Local Earth-Science Resources

Agencies and Organizations

These resources are available to Utah teachers and are grade specific when possible, matching the current Utah State Science Core Curriculum standards, through the following cooperating  agencies & organizations:

  • Utah Geological Survey (UGS)
  • University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS)
  • Division of Emergency Management (DEM)
  • Earth Science Education (ESE)

Speaker for Classroom

For geologic topics: contact Paul Jewell (coordinator of the Utah Geological Association volunteer speakers) at 801-581-6636.

For earthquake hazards, risks, safety, and preparedness: contact Bob Carey (DEM) 801-538-3400

For rocks & minerals: contact R.O.C.K. club (Rockhounder’s Outreach for Community Knowledge), rockhoundersock@yahoo.com.

Teaching Kits

  • Rock, mineral, and fossil; grade 4 (can also be used for grades 2 [rocks], and 8 and 9 [extinction]).
  • Landforms; grade 5
  • Dinosaurs; grades K-6.
  • Ice Age; grades 4, 8, and 9 (includes extinction and climate change).

Kits are available at the UGS for a refundable deposit. Call 801-537-3300 to reserve. Click here for more kit information.

Classroom Materials

Hands-on Activities
5th-grade landforms and geologic processes (volcanoes, earthquakes, uplift, weathering, erosion, deposition): contact Mike Hylland (UGS) at 801-537-3300.

Slide Sets
5th-grade landforms and geologic processes: contact Mike Hylland (UGS) at 801-537-3300.

PowerPoint Presentations
Ice Age presentation (ppt); Grades 4, 8, and 9; Ice Age climate, geology, and animals.
Landforms presentation (ppt); Grade 5; volcanoes, earthquakes, uplift, weathering, and erosion reshape Earth’s surface.

Posters, Maps, Publications
Grades 2, 4, 5, 8, and 9; rocks, minerals, earthquakes, volcanoes, Utah geologic history: contact UGS Information and Outreach Program at 801-537-3300.

Grades K-12; earthquake hazards, risks, safety, and preparedness: contact Bob Carey (DEM) 801-538-3400.

Grades K-12; earthquakes (all topics); contact UUSS at 801-581-6274.

Online Classes

American Geosciences Institute (AGI) Geoscience Online Learning Initiative

  • With many geoscience programs now needing to quickly shift to online teaching, the American Geosciences Institute (AGI) wants to make sure all faculty are aware of the 29 modules in the free-to-take Geoscience Online Learning Initiative (GOLI) platform, which is a joint effort of AGI, AIPG, SEPM, and ASBOG.  GOLI courses range in duration from 1 to 10 hours in length, addressing a range of geoscience topics and skills from writing in the geosciences to geoethics to advanced environmental geochemistry, among others.   These modules are ready to go and available for your students right now.

Earthquake Information

Grades K-12; traveling photo display, current earthquake activity, maps, activities, earthquake safety, and other resources: contact UUSS at 801-581-6274.

Grades 5-12; landform teaching kit, maps, other information: contact UGS Information and Outreach Program at 801-537-3300.

Grades K-12; earthquake safety/preparedness: contact DEM at 801-538-3400.

Field Trips On Your Own

GeoSights: G.K. Gilbert Geologic View Park, Salt Lake County

Easily accessible examples of igneous, metamorphic, & sedimentary rocks in Wasatch Front canyons

Geologic Guides


Rock & mineral collecting sites

Guide to fossils & dinosaurs in Utah

Genevieve Atwood (of Earth Science Education and former director of the UGS) points out features to geology students and young professionals on a pre-convention field trip to Antelope Island.

Agency and Organization Resources

Utah Geological Survey (UGS)

1594 W. North Temple, Salt Lake City

The UGS employs approximately 50 geologists, paleontologists, and hydrogeologists.
The UGS operates the Natural Resources Map & Bookstore, which sells topographic, geologic, and other maps; natural resource publications, posters, and brochures. Free items are also available.

The UGS provides:

  • Teacher workshops (5th-grade in 2006) in cooperation with UUSS and OES.
  • Teaching kits (grades 4-9).
  • Activities (grades 4, 5, 8).
  • Slide sets and PowerPoint presentations (grades 4-8).
  • Maps, materials, and other information (K-12).
  • Field trips (for teachers of all grades).

University of Utah Seismograph Stations (UUSS)

115 South 1460 East, Room 211 Frederick Albert Sutton Building, Salt Lake City

The UUSS is on the University of Utah campus and part of the Department of Geology and Geophysics. The UUSS monitors and studies earthquake activity in Utah, Yellowstone National Park, and the Intermountain West.

In 1994 the UUSS formed an “Earthquake Education Partnership” with the University of Utah’s College of Mines and Earth Sciences, OES, UGS, the American Red Cross, and the University of Utah’s Department of Geography to develop Utah-specific earthquake curricula for grades 3, 5, 7, 8, and 9.

Available resources from the UUSS include:

  • A traveling photographic exhibit “Earthquakes in the Intermountain West.” The stand-alone multipanel display can be delivered to your school at no cost for one to three weeks.
  • Classroom and teaching activities.

For more information, see the UUSS web page for Earthquake Education Services at www.seis.utah.edu/edservices/EES/EES.html

The UUSS web site is a key source for Utah earthquake information, including:

  • Rapid information and maps for current earthquake activity.
  • “Live” (near real-time) seismograms.
  • General earthquake information.
  • Information on historical earthquakes in Utah (photos, newspaper articles, personal accounts).

Division of Emergency Management (DEM)

Room 1110, State Office Building, Salt Lake City

The DEM is responsible to plan for, respond to, recover from, and mitigate emergencies and disasters, and coordinates emergency management efforts among federal, state, and local governments. DEM prepares individuals and communities for disasters through outreach and training programs.

The DEM provides:

  • Classroom speakers on earthquake hazards, risks, safety, and preparedness.
  • Brochures and information on preparedness for earthquakes and other hazards.
  • Student grants (grades 5-12) for seismic safety projects (contact Bob Carey, 801-538-3400).

Earth Science Education (ESE)

Genevieve Atwood, Chief Education Officer
30 U Street, Salt Lake City

ESE was formed in 1993 to provide outdoor-based workshops for teachers focusing on hands-on, inquiry-based learning at different places in Salt Lake County and on Antelope Island in Davis County. Led by Genevieve Atwood, former State Geologist of Utah, the workshops are geared to Utah’s science core curriculum topics. Although grade levels that match core topics are indicated below, ESE opens their workshops to all K-12 teachers.

ESE provides the following summer workshops through school districts:

  • Rocks and Minerals of Salt Lake County (grades 2 and 4).
  • Salt Lake County’s Changing Surface (grade 5).
  • Geologic History of Salt Lake County (grades 4 and 9).
  • Antelope Island: Evidence of Climate Change (water cycle: grade 4, earth systems: grade 9).

ESE also instructs teachers about their school’s walkable, backyard geology.