OrbWeaver Consulting

Cheryl L.B. Manning, Ph.D.

Earth System Science Education Research

Geo-STEM Learning Ecosystems | Broader Impacts | Co-Creation | Curriculum | Evaluation 

Combining educational experience, knowledge of the Earth sciences, and interests in social and environmental justice to cultivate diverse communities that value and respect Earth and work together to sustain the intricate relationships that make all life possible. 

What I do

My passion lies in bridging the gap between scientific research and public comprehension. I strive to generate Earth science educational experiences that enable individuals to make well-informed decisions regarding the environment, natural resources, and natural hazards. How do I do this?

Who I am

As a native Montanan and a first-generation college student, I was fortunate to learn Earth’s history by experiencing first-hand the geology of the Northern Rocky Mountains. Family, teachers, and geologists along the way encouraged my passion for the Earth sciences and I earned both my bachelor's and master's degrees in Earth Science-Geology at Montana State University. For my M.S., I examined the development of extensional basins in the Basin and Range Province in the western United States.

Since 1995, I have been committed to helping learners of all ages and backgrounds appreciate the fundamental Earth processes that shape our planet and our lives. In December 2023, I earned my Ph.D. in Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Northern Illinois University under the guidance of Dr. Nicole D. LaDue. I researched the state of Earth science teaching in Illinois and how Earth science teachers access Earth systems science resources. Prior to this, I taught secondary science for 25 years, focused on Earth and Environmental Sciences, and led efforts to develop a STEM capstone program. I have also worked as a curriculum designer and educational consultant, collaborating with diverse schools, organizations, and agencies to promote Earth systems science education.

The land I live and work on is the traditional homelands of the Ute, Cheyenne, Arapaho, and Očhéthi Šakówiŋ.

Skill Set


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

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. and LADUE, N. D. (submitted): How Teachers’ Experience, Sense of Belonging, Knowledge, and Worldview Contribute to Place-based Sustainability Science Instruction.

Manning, C. L., & LaDue, N. D. (2024). Geo-STEM learning ecosystems: A transdisciplinary theory-based framework to establish and engage communities in the geosciences. Journal of Geoscience Education, 1-15. https://doi.org/10.1080/10899995.2024.2351028 

Manning, Cheryl L.B., "Methods for Investigating Geo-Stem Learning Ecosystems: A Case-Study of Illinois Earth Science Teachers" (2023). Graduate Research Theses & Dissertations. 7834. https://huskiecommons.lib.niu.edu/allgraduate-thesesdissertations/7834

Manning, C. L. B. (2020), Engaging communities in geoscience with STEM learning ecosystems, Eos, 101, https://doi.org/10.1029/2020EO147934.

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. https://doi.org/10.1130/GSATG233GW.1 

Stokes, D., Jenkins, C., Huhnke, L., Grey, G., Manning, C.L.B. (2000). Math and Science Curriculum Revision: A Collaborative Approach to Improving Preservice Teachers' Use of Technology Knowledge and Instructional Skills. In EdMedia+ Innovate Learning (pp. 1832-1832). Association for the Advancement of Computing in Education (AACE). 

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. https://scholarworks.montana.edu/xmlui/handle/1/6718