Laboratory Earth

Laboratory Earth is part of an effort by the School of Natural Resources to refresh, expand, and strengthen K-12 teachers' knowledge and understanding of Earth science and the systems of natural resources which humans depend on and impact. The two Laboratory Earth courses will help teachers see our environment as one big laboratory, full of interactions and reactions to be studied.

Laboratory Earth is part of the Nebraska Earth Systems Education Network.


If you have questions about these courses, feel free to contact Dr. Dave Gosselin.

Laboratory Earth: Earth and Its Systems (NRES 809, 3 credit hours, online)
This four-module course will improve Earth science content knowledge using practical classroom approaches.

  1. Prelude to Laboratory Earth: an introduction, how-to tutorials, and accessing and manipulating data
  2. Principles and Concepts: applications of density, convection, and gravity
  3. Earth in Space: Earth and other members of the solar system
  4. Weather and Climate: weather patterns, the greenhouse effect and data interpretation

Laboratory Earth: Earth's Natural Resource Systems (NRES 814, 3 credit hours, online)
This four-module course will emphasize rock and mineral, water, soil, and energy resources. Upon completion of this course, participants will:

  • demonstrate an understanding of the properties of rocks, minerals, water, and soils
  • explain the social factors that control mineral and energy resources
  • collect and interpret data
  • understand humans' dependence and impact on natural resource systems.

Laboratory Earth: Earth's Changing Systems (NRES 896, mini-course)
For details, contact a course coordinator.


Partial scholarships may be available for upcoming Laboratory Earth courses. For more information, contact Dr. Dave Gosselin.


If you are a current teacher in the state of Nebraska, use the Teach Nebraska Application and Registration Form. That form is all that will be required of you to be admitted and registered as a non-degree student.

If you are unsure as to whether you'd be considered a current Nebraska teacher, contact Graduate Studies at 402-472-2875 or We can help you to determine whether you are eligible to apply through Teach Nebraska. If you're not eligible for Teach Nebraska, we can also provide information about the general graduate admission process for non-degree or degree-seeking students.

What Participants Are Saying

"This course was one of the finest that I have seen in presenting national science standards in a way that is useful to both the novice and apprentice level educator."

"I think that I have become a more hands on teacher. I am more willing to take extra time to ensure that students learn the basic concepts of earth science."

"Over the last decade or so I have taken countless workshops and seminars from pedagogy to content... few stand up to the well crafted and practical information provided by this UNL group."

"The course is very interesting and creative. I feel as though it continuously challenged all of my classmates."

"This course has let me see more reality based applications of my head knowledge."

"This course makes me want to learn more. I feel like I've just scratched the surface. Scientists get to be lifelong learners. That appeals to me. I want to continue to grow in my knowledge of science and put the concepts into practice."