Quality Research Associate for the Montana State University Extension Water Quality Program. She is currently an Outreach Physical Scientist with the USGS Northern Rocky Mountain Science Center in Bozeman, Montana. The primary focus of her work is in relaying technical scientific information in a manner that enables non-science audiences to gain sound, science-based knowledge, as well as develop and deliver online water quality and soil science courses for teachers and professional practitioners. Suzanna received her bachelor's degree in Earth Sciences at DePauw University in Greencastle, Indiana and her master's degree in Education at MSU.


Bachelor's degree, two years of experience teaching science at the secondary level and completion of a science education methods course.

Target Audience

This course is designed for secondary earth science, physical science, geology, geography, and environmental science teachers.

Time Commitment:

9-12 hours per week. If you are unfamiliar with this field of study and/or method of delivery, you may require more time.

Tuition and Fees

If you are accepted into a qualified online program, please see the MSU Online Only Tuition and Fees (PDF) table.

If you are also taking a face-to-face course, please refer to the MSU Fee Schedules.

All course materials will be provided by the instructor and are included. Montana State University will send you the course materials shortly before the beginning of the course.

Required Books/Materials

  • All course materials will either be sent to you through snail mail or can be accessed electronically. The primary textbook for this course is:

    • Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring, 13th edition, by Mitchell and Stapp

    The Field Manual for Water Quality Monitoring along with other materials will be sent to you by Montana State University shortly before the beginning of the course.

    If you live abroad, please use your foreign address so that materials can be sent to you directly.

Computer Requirements:

  • Computer running Windows XP Service Pack 3 or newer or Mac OS X.5 (Leopard) or higher
  • CD-ROM drive
  • Internet access

This course uses a learning management system. You will learn more closer to the course start date.

For More Information

For specific questions about the course content, contact Suzanna Soileau at For questions about registration or other administrative issues, contact NTEN at (800) 282-6062.

How to Register

You must be accepted as a student to Montana State University to take this course.

Learn how to apply.

After your application has been accepted, you will register via MSU's online registration system, MyInfo.

Registration requires a PIN number. Learn how to find your PIN.

Once you have your PIN, learn how to register through MyInfo.

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