Geosciences Education

Do your students get excited about rocks, meteorites, dinosaurs, stars, volcanoes, oceans, tornados, or black holes? Do you want to energize your science teaching? Do you want to teach a geoscience course in your school? Would you like to be eligible to teach dual-credit courses for your high school? Then the UT Martin Online Master of Science in Education: Geoscience Education program is for you!


The Master of Science in Education with a major in Geoscience Education is a cooperative degree program between the Department of Graduate Education and the Department of Agriculture, Geosciences, and Natural Resources, is available to individuals who obtained a bachelor's degree in education from an accredited college or university and who are professionally licensed to teach elementary or secondary education. The program is intended for teachers seeking advanced training in geoscience disciplines, such as geology, astronomy, meteorology, or general earth science.


The foundation of the Geoscience (Education) master’s program consists of 18 hours of geoscience content courses with integrated field experiences staffed by science faculty experienced in teacher education. The sound science foundation is coupled with supporting education pedagogy courses tied to science standards education taught by experienced education faculty.* The online degree program consists of advanced content courses reinforced by advanced education support courses leading to both content competency and teaching competency in the geosciences. The program is specifically aimed as professional development for teachers moving into geoscience education from another science content area, adding earth science or geology courses, or seeking to teach AP or dual credit courses.


**The actual degree awarded is a Master of Science in Education with a major in Teaching-Interdisciplinary: Geosciences Education option. This degree does not lead to any type of teaching license.

Conceptual Framework:

The goal of the Geoscience Education program is "Earth Literacy” through professional development of present and future educators. The advanced program's conceptual framework is depicted as four keys that will unlock each candidate's potential. They are:

  • Knowledge of Earth & Planetary Processes
  • Knowledge of Investigative Procedures in the Earth & Planetary Sciences
  • Methods of Scientific Inquiry
  • Mastery of Methods of Instruction Related to the Earth & Planetary Sciences

Online Geosciences Courses

700 Earth Systems Science

Problem-based exploration of Earth's interacting global processes and environments including the lithosphere, atmosphere, biosphere, hydrosphere, and astrosphere.

710 Physical Geology

Earth's internal structure, plate tectonics, the rock cycle, weathering and earth materials; natural resources, geochemical cycles; and the basis for geologic time and the history and nature of science.

720 Oceanology for Teachers

Modern and ancient oceans including ocean floor topography; marine sediments, waves, tides, and currents; marine ecosystems, and evolution of ocean systems through geologic time.

730 Understanding Evolution

Cosmic, geologic, and organic evolution with emphasis on the development of evolutionary thought and current methods scientists use to investigate evolution.

740 Field Experience in Geoscience

Field experiences may include summer workshops or institutes, extended weekend field courses, travel courses, field camps, or extended field trips.

- Mapping - Earth Landforms and Planets
- Fossils & Telescopes
- Oceans & Stars
- Cosmology, Earth History and Life Through Time
- Climatology & Global Change
- GeoTrek Series
- Belize, CA
- American West
- Geology of Tennessee

750 Global Climate Change

Geographic patterns and physical processes of global climate change throughout Earth's history and assessments of future climate change scenarios.

760 Astrophysics for Educators

The formation, evolution, and structure of the universe, galaxies, and stars.

Online Education Courses

EDEV 710 Educational Statistics

An elementary course in methods applied to educational problems; resolution of assigned or chosen problems in educational statistics.

EDFN 710 Research in Education

Introduction to graduate study. Consideration of the various techniques appropriate to the production and consumption of educational research.

EDFN 720 Educational Studies

Emphasis is on multicultural education and cultural foundations in education and counseling; developing knowledge, effectiveness in teaching and counseling services in Pre K-12 schools.

EDST 710 Models of Instruction, Curriculum Development, and Advanced Teaching Strategies

Advanced principles of curriculum and instruction as applied to education; study of a variety of curriculum designs used regularly or experimentally; development and organization of the curriculum; analysis of current practices, problems and trends in education; an exploration of significant alternative approaches to teaching in education.

EDST 750 Advanced Computer Applications and Technologies in Education

Gives background in microcomputer technology necessary to enable the teacher to be computer functional in the classroom use of software, word processing, use of data bases and spreadsheets, low and high resolution graphics, as well as administrative software applications.

TCED 791 Master Research Project, K-12

The culminating professional research project for the Master of Science in Education with a major in Teaching Programs. Seminar topics to include but not limited to educational reform, curriculum design, student achievement, parent involvement, cultural diversity, educational technology, assessments, and educators as collaborative leaders and mentors in a K-12 setting.


Field Experience

Field experiences consist of a minimum of three (3) graduate hours of face-to-face, hands-on, in-the-field application of course concepts. Participants work with faculty to select from a menu of field programs offered by UT Online or other approved programs. Average duration of a single field experience is one week emphasizing professor/teacher environmental interaction. Field experiences may be a combination of state, national, and international destinations.


Geoscience Faculty

Dr. Michael A. Gibson, Professor of Geology (UT Martin) - Paleontology, Earth History, Oceanology
Dr. Lionel Crews, Assistant Professor of Physics (UT Martin) - Astronomy, Planetary Science, Cosmology
Dr. Ann Holmes, Assistant Professor of Geology (UT Chattanooga) - Geology, Earth History
Dr. Mark Simpson, Associate Professor of Geography (UT Martin) - Earth Systems, Meteorology, Climatology


Education Faculty
Dr. Glenda Rakes, Professor: Models of Instruction, Curriculum Development and Advanced Teaching Strategies; Teaching with Technology; Research in Education; Master’s Research Project
Dr. Louis Glover, Assistant Professor: Multicultural Issues in Education and Counseling; Educational Statistics


For further information, please contact the Education Graduate Programs Office at, or use our online request form.

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