I began working with the "Microbial Life Educational Resources" (MLER) aspect of the SERC program in Fall 2005 as a research assistant for Dave Mogk at Montana State University, Bozeman. The research assistantship provided funding for my Master's degree in the Department of Earth Sciences at Montana State University, which I completed in 2008. I had been working on a thesis project under the direction of Dr. Mark Skidmore involving biogeochemical changes and hydrology in alpine catchments in response to glacier retreat.
I also worked as a GK-12 Fellow while pursuing my Master's degree and working part-time for SERC. Through this fellowship, I was able to teach 4th grade students in Big Sky, MT about aspects of my research, including climate change and water quality as well as to involve them in hands-on, place-based research in their community looking at the water quality in their watershed. My two years as a GK-12 fellow was quite a rewarding experience and further excited me about pursuing a career involving teaching and public outreach, which have been part of my career goal since high school.
In the summer of 2007, my employer for SERC switched from Montana State University to Carleton College and the SERC office. I now work throughout the site, with a main focus in the On the Cutting Edge project, and I help build and maintain digital collections that support workshops. In the summer of 2009, my duties also began to include evaluation assistance for the SERC pages.
Throughout my undergraduate career at Augustana College, I enjoyed field assistantships, teaching assistantships, and eduational outreach programs at local grade schools. I also interned with the Rock Island County Soil and Water Conservation District and University of Illinois Rock Island County Extension, designing and leading activities and educational programs for local schools and public events involving earth sciences and conservation. I participated in several geology department field trips as well as an NSF-REU program studying ice velocities over the summer meltseason on the Matanuska Glacier, AK. These experiences helped me discern my interest in pursuing a career as a geology professor at the college level. I am excited about the prospect of contributing to resources for teachers, students, and the public while working with SERC. Further, I hope to use the knowledge I gain while working on this project in my own classroom.
M.S. Montana State University, Earth Sciences, 2008
B.A. Augustana College, Rock Island, IL Geology, with distinction; Minors: Biology and Environmental Studies, 2005
Presentations and Publications:
Bruckner, Monica Z. and Harder, Jeremy. 2008 Hands-on Approaches to Place-Based Learning about Water Resources through the NSF-BSI GK-12 Program. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 40, No. 6, p. 557
Bruckner, M.Z., Rice, G., and Mogk, D.W. 2007. "Primers" on Research Techniques Used in Geomicrobiology for Students and Novices from Microbial Life Educational Resources. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2007, abstract #ED31A-0094.
Bruckner, M.Z., Skidmore, M.L., and Bond, J.D. 2007. Hydrology and Biogeochemistry of Three Alpine Proglacial Environments Resulting from Recent Glacier Retreat. American Geophysical Union, Fall Meeting 2007, abstract #GC41A-0099.
Illinois Master Naturalist Handbook chapter contributor (publication pending)
Bruckner, Monica Z., Goetz, Staci L., Ham, Nelson, Strasser, Jeffrey C., Lawson, Daniel, 2005, Ice Velocities near the terminus of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, during an unseasonably warm melt season. Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 37, No. 5, p. 83
Bruckner, Monica Z., Goetz, Staci L., Ham, Nelson, Strasser, Jeffrey C., Lawson, Daniel, 2005, Ice Velocities near the terminus of the Matanuska Glacier, Alaska, during an unseasonably warm melt season. Augustana College Celebration of Learning