Iowa's Geological Resources Workshop for Teachers

Applications DUE: February 16, 2022
Online via Panopto and/or Zoom: March 8 & 22, April 5 & 19 and May 3, 2022
On the UNI campus: July 11-14, 2022

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: 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.

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 2022 workshop brochure and printable application

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.


Class size is limited to 10 participants. Please apply early to reserve your seat.
Apply now!


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 8 & 22, April 5 & 19, and May 3, 2022, 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, July 11, with a reception and check-in on the University of Northern Iowa campus. The workshop ends at approximately 2 p.m. on Thursday, July 14.

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 23, 2022.


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.


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).


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 4, 2022, 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