Ellen Iverson

SERC Director
Science Education Resource Center
Carleton College

Professional Experience

I joined SERC in March of 2003 where my evaluation and education research work includes the evaluation, educational research, and usability efforts that ground SERC projects in the reality of educator practice. My research interests include investigating the role of communities of practice and networks in co-production of curriculum, policy, and programs, particularly those aimed at broadening access in STEM. I have evaluated more than 40 science education projects and co-lead the national assessment efforts for the NSF InTeGrate STEP Center, a $10 million STEM Talent Expansion award aimed at improving Earth literacy and building a workforce prepared to tackle urgent environmental and resource issues facing humanity. In addition, I have over 30 years of experience in usability assessment.

On July 1, 2021, I assumed the role of Director of SERC where, in collaboration with the SERC leadership team, I lead our work to improve education, guiding projects to completion, developing new directions, raising funds and managing our staff.

Before coming to Carleton College, I spent 14 years in industry working for IBM and as the Technology Manager for Marathon Multimedia (a Learner's Digest International business).

Recent work has included evaluating and conducting research for Advancing Research Impact in Society (ARIS), Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-Year Colleges, National Geoscience Faculty survey, Business and Science: Integrated Curriculum for Sustainability, and co-lead assessment of student work and the curriculum co-production for InTeGrate.

I serve as PI for Workshop for Early Career Geoscience Faculty and co-PI for Becoming a Scientist: Supporting Persistence and Success of Low-Income, Academically-Talented Students in the Carleton College "Broader FOCUS" Project, Teaching with Investigation and Design in Science, Compass: Advancing Earth Education Resource Discovery, and BTSE: Bridging to STEM Excellence.

Areas of expertise include:

  • co-developing theories of change for a given program and designing measures to assess it
  • developing and conducting evaluation studies using methodological approaches such as developmental evaluation, utilization-focused evaluation, outcomes-based evaluation, or process evaluation
  • designing and conducting qualitative research using interview and focus group data collection methods, involving analytical approaches such as Phenomenology, Grounded Theory, Discourse Analysis, Within or Across Case Studies designs
  • designing and administering surveys such as pre/post, retrospective pre/post, social network analysis
  • designing experimental studies and analyzing quantitative data involving descriptive statistics, between-subjects designs, repeated-measures designs, correlational studies, and multiple and hierarchical regression
  • conducting classroom observations as part of a trained cohort of observers using the Reformed Teaching Observation Protocol
  • designing and conducting website usability and heuristic evaluations, including weblog analytics
  • developing and validating student assessment (knowledge, attitude, other perceptions such as sense of belonging) measures


Ph.D., University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Organizational Leadership and Policy (Evaluation Studies)
Post-graduate Certificate, University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Program Evaluation Studies 
M.S., University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Scientific and Technical Communications (User Studies on Graphical Interface Design)
B.S., University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, Scientific and Technical Communications, with distinction
B.S., University of Minnesota at Minneapolis, College of Architecture (Environmental Design)

Selected Publications and Presentations

SERC Publications

Iverson, E. R., & Wetzstein, L. (2020). Connecting learning about the earth to societal issues: Downstream effects on faculty teaching. In J. Ostrow (Ed.), Teaching about Sustainability across Higher Education Coursework, New Directions for Teaching and Learning, No. 161. San Francisco: Jossey-Bass.

Iverson, E., Bragg, D. D., & Eddy, P.L. (2020). How faculty change agents enact mid-level leadership in STEM. New Directions for Community Colleges, Issue 191, pp. 67-79.

Beane, R. J., Altermatt, E. R., Iverson, E. R., & Macdonald, R. H. (2020). Design and impact of the national workshop for early career geoscience faculty. J of Geoscience Education. doi:10.1080/10899995.2020.1722787.

Egger, A. E., Viskupic, K., and Iverson, E. R. (2019). Results of the National Geoscience Faculty Survey (2004-2016). National Association of Geoscience Teachers, Northfield, MN. 82 p.

Iverson, E. R., Steer, D., Gilbert, L. A., Kastens, K., O'Connell, K., & Manduca, C. A. (2019). Measuring literacy, attitudes, and capacities to solve societal problems. In D. C. Gosselin, A. E. Egger, & J. J. Taber (Eds.), Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth and the Environment for a Sustainable Future. Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-03273-9.

