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Textbook Collections

The following sites contain open textbooks in a variety of subject areas, but the links below will take you directly to the textbooks about earth and environmental sciences. This is by no means an exhaustive list!

Natural & Physical Sciences (Open Textbook Library) 

These books have been reviewed by faculty from a variety of colleges and universities to assess their quality. These books can be downloaded for no cost, or printed at low cost. All textbooks are either used at multiple higher education institutions; or affiliated with an institution, scholarly society, or professional organization.

Environmental Sciences (InTech) 

Earth & Planetary Sciences (InTech) 

InTech publishes more than 2,300 open textbooks and 6 journals in a variety of subjects that fall under the heading of science, technology, and medicine.

Science (College Open Textbooks) 

College Open Textbooks (COT) focuses on textbooks for lower division classes. COT is not a repository in itself; their listings point to textbooks in other repositories.

Full Courses

Geology 

Lumen Learning offers open courses in a variety of high-demand subjects and disciplines. These courses are collections of high-quality OER, not necessarily as a traditional textbook.  You can use them as-is or modify them to fit your instructional style and students’ needs.

Earth Science (MIT Open Courseware) 

MIT OpenCourseWare (OCW) is a web-based publication of virtually all MIT course content. OCW is open and available to the world and is a permanent MIT activity.

Environmental, Earth, and Ocean Sciences (UMass Boston OpenCourseWare) 

UMass provides a variety of its courseware online for educators to use. These materials can be freely downloaded, shared, and altered. Credit must be given to the source, however, and works must be distributed noncommercially and under the same licensing as the original.

OER Course Modules (Penn State, College of Earth and Mineral Sciences) 

The "courseware modules" on this site represent substantial portions of the resources provided to students who register in participating Penn State classes. These resources are available for reuse by teachers and learners worldwide who do not intend to apply for admission, register for classes, or pursue a certificate or degree at Penn State.

Open Course Library 

The Open Course Library (OCL) is a collection of shareable course materials, including syllabi, course activities, readings, and assessments designed by teams of college faculty, instructional designers, librarians, and other experts. Some of their materials are paired with low cost textbooks ($30 or less). Many of the courses can be taught at no cost to students.

Simulations

PhET Interactive Simulations 

Founded in 2002 by Nobel Laureate Carl Wieman, the PhET Interactive Simulations project at the University of Colorado Boulder creates free interactive math and science simulations. PhET sims are based on extensive education research and engage students through an intuitive, game-like environment where students learn through exploration and discovery.

Multiple Types of Resources

Digital Library for Earth System Education 

The Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) is a distributed community effort involving educators, students, and scientists working together to improve the quality, quantity, and efficiency of teaching and learning about the Earth system at all levels. DLESE resources include electronic materials for both teachers and learners, such as lesson plans, maps, images, data sets, visualizations, assessment activities, curriculum, online courses, and much more.

Nature and Environment (Open Learn) 

Open Learn is an initiative of The Open University, UK. It provides supplemental materials for educators, including articles, podcasts, videos, games, and much more. In addition, it offers more than 700 free online classes.

Agriculture and Environmental Sciences (MERLOT) 

Geoscience (MERLOT) 

MERLOT is a curated collection of free and open online teaching, learning, and faculty development services contributed and used by an international education community. The MERLOT Collection is made up of over 40,000 materials in 19 different material type categories.

Geology (Applied Math & Science Education Repository) 

AMSER (the Applied Math and Science Education Repository) is a portal of educational resources and services built specifically for use by those in Community and Technical Colleges but free for anyone to use. AMSER is funded by the National Science Foundation (NSF) as part of the National Science Digital Library, and is being created by a team of project partners led by Internet Scout.

Environmental Science (Hippocampus) 

Hippocampus offers educators a wide variety of multimedia content online, including videos, animations, and simulations. An additional feature offers educators the ability to create "playlists" for their students, which correlate specifically to their particular instruction material.

OER Commons 

OER Commons helps educators, students, and lifelong learners avoid time-consuming searches and find exactly the right materials. With a single point of access from which they can search, browse, and evaluate resources in OER Commons’ growing collection of over 50,000 high-quality OER everyone can more efficiently find what they need.

Mason OER Metafinder 

Searches 15 OER repositories simultaneously.

 

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