Montana State University

LRES 591-802: The Dirt on Soil Science

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
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Mar 16-Apr 24, 2015
Credit: 1 graduate
Tuition & Fees: $328.50
Instructor(s): Suzanna Soileau

Register Online

Course Description

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.

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 credit course.


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, experience teaching hands-on science.

Target Audience

This course is designed for elementary and middle school teachers who teach science in their classrooms.

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 $58.50
 Computer Fee$3.50
 Distributed Learning Fee$0.00

Program fee includes $50 materials fee. All Materials will be sent to you by NTEN.

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

  • All materials will be sent to you by NTEN.

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 more information contact Lisa Brown at

How to Register

Register Online

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