Andrea Bair


Delta College

I currently teach and head a small geology program at a community college in mid-eastern Michigan.

My background includes a Geology BS (Michigan State), a Geology PhD specializing in Vertebrate Paleontology (Nebraska), and had a post-doc Science Teaching Fellowship as part of the Science Education Initiative at the University of Colorado-Boulder (, where I supported research-based transformation of undergraduate geology courses.

I maintain a small research program at the interface of GER and cognitive science, particularly how novices interpret expert visualizations, and utilizing cognitive psychology findings to improve our use of visualizations in teaching. I'm also interested in effective use of technology in teaching and learning (especially the use of clickers and computer simulations), physical models and analogies in teaching and learning science, conceptual learning in the geosciences, scientific explanation and argumentation, and the geology and paleontology of the North American Great Plains.

Workshop Participant, Webinar Participant, Website Contributor

Website Content Contributions

Activity (1)

Teaching about geologic structures with craft foam models and hands-on guided exploration activities part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2019:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Friday
Classroom instruction on geologic structures often involves models demonstrated by the instructor, and/or student construction of paper or clay models. While these models can be useful for conceptual learning, ...

Conference Presentations (2)

Teaching and learning evolutionary trees: how cognitive science predicts "better" and "worse" diagram styles part of Rendezvous 2015:Program:Abstracts
A cladogram is a branching diagram commonly used to depict hypotheses of evolutionary relationships, and is a central representation of evolution in the fossil record. Biological education research has identified ...

Connecting magma formation, origin of crust, and the meaning behind igneous rocks using research-based diagrams, analogies, and games in physical geology part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Previous Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2016:Program:Teaching Demonstrations:Thursday B
This activity aims to: dispel common misconceptions about the origin of magma (i.e., from a liquid layer of Earth), promote understanding of the processes of magma generation, help students see igneous rocks as ...

Other Contribution (1)

Broadening participation in the geosciences through undergraduate on-ramps: Lessons learned in the SAGE 2YC Project part of Earth Educators Rendezvous:Rendezvous 2020:Program:Afternoon Workshops
The geosciences are currently among the least diverse of all science fields. Broadening participation at all levels likely requires both confronting issues of implicit bias and privilege, and concerted efforts ...