Earth and Mineral Sciences

The following courses have been developed by and for the Department of Earth and Mineral Sciences at Penn State's College of Earth and Mineral Sciences.

earth from space

Credit: "Earth" by Kevin M. Gill is licensed under CC BY 2.0

Course Description

Storytelling can save the Earth. Stories have the power to inform, raise awareness, and bring about change. Now more than ever, science needs storytelling. Our brains are hardwired to learn and connect with others through stories. Personal narratives that tap into the scientist's voice are effective tools for communicating technical information. Digital Stories in Science provides a step-by-step approach on how to combine textual, visual, and aural information into a compelling digital narrative.

students in a greenhouse listening to a farmer talk

Credit: Haley Sankey (c) Penn State University is licensed under CC BY-NC-SA 4.0

Course Description

Education reformer John Dewey said it best: "We do not learn from experience... we learn from reflecting on experience." This workbook is centered on the idea that experiential learning and time dedicated to guided analysis and reflection are what help students benefit most thoroughly from the experiences they've had. Grounded in the cyclical process of Inquiry-Based Learning, the workbook provides students with a structured approach to processing and communicating the meaning of their experiences and thereby producing a valuable assessment of learning.

Course Description

Building on the foundation laid by the popular earlier print editions of his faculty handbook on writing recommendation letters, Joe Schall digs deeper in this new online edition, addressing issues ranging from the ethical considerations faculty wrestle with when writing letters to the new challenges posed by the information age.

Course Description

For students, personal statements and application essays are among the most difficult and most important documents they will ever write. They are difficult because they require both introspection and polish, and important because the writer may literally be competing for tens of thousands of dollars in a huge field of outstanding candidates. A writing tutor who has provided guidance on more than a thousand graduate applications, Joe Schall advises you on how to be competitive but not cocky, informed but not formulaic, openly creative yet professional.

man writing on paper with a pen. An open laptop is in the background.

Credit: Pexels by Burst is Public Domain

Course Description

For students and others who read it, this style manual quickly becomes a favorite resource.  Whether planning a paper, running a grammar check, completing a report, composing an email, puzzling over a usage or grammar issue, or writing a resume or online portfolio, you are bound to find the material and examples you need in Style for Students Online.  Drawing from his breadth of experience as a tutor, teacher, editor, and creative writer, Joe Schall provides technical writing advice that spans from the conceptual to the niggling.  Thoughtful, practical, up-to-date, and rich in pith

Course Description

EMSC 302 provides an orientation of the Energy and Sustainability Policy (ESP) degree program, preparing students for further study in the five program learning outcome areas: energy industry knowledge, global perspective, analytical skills, communication skills, and sustainability ethics. It also provides an introduction to the basic skills necessary to be successful in higher-ed online learning, including communication and library skills.

Course Spotlight

pile of maps

Cartography and Visualization (GEOG 486) covers design principles and techniques for creating maps with contemporary mapping tools. Students will be introduced to future-focused application topics such as augmented and virtual reality, mapping with multivariate glyphs, the visual depiction of uncertainty, interactive geovisualization, and (geo)visual analytics, and decision-making with maps and mapping products. Visit the course.

Faculty Spotlight

Maria Wherley

Maria Scalzi Wherley (she, her) is a Learning Designer and Writer-in-Residence with the John A. Dutton e-Education Institute at Penn State. She has more than 20 years of teaching experience. Learn more about Maria to see what she has to say about online education.