Cheryl L. B. Manning

Ph.D. Candidate- Northern Illinois University

  • M.S. Earth Sciences - Geology, Montana State University

  • B.S. Earth Sciences - Geology, Montana State University

  • 2018-2019 Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow, NSF-GEO

  • 2011-2021 National Board Certified Teacher

About Me

I grew up along the Northern Rocky Mountain Front of Montana. My love of geology and this amazing planet Earth were inspired by the discovery of Maiasaura and the geology of the Fold and Thrust Belt. While I was incredibly curious, I was not a great student. My 5th-grade teacher, Mr. Gene Sentz, recognized my adventurous mind and inspired me to learn more about the world. As a first-generation college student, I felt lucky to work as a wildland firefighter and it was a US Forest Service geologist who encouraged me to study geology.

My early graduate work focused on the sedimentology of extensional basins in the Basin and Range province of the western U.S. I discovered teaching at the University of Utah where I earned my secondary science education license and teaching minors in biology, chemistry, physics, and mathematics. I taught secondary science and math in Utah and Colorado from 1996 to 2021.

I am currently pursuing a Ph.D. in Geoscience Education Research at Northern Illinois University with Dr. Nicole D. LaDue.

The land I live and work on is the traditional territory of the

Kiickaapoi, Peoria, Sauk & Meskwaki, Bodéwadmiakiwen, Myaamia, Waazija, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.


I've had the opportunity to facilitate in-person and online teacher professional development courses through the Earth Systems Science Education Alliance and Climate Literacy and Educational Awareness Network (CLEAN).

I have taught a variety of college geology laboratory courses, including the lab sections required for Introductory Earth Science, Physical Geology, Historical Geology, Sedimentology & Stratigraphy, Environmental Science, and Structural Geology. I taught Introductory Planetary Geology and was a co-instructor of Geology Field Camp.

At the secondary level, I have taught 8th-grade Integrated Science, and numerous high school STEM courses including Algebra, Earth & Space Science, AP Environmental Science, Physics, Honors Chemistry, and Senior STEM Capstone.

Current Research

Geoscience Education Research

  • Geo-STEM Learning Ecosystems

  • Social & Environmental Justice in the Geosciences

  • Sustainability & Place-based learning in Secondary Earth Science Education

Other Activities

In 2009, I was an ARMADA master teacher and worked as a sedimentologist on the Woods Hole R/V Knorr in the equatorial Pacific collecting deep-sea sediments.

I spent the 2018-19 school year in Washington, D.C. serving the National Science Foundation, Directorate of Geosciences as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow.


Manning, C. L. B. (2020), Engaging communities in geoscience with STEM learning ecosystems, Eos, 101,

Robeck, E., Awad, A., Semken, S., Manning, C. L. B., Daniels, M., & Blankenbicker, A. (2020). Earth Science All Around: Using Immersive Virtual Field Trips with Place-Based Instruction in Earth and Space Science Education. The Earth Scientist, 36(1), 15–21.

LaDue, N. D., & Manning, C. B. (2015). Next Generation Science Standards: A call to action for the geoscience community. GSA Today, 25(2), 28-29.

Brown, C. L. (1993). Early tectono-sedimentary history of a Neogene extensional basin in east-central Nevada (Masters Thesis, Montana State University-Bozeman, College of Letters & Science).