Natural Science Education

Science and Mathematics Teaching Center

Group of TSS students in field

Masters of Natural Science

Natural Science Education Concentration (NED)


  • Mission: To deepen understanding of effective place-based and outdoor teaching and learning practices
  • What: A two-year program - coursework begins in the fall at the Teton Science Schools (TSS) for Year 1 and Year 2 starts the following fall on the University of Wyoming campus. The program includes:
    • 15 credits through the TSS Graduate Program (Year 1)
    • 15 credits from the University of Wyoming (Year 2)
    • Completion of a Plan B project (Year 2)
  • For Whom: A program designed for students who are interested in gaining outdoor teaching experience with a focus on place-based education and ecology. This concentration is limited to students accepted into the Teton Science Schools Graduate Program.
  • Why: The result is a Master’s degree in Natural Science Education from a self-designed, balanced program of study and research.

Year 1

@ Teton Science Schools

Distant Teton range and snow-covered Kelly Campus of TSS cabins in the foreground

Year 2

@ University of Wyoming

Photo of two graduate students looking at distant "3 Sisters" rock formation


Core Courses

Fall Semester:

  • NASC 5625 Principles of Place-Based Education (3 credits)
  • NASC 5630 Teaching Practicum in Place-based, Environmental and Field Science Education (2 credits)
  • NASC 5640 Intro to Field Science Teaching (3 credits)
  • ZOO 5430 Community Ecology of the Greater Yellowstone Ecosystem (3 credits)*

Spring Semester:

  • ZOO 5405 Winter Ecology (2 credits)
  • ZOO 5420 Ecological Inquiry (3 credits)*
  • EDCI 5790 Advanced Instructional Strategies (3 credits)
  • NASC 5630 Teaching Practicum in Place-based, Environmental and Field Science Education (4 credits)*

Summer Semester:

  • NASC 5620 Advanced Elements of Field Ecology Course Design (5 credits)*

*Credits apply to the UW Master's degree in Natural Science

Core Courses

Program Requirements:

  • NASC 5650 Place-Based Learning, Cognition and Assessment (3 credits)
  • 9 additional graduate credits at the 4000 level or above
  • Plan B (non-thesis) project
  • One graduate level research course (3+ credits, examples below)
    • EDRE 5550 Action Research (3 credits)
    • EDRE 5600 Educational Research One: Survey (3 credits)
    • EDRE 5640 Introduction to Qualitative Research in Education (3 credits)
    • NASC 5670 Plan B Research and Writing (4 credits) – fall only

Recommended Courses:

  • FCSC 5101 Program Evaluation (3 credits) 
  • NASC 5961 Plan B Research (1 to 4 credits)

Required ENR Courses (for optional concurrent major):

  • ENR 5100 Foundations of ENRS (3 credits)
  • ENR 5900 ENV Assessment (3 credits)


Application Deadlines:

Applications are due February 1st by 11:59 p.m. or 5:00 p.m. the following Monday if February 1st  falls on a weekend. 
Scholarships and graduate assistantships are available as funding allows. Contact the SMTC for information.
This program is a Gainful Employment program.
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