Montana State University

ERTH 591-803: Landforms for Elementary Teachers

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

  • Degree Programs
  • Certificate Programs
  • Professional Development
  • Summer Field Study Programs
  • Study Abroad
  • Leisure and Lifelong Learning
  • Youth Programs

Feb 16-Apr 10, 2015
Credit: 1 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $278.50
Instructor(s): Gerald "Jerry" Nelson

Register Online

Course Description

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

Meeting Place and Times

Teachers login to the course at a time of day that best fits their schedule. It is necessary to connect at least 4 - 6 times per week to stay current and successfully complete this 1 graduate credit course.


Gerald "Jerry" Nelson, PhD. (Email: is a geology/geography professor at Casper College in Wyoming. Jerry was the Upper Grades team leader for the Network Montana Earth Systems Science Curriculum Project, helped write Wyoming's Earth Science standards, and was formerly Director and Curator of the Tate Geological Museum, which features many Wyoming dinosaurs.


A general science methods course.

Target Audience

K - 8th grade elementary teachers.

Time Commitment:

6-8 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

 Program Fee $8.50
 Computer Fee$3.50
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

A $30 registration fee is also charged once per semester.

The costs above assume that you are taking only MSU Extended University courses during the semester that the course is offered. If you also registered for courses through the MSU Registrar, the regular MSU fee structure may apply.

A $40 late fee will be assessed if payment is not posted to your account by 3 pm (Mountain Time) of the course start date (or the business day before if the course starts on a weekend or a holiday).

To learn more about tuition and fees, please see the University Business Services' Student Accounts Web page.

Required Books/Materials

  • Reading the Earth, Landforms in the Making by Jerome Wyckoff
    ISBN: 0967407508
    This can be purchased on for approximately $50.

Computer Requirements:

  • Internet access
  • A device and browser that pass the system check for Brightspace LE, MSU's learning management system.

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

For More Information

Contact NTEN Elementary at 1-800-461-9635

How to Register

Register Online

Campus ToolsStudent E-MailDesire2LearnMy InfoMy MSU PortalMy Passwords