Landscape Resources

A Sampling of Suggested Resources for the Integration of Indian Education and Science (pdf) from the Montana Office of Public Instruction.

Geologic squeeze boxes can be purchased on line for $25 + shipping from

Rodney’s Homepage for Earth Science Teachers: This is a fabulous web site created by Helena High School teacher Rod Benson. It is loaded with photos and maps of Montana landforms and geological features. It also contains lesson plans, activities, animations, you name it.

Montana Maps and Geographic Information, from the Natural Resource Information System (NRIS): This website is loaded with maps and geographic information specific to Montana. It hosts information on everything from what fish are found in different streams to where major pollution sites are found. It may take a while to get used to the mapping tools but it is well worth it!

Google Earth: An immensely valuable resource that just keeps getting better and better!

Wikipedia: Most earth science articles are very good and unbiased. This is a good all-around resource for any burning questions you might have.

United States Geological Survey “Schoolyard Geology” Lesson Plans: These are well documented and very doable.

The North America Tapestry of Time and Terrain from the National Atlas: Landform maps of the United States.

The Union of Two Maps – Geology and Topography from the USGS: Landform map and rock age map of the United States.

This Dynamic Earth – The Story of Plate Tectonics from the USGS: Comprehensive info on plate tectonics and related subjects.

Digital Library for Earth System Education: This web site contains detailed lesson plans as well as reference material for teachers.

ECOS Schoolyard Ecological Studies from the University of Montana: Includes inquiry questions tied to ecological themes, with supporting information, for a wide variety of grade levels.

Earth Science Education Resources from Student extra credit assignments, lessons, labs, and resources for teachers, including lesson plans. Exercises, lesson and resources related to geology.

Earth from Above: Wonderful collection of aerial images from around the earth. Click on “ENTER” (in English, bottom right of the page) for thumbnails of many images collected by photographer Yann Arthus-Betrand.

United States Geological Survey FAQs: Is there a science question on your mind? The USGS FAQ database contains hundreds of answers to frequently asked questions on a wide range of natural science topics. Browse by subject to see if your question has already been answered! Great for class warm ups or for trivia contests.

Glencoe Earth Science Self-Check Quizzes: Test your earth science knowledge on a wide variety of topics.

Mountain Maker, Earth Shaker: Plate tectonics animations and activities from PBS’ “A Science Odyssey.”

ESRI GIS Education Community: Using GIS digital elevation models, a 20-page step-by-step lesson that walks a user through downloading a Digital Elevation Model from the USGS seamless data server, formatting it, projecting it, and using it within a 2-D ArcMap session and a 3-D session using 3-D Analyst. In addition, National Land Cover Data (NLCD), Digital Orthophotoquads (DOQ), and Digital Raster Graphic (DRG) data are also downloaded and used.

We The Teachers: Basic inquiry lessons on how to ask questions that can be answered by investigations, as well as additional teacher resources and social networking. Requires users to create a free account.

Resources for Earth Sciences and Geography Instruction from Central Michigan University: This is an excellent listing of websites for all levels of education. Also includes mapping tool links.

Geography in Animations from Animated Geography: Animations in geography, particularly in physical geography, can help you to understand the complex processes that take place at or close to the surface of the earth. The animated diagrams and maps speed up time, giving you the opportunity to see and understand the long term changes that take place at or near the surface of the Earth. Many of the animations are also interactive. See especially Animated Rivers, in particular click here to see how river meanders help to develop a river’s floodplain with ox-bow lakes, meander scars, point bar deposits and under-cut river banks. The animation then shows the formation of river terraces and natural levees. The plate tectonics animations are also good.


Video Resources

Geography Tutor – Earth’s Physical Features: 3:46 minutes long, dry and scientific, but short.

Physical Geography – Forces that Shape Our Earth: Introduction to landscape forming processes, 3:07 minutes long, fairly technical, but short. Emphasizes the Principal of Uniformity: “The present is the key to the past.”

Deposition & Erosion: Time-lapse footage illustrates deposition and erosion.

Geography: River Processes: Information on braided streams.

Sticky – One Minute on Meanders: A short video on river meanders.

Glacier Power: A video on glacial processes, 3:33 minutes long.

Google Maps: A bit of HUMOR. What does Google Earth technology holds in store for us?


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The MSP project is funded by an ESEA, Title II Part B Mathematics and Science Partnership Grant through the Montana Office of Public Instruction. MSP was developed by the Clark Fork Watershed Education Program and faculty from Montana Tech of The University of Montana and Montana State University, with support from other Montana University System Faculty.