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Spaceward Bound: North Dakota 2008


June 1 - 7, 2008

The Spaceword Bound North Dakota Field Expedition begins at 7:30 a.m. on June 1 in Fargo, ND at North Dakota State University.  See Flier and Application.

Limited to 20 North Dakota K-12 STEM teachers with strong interest and background in science.

Spaceward Bound is an educational program developed at NASA Ames and funded by the Exploration Systems Mission Directorate (ESMD) at NASA Headquarters.  The mission of Spaceward Bound is to train the next generation of space explorers by having students and teachers participate in the exploration of scientifically interesting but remote and extreme environments on Earth as analogs for human exploration of the Moon and Mars. Spaceward Bound Field Expeditions involve teachers in authentic fieldwork so that they can bring that experience back to their classrooms and assist in the development of curriculum related to human exploration of remote and extreme environments.

Course Overview
Pre-selected field sites will provide opportunities for studies in regional geology, field ecology, field sampling and statistical analyses, and environmental studies. Participants will be given "hands-on" instruction in field-oriented geology as well as consideration of these sites for Earth analog studies of the Moon and Mars. We expect to have ample opportunities for specimen collection. Tours will be arranged wherever available.

Three credits are available by taking either:

Biology 695: North Dakota Field Course
Geology 695: North Dakota Field Course

from North Dakota State University. You need not be enrolled in a graduate degree program to take this course. However, you must be enrolled at the NDSU.

See NDSU Graduate School bulletin for more information on the quick and easy “Non-degree enrollment” procedures:



  • All participants must be North Dakota public or private school educators.
  • Participants should be physically prepared to undertake moderate amounts of hiking and hill climbing.
  • Participants are expected to carry their own medical/disability insurance.
  • Students will be asked to sign a form that allows NASA to post their photo images on the Spaceward Bound website


  • Transportation will be by charter bus.
  • Lodging is provided.  
  • Food is NOT provided.
  • The course starts and ends at Fargo, and full participation in all aspects of the course is expected.

$225 to include course recording fee, lodging, tour and entrance fees, text materials, field notebook, and transportation.


Participants will be evaluated according to the following criteria:
  • The quality of participation in the field trip, as evidenced by interest, cooperation, and activity.
  • The quality of individual assignments to be completed during the field course (mapping, statistical analyses, etc.).
  • The quality of a field notebook of observations to be maintained for the trip.
  • The quality of a lesson plan (minimum of five class days) to be prepared by each teacher immediately following the trip.
  • The quality of e-mail projects, to be assigned as part of the course pre-expedition training and follow-up.

Fieldwork is not a "luxury" experience. The course and trip are tightly budgeted to provide maximum opportunities at minimum cost to all participants. We cannot guarantee weather-related conditions, the regular presence of flush toilets, regularily of meals (or other forms of regularity!), the quality of lodging, etc. During the daytime, the trip follows no definite hour-by-hour schedule. Instead, stops will be made where field observations can be opportunely made. Breakfast and lunch are often at the "nearest grocery store," and suppers will likely not be "elegant." Participants should prepare themselves in advance for moderate amounts of walking and climbing.

Instructional Staff

Biographies of Participants
  • Susan Duffy, Science Teacher, Hillsboro High School
  • Donald L Hoff, Associate Professor of Science, Valley City State University
  • Ben Juelfs, Science Teacher
  • Judith Krueger, High School and Middle School Science
  • Brett Lehner,  U.S. Military (Japan)
  • Michelle Orth, , Wyndmere Public School
  • Martha Pfaff, Elementary Science Teacher, Litchville-Marion Elementary


Contact for Further Information

Jon Rask
NASA Ames Research Center
Building 239 Room 238
Moffett Field, CA 94035
Phone: (650) 604-5363
Fax: (650) 604-3954

 FirstGov  NASA

Editor: Linda Conrad
NASA Official: Liza Coe
Last Updated: April 2007
Students Contact: Loretta Hidalgo
Teachers Contact: Liza Coe