Researchers Investigating Geoscience Student Learning

The following faculty have conducted important research into the assessment of learning in the Geosciences. If you would like to be included in this list, please contact Suzanne Savanick at
Paul Bierman is a geomorphologist and Professor of Geology at the University of Vermont. His interests include isotope geochemistry, surface process, human-induced landscape change, and rates of erosion. Bierman's additional interest in working at the interface between active research, education, and science literacy at all levels is reflected in his involvement in the Governor's Institutes of Vermont (a residential program for high school science students) and NSF's Career program combining research and education.

Joanna Bullard is a Senior Lecturer in Physical Geography at Loughborough University in Leicestershire, UK. Her research interests include the morphological variability of linear sand dunes and the effect of aeolian deposition and abrasion on topography and sediment characteristics. 

Dave Dempsey is a Professor of Meteorology at San Francisco State University. His research and teaching interests include dynamic meteorology, mesoscale meteorology, and coastal zone systems. Over the past 5 years Dempsey and his colleagues have received grants from NASA-NOVA and NSF to create two experimental, interdisciplinary geoscience courses designed for future teachers and geoscience majors. 

Bob Filson is a geology instructor at Green River Community College in Auburn, Washington. 

Catherine Gautier is a Professor of Geography at the University of California Santa Barbara. She is the former Director and Principal Investigator at the Institute for Computational Earth System Science and the Head of the Earth Space Research Group. Gautier's research interests include radiative transfer, earth radiation budget and cloud processes, large scale hydrology and surface/atmosphere interactions, global processes, and earth system sciences.

Mike Giordano is a PhD student in Science Education and master's student in Natural Resources at University of Michigan. Previous, he worked at the University of New Hampshire as Manger of Instructional Technology where he provided faculty with training and support for their classroom response system and conducted workshops on assessment at summer faculty institutes.
Janice Gobert, science education researcher. Gobert is principal investigator in 'Making Thinking Visible', a large-scale design study involving middle and high school students who collaborated on-line about plate tectonic activity in widely separated geographic locations. 

Bruce Herbert is an Associate Professor of Geology at Texas A&M University. As a member of the Environmental Geochemistry Research Group, Herbert studies the interface between biogeochemistry, geomorphology, and landscape ecology. The group is also interested in developing creative pedagogical tools and instructional materials that enhance geoscience education. In particular, they are focused on the design and development of Web-based learning (WBL) tools to enhance problem-based learning. 

Julia Johnson is a lecturer in geology at Arizona State University. Her research focus is geoscience education. She is the coauthor of ASU's laboratory manual for Introductory Geology, as well as publications on geology and science-education research. 

Panayiota Kendeou is a 4th year Ph.D. student in educational psychology at the University of Minnesota. Her research interests focus on literacy, text comprehension, and the effects of misconceptions on learning. 

Kaatje Kraft teaches geology at Mesa Community College in Mesa, Arizona.

Scott Linneman is an Assistant Professor of Geology and Science Education at Western Washington University. His professional interests include petrology, landslides, pre-service teacher science education, and the educational uses of the World Wide Web. For the year of 2001, Linneman was in South Africa on a Senior Fulbright Fellowship, where he worked with the Science, Mathematics and Technology Education Department (SMATE) at the University of Port Elizabeth. While at UPE, Linneman worked to incorporate some Earth Science into the teacher preparation courses and assessing the success of SMATE's in-service teacher projects. 

Cathy Manduca, geoscience education researcher. As director of the Science Education Resource Center at Carleton College, Manduca is involved in a variety of projects that support improvements in geoscience and science education. Her work includes serving as a community leader, organizing workshops and other activities for faculty and educators of all types, and developing web-resources that link teaching resources, pedagogy and discussion. Much of her work contributes to programs of the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT), the Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE) and the National SMETE Digital Library (NSDL). 

David McConnell is an Associate Professor of Geology at the University of Akron. McConnell's research focuses on the interaction between faulting and folding and the influence of lithologic variations (structural lithic units) on the folding process. This work is anchored in detailed field studies and incorporates both physical and kinematic modelling. 

James McDougall teaches physics and earth science at Tacoma Community College. 

Dave Mogk, geoscience education researcher. Professor Mogk has worked on several projects with the Science Education Resource Center (SERC) and Digital Library for Earth System Education (DLESE). His recent work has included teaching with visualizations; integrating geology with public health issues; and investigating challenges in creating a national library for undergraduate science education.
Daniel Murray is a Professor of Geology at the University of Rhode Island.

