Iowa's Geological Resources Workshop for Teachers

Applications DUE: February 13, 2019
Online via Adobe Connect: March 11, March 25, , April 8 and April 22, 2019
On the UNI campus: June 15-18, 2019

Earn two units of graduate credit and learn about Iowa's geological resources through an activity-based short course (EARTHSCI 6233 Iowa's Geological Resources for Teachers) through the University of Northern Iowa.

This year's focus: Course activities will aid Iowa's teachers in addressing specific science teaching standards.

The course begins with an online component in the spring to prepare you for the hands-on workshop visiting various geological sites and preparing curricular materials in June.

  • Develop rock and mineral collections while obtaining a basic proficiency in their identification.
  • Focus on the significance of these items in understanding and interpreting Earth’s history and the geology of Iowa.
  • Learn the various economic and environmental aspects of Iowa geology.

Network with fellow geology educators

Participate in several exciting, hands-on activities in the field, and meet other Earth science teachers from across the state. Discuss what’s working and what’s not in your classrooms and share your tried-and-true methods for teaching about the geology of Iowa.

Download 2019 workshop brochure and printable application

This workshop is sponsored by the Iowa Limestone Producers Association, in conjunction with the UNI Department of Earth Science and with assistance from the Iowa Geological Survey.


Class size is limited. Please apply early to reserve your seat.
Apply now!


The online component of the workshop is offered via video conferencing Mondays, 4-6 p.m., March 11, March 25, April 8 and April 22, 2019, through a series of two-hour classes covering the principles of geology in Iowa. An Adobe Connect test session will take place on Monday, March 4, 2019, at 5 p.m.

The on-campus component begins at 9 a.m. on Saturday, June 15, 2019, with a reception and check-in on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The workshop ends at 1 p.m. on Tuesday, June 18.

Each day begins with announcements and an overview of the day's planned activities. There may also be evening sessions, which consist of special presentations, laboratory work, and/or a review of the day's activities. This is an intensive course, and everyone is expected to participate in all workshop sessions.

If you are accepted for the workshop, further workshop details will be sent on or before February 15, 2019.

Two regional geology trips will be provided to course participants. The trips will be on Saturdays with one trip in eastern/south-eastern Iowa and the other in central/north-central Iowa. Workshop participants will be encouraged to attend at least one of these spring field trips.


Due to the generous support of the Iowa Limestone Producers Association (ILPA) we are able to offer this workshop for a $200 registration fee, plus a technology fee of $38 (billed upon acceptance). This includes two units of UNI graduate credit, lunches and dinners, housing, transportation in the field and instructional costs.


Students who desire air-conditioned housing on the University of Northern Iowa campus should notify Dr. Heinzel, who will help you make arrangements. (Housing costs are covered by the ILPA).


If your plans change and you must cancel, please contact UNI Continuing and Distance Education at 319-273-7206 or 800-648-3864 as soon as possible so we may allow those on the waiting list the opportunity to attend. Cancellations must be received no later than March 6, 2019, in order to receive a refund of the $200 registration fee.

Activities & Topics


  • Processes at work in the formation and shape of the landscape and the sediments beneath the surface
  • Environments past and present of the landscape and the subsurface
  • Rocks, minerals and fossils in the geological record
  • Collection and classification of rocks, minerals and fossils


  • Stratigraphy, sedimentation, sedimentary environments
  • Field activities as classroom events; taking students to the field for learning activities
  • Geologic origin of limestone


  • Agriculture, environmental geology; drainage tile, ag wells, aquifers
  • Landfills and waste management issues
  • Land use and landscape; glacial topography and land use issues
  • Resource management and land use


  • Develop integrated STEM lesson plans through local hands-on geology activities
  • Explore effective ways to meet Earth Science NGSS and Iowa Core Standards in stand-alone Earth Science course or through activities within an existing biology, chemistry, or physics course


  • Aggregate production and product application
  • Sand and gravel operations and product applications
  • Relationship of geological processes to locations of aggregate and sand and gravel locations
  • Site visits to various economic geology facilities