Cheryl L. B. Manning

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. 

Ph.D. Candidate- Northern Illinois University

About Me

My passion lies in bridging the gap between scientific research and public comprehension, striving to generate educational experiences that enable individuals to make well-informed decisions regarding the environment, natural resources, and natural hazards. I work with Earth science researchers to co-design, implement, and assess the broader impacts of their research. Through collaborations with organizations and agencies, I create educational opportunities for stakeholders and communities. I also evaluate curriculum materials to ensure that they are creative and data-rich, engaging learners in solutions rooted in their local environments.

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. I am currently finishing my Ph.D. in Earth, Atmosphere and Environment at Northern Illinois University, under the guidance of Dr. Nicole D. LaDue. I research how geoscience community resources support Earth science educators and empower young individuals to drive sustainable change in their communities. Prior to this, I taught secondary science for 25 years, focusing on Earth and Environmental sciences, leading efforts to develop a STEM capstone. I have also worked as a curriculum designer and educational consultant, collaborating with diverse schools, organizations, and agencies to promote Earth systems science education.

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 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.

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

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).