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. 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.

  • Applications due February 14, 2023
  • Online via Panopto and/or Zoom: March 7 & 21; April 4 & 18; May 2, 2023
  • On the UNI campus: June 19-22, 2023

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

a magnifying glass over a group of rocks

2023 Workshop

This year's focus: Economic geology and it's importance to society through STEM, Iowa Core / NGSS standards and local resources. 

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 July.

  • 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.

Online & On Campus

The online component of the workshop is offered via synchronous or asynchronous video conferencing (Panopto and/or Zoom) on Tuesdays, 4-6 p.m., March 7 & 21, April 4 & 18, and May 2, 2023, through a series of two-hour classes covering the principles of geology in Iowa. The on-campus component begins at 8:30 a.m. on Monday, June 19, with a reception and check-in on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The workshop ends at approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, June 22. 

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.

When accepted for the workshop, further details will be sent on or before February 24, 2023.

group of students working outside on a hill

Workshop Costs

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, on-campus housing, most meals, transportation in the field and instructional costs.

Cancellations: If your plans change and you must cancel, please contact UNI Online and Distance Education at 319-273-7206 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 3, 2023, in order to receive a refund of the $200 registration fee.


students standing on a big truck

Stay On Campus

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

two students and an instructor working in a field

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

Processes & Principles

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

Geology and Land Use

  • 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

STEM through Geology

  • 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

Economic Geology

  • 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