Montana State University

ERTH 591-803: Teaching Middle School Earth System Science

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

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Feb 22-Apr 15, 2016
Credit: 3 graduate
Instructor(s): Gerald "Jerry" Nelson

Course Description

CRN 34840
This course uses 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.

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 3 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.


Bachelor's degree, experience teaching hands-on science.

Target Audience

Teachers interested in Earth System Science and problem based learning.

Time Commitment:

10-12 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.

Required Books/Materials

  • All materials are included in D2L.

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

Lisa Brown

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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