Earth Science Essentials

·         ESE is a rigorous self-guided course for science teachers wanting to expand or renew their understanding of the fundamentals of earth science.

·         ESE focuses on how we apply reasoning and modeling to understand the world around us, a practice consistent with the Next Generation Science Standards (2013).

·         With ESE, you can do more than learn about earth science, you can engage in it with in-the-field video lectures and investigative Science Reasoning Puzzles.

·         The course materials include Extra Resources such as optional discussion topics and lab activities, which can give you ideas for your own classes.

·         ESE course materials were developed by Dr. Russ Colson, author of the NSTA Press book Learning to Read the Earth and Sky, professor of geology, meteorology, and planetary science at Minnesota State University Moorhead, and winner of the 2010 Outstanding Masters Universities and Colleges Professor of the Year Award.

Course Materials:

The materials for this course, including video lectures, interactive texts, and extra resources, are available for free, starting from ESE Introduction.  If you use or modify these materials, please cite Russ Colson, Earth Science Essentials, along with the appropriate link, as appropriate.

Course for College/Graduate Credit

This course is offered for continuing education graduate credit through Minnesota State University Moorhead, but only on demand. If you are interested in the course, please contact me a few months before the start of the term that you would like to take the class. You can contact me, Russ Colson, at


This course is scheduled for offering May 19-July 1 2021, for either undergraduate or graduate credit. For more information, see Opportunity to strengthen your Earth Science credientials.


Russ Colson's academic Home Page

Russ Colson's author website

Dec 18, 2020