James Myers, Igneous Petrologist A Professor of Geology at the University of Wyoming, Myers uses classical approaches (i.e. field mapping, petrographic study) with analytical (major and trace element, microprobe, isotopic) and experimental studies in integrated quantitative studies of the petrogenesis of a diverse range of volcanic and plutonic rocks. His current research includes the petrogenesis of island arc magmas. 

Ed Nuhfer is the Director of the Center for Teaching and Learning and Professor of Geology at Idaho State University. Nuhfer founded the Teaching Excellence Center at the University of Wisconsin at Platteville and later directed the Office of Teaching Effectiveness at University of Colorado at Denver. He has directed interdisciplinary programs and authored numerous publications that span geology, chemistry, environmental science, education and faculty development. 

Dexter Perkins is a Professor of Geology at the University of North Dakota. His research interests include mineralogy, metamorphic petrology, mineral thermodynamics, and geoscience education reform. 

Bill Prothero, Geophysicist, Seismologist, Educational Technologist. A Professor in the Geological Sciences Department at the University of California Santa Barbara, Prothero's primary research field is seismology, tomography, and seismic instrumentation. Recently he has been focusing on the application of technology to learning in large classes, and is interested in using technology to teach the "process" of science and scientific thinking to non-scientists. He is currently developing the "EarthEd Online" technology to create an online oceanography course. 

Edys Quellmalz is the Associate Director of Assessment at SRI International's Center for Teaching and Learning. Quellmalz is focusing on assessment and evaluation designs for technology-enhanced education programs. She leads assessment projects funded by NSF and the Department of Education involving the creation of network-based systems for evaluation and performance assessment resources, studies of the technical qualities of reference exams and development of innovative, technology-supported student assessments. 

Federica Raia is a science education faculty member at the City College of the City University of New York.
David N. Rapp, cognitive psychologist (more info) . Assistant professor of educational psychology at the University of Minnesota, David Rapp's research focus is higher-order cognitive processes. His work aims to improve the development of multimedia tools, aid information processing, and inform design of educational methodologies.
Steve Reynolds, geoscience educator. (more info) Reynolds is a geology professor at Arizona State University, and his personal interests displayed on his website include numerous color photographs, 3D perspectives, and information about the Geology of Arizona, Landscapes of the Southwest, structural geology, science-education reform, and using Bryce5 to illustrate geology.
Mary Savina is Professor of Geology, Director of Archaeology, and Coordinator of the Perlman Learning and Teaching Center at Carleton College. Savina's research interests include Quaternary history, geomorphology and archaeological geology of Greece, Quaternary history and environmental geomorphology of Minnesota, tectonic geomorphology of arid Southwest United States, and hillslope processes. 

Steven Semken, geoscience-education researcher. Steve is an assistant professor of geological sciences at Arizona State University and a former tribal-college educator. His research and teaching interests are centered in the desert Southwest and include place-based and culturally-responsive teaching, American Indian ethnogeology, EarthScope education and outreach, diversity in geoscience, and Southwest regional geology. 

William Slattery, geoscience education researcher Slattery is an Associate Professor of Geological Sciences and Teacher Education at Wright State University in Dayton, Ohio. 

LeeAnn Srogi is a Professor of Geology at West Chester University. Her research interests include the Paleozoic igneous and metamorphic rocks and Jurassic diabases in Pennsylvania and Delaware, and their connections with similar units throughout the Appalachians. In addition to courses in geology, Srogi teaches graduate level workshops designed to stimulate new ways of teaching about minerals and rocks, as well as undergraduate general education science courses. 

David Steer is an Assistant Professor of Geology at the University of Akron, specializing in geophysics, tectonics, and reflection seismology. Steer's research interests include work directed at understanding the structure and evolution of the continental crust and upper mantle, primarily in ancient orogenic settings. He is also involved in Geographical Information System (GIS) research of geologic, geophysical, and imagery analysis data used in support of the Comprehensive Nuclear Test Ban Treaty (CTBT). 

Vanessa Svihla is a graduate student in the K-12 Fellowship Program at the University of Texas at Austin. 

Holly Taylor is an Assistant Professor of Psychology at Tufts University. Her research interests include language, memory, representation, spatial cognition, temporal cognition, and text comprehension. 

Karl Wirth is an igneous petrologist, geochemist, and Associate Professor of Geology at Macalester College. His research interests are concerned primarily with the origins of igneous rocks and the chemical evolution of the Earth's crust and upper mantle. 

Aaron Yoshinobu, structural geologist. Yoshinobu is an Assistant Professor at Texas Tech University in the Department of Geosciences. His area of specialty is Structural Geology and Tectonics. Current research endeavors include Structural evolution of pluton-host rock systems, Ordovician magmatism, deformation, & exhumation in central Norway, Ophiolites and the construction and destruction of the oceanic lower crust, and the interconnections between science, literature, and the environment through study of the poetry and stone masonry of 20th Century California poet Robinson Jeffers.

Other Assessment Researchers

Pamela Burnley, geoscience education researcher. Her focus includes high-pressure experimental rock deformation, mantle phase transformation, and computer modeling of these processes. She is an Assistant Professor of Geology at Georgia State University. Burnley is also interested in improving the effectiveness of teaching methods and promoting outreach strategies for geosciences.
Judy Dori, science educator and assessment expert. Prof. Yehudit Judy Dori is a tenured faculty at the Department of Education in Technology and Science, Technion - Israel Institute of Technology, Haifa, Israel. She is also a Research Scholar at the Center for Educational Computing Initiatives, Massachusetts Institute of Technology, Cambridge, MA. Her research interests are related to teaching and learning chemistry and environmental studies, and focus on models and computerized molecular modeling, education through technology, and assessment. She has been Principal Investigator of several Israeli national science education projects.
Danny Edelson, education technology researcher. Danny Edelson is an Associate Professor of Learning Sciences and Computer Science at Northwestern University. He conducts research on the use of computers to reform education. His primary research focus is the design of computer programs to support active, open-ended learning. In addition to research on the design of learning technologies, he is also engaged in research on the design of inquiry-based science curriculum and professional development for teachers that will lead to the widespread, effective use of learning technologies in schools.

Michelle Hall-Wallace, geoscience educator and geophysicist. Hall-Wallace is director of the SAGUARO Project (formerly SAGE). SAGUARO utilizes Geographic Information System (GIS) software to conduct investigations of earth and environmental systems. She is also engaged in learning assessment associated with the visualization modules built through SAGUARO.

Yael Kali, science and technology educator. (more info) Yael Kali's work focuses on cognitive aspects of learning earth sciences, the design and development of computer-based tools, and curricula related to these subjects. Kali is a senior lecturer in Education in Science and Technology at the Technion, Israel.
Kim Kastens, geoscience education researcher. Kastens' research in Earth & Environmental Science at Columbia University is focused on improving the public's understanding of Earth systems. Her work includes training journalists and teachers, utilizing information technology to change the way we learn, and investigating the processes by which we understand and communicate using maps (through the Where are We? project).
Dr. Helen King is the manager of the UK-wide Subject Centre for Geography, Earth and Environmental Sciences (part of the new Higher Education Academy). Before taking up this post in May 2000 she was the manager of an FDTL project on Earth Science Staff Development which involved running workshops, disseminating good practice and building up a national network of Earth Science educators. Her main role is in project management but she also has a particular interest in supporting staff CPD and developing student employability skills.

Julie C. Libarkin, geoscience education researcher. Libarkin is an Assistant Professor of Geoscience and Math and Science Education at Michigan State University. Her research and teaching interests include geocognition and tectonics.
Michael Piburn, science education researcher. Piburn is Professor Emeritus at Arizona State University. He received his Ph.D. in geology from Princeton University, and has held positions in geology and science education at a number of universities. His research interests include visualization, evaluation of instruction at the college level, constructivist teaching practices, and attitudes and values. He is co-editor, with Dr. Dale Baker, of the Journal of Research in Science Teaching.
Jim Slotta, education researcher. A professional researcher in the Graduate School of Education, University of California, Berkeley, Jim Slotta leads a team of researchers, teachers, and technology specialists in developing the Web-based Inquiry Science Environment (WISE). WISE provides a technology-rich environment that supports students and teachers as they perform cognitively informed inquiry projects.
Richard Yuretich, geoscience education researcher. Yuretich has multiple interests in lake sediments, clay minerals, environmental geochemistry, sedimentology, and education research. He is also involved in educational research in the teaching of undergraduate courses and improving the science preparation of prospective K12 teachers. These efforts have been carried out with the support of the National Science Foundation (STEMTEC, STEM Connections) and NASA (Planet Earth).