Steer, D., Iverson, E.R., Egger, A.E., Kastens, K.A., Manduca, C.A., McConnell, D., (2019). The InTeGrate Materials Development Rubric: A Framework and Process for Developing Curricular Materials that Meet Ambitious Goals, Interdisciplinary Teaching about Earth and the Environment for a Sustainable Future. Switzerland: Springer. ISBN 978-3-030-03273-9.

McDaris, J. R., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C. A., & Orr, C. H. (2019). Teach the Earth: Making the connection between research and practice in broadening participation. Journal of Geoscience Education, 67(4), 300-312.

Macdonald, R. H., Beane, R .J., Baer, E. M.D., Eddy, P. L., Emerson, N. R., Hodder, J., Iverson, E .R., McDaris, J. R., O'Connell, K., and Ormand, C .J. (2019). Accelerating Change: The Power of Faculty Change Agents to Promote Diversity, Equity, and Inclusive Teaching Practices. Journal of Geoscience Education. DOI:10.1080/10899995.2019.1624679

Eddy, P., Hao, Yi, Markiewicz, C., Iverson, E. (2018). Faculty change agents as adult learners: The power of situated learning. Community College Journal of Research and Practice DOI: 10.1080/10668926.2018.1507848.

Viskupic, K., Ryker, K., Teasdale, R., Manduca, C., Iverson, E., Farthing, R., Bruckner, M., McFadden, R., 2019. Classroom Observations Indicate the Positive Impacts of Discipline-Based Professional Development, Journal for STEM Education Research 2, 201–228.

Manduca, C. A., Iverson, E. R., Luxenberg, M., Macdonald, R. H., McConnell, D. A., Mogk, D. W., & Tewksbury, B. J. (2017). Improving undergraduate STEM education: The efficacy of discipline-based professional development. Science Advances, 3(2).

McDaris, J. R., C. A. Manduca, E. R. Iverson, & Orr, C. H. (2017). Looking in the Right Places: Minority Serving Institutions as Sources of Diverse Earth Science Learners.Journal of Geoscience Education 65 ,407-415

Vonk, M., Bohacek, P., Militello, C., & Iverson, E. (2017). Developing model-making and model-breaking skills using direct measurement video-based activities. Physical Review Physics Education Research, 13.

Gregg-Jolly, L., Swartz, J., Iverson, E., Stern, J., Brown, N., Lopatto D. (2016). Situating Second-Year Success: Understanding Second-Year STEM Experiences at a Liberal Arts College. CBE-LSE.

Iverson, E. (2016). Understanding the factors that support the use of active learning teaching in STEM undergraduate courses: Case studies in the field of geoscience. University of Minnesota Digital Conservancy.

DiBartolo, P. M., Gregg-Jolly, L., Gross, D., Manduca, C. A., Iverson, E. R., Cooke, D. B., . . . Swartz, J. E. (2016). Principles and practices fostering inclusive excellence: Lessons from the Howard Hughes Medical Institute's capstone institutions. CBE-Life Science Education, 15, 1-1.

Gross, D. S., Iverson, E. R.; Willett, G. A., Manduca, C. A. (2015). "Broadening Access to Science With Support for the Whole Student in a Residential Liberal Arts College Environment" Journal of College Science Teaching, 12/2013

Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C. A., Rutz, C., & Willett, G. (2015). Faculty development matters: Connecting faculty learning to student learning. Bloomington, Indiana: Indiana University Press.

Willett, G., Iverson, E. R., Rutz, C., & Manduca, C. A. (2014). Measures Matter: Evidence of faculty development effects on faculty and student learning. Assessing Writing Vol. 20. April. p. 19-36

Singer, S., Schwarz, J., Manduca, C. A., Fox S. P., Iverson, E. R., Taylor, B.J., Cannon, S. B., May, G.D., Maki, S. L., Farmer, A. D. & Doyle, J.J. (2013). IBI Series Winner: Keeping an Eye on Biology: Science 25 January 2013: 339 (6118), 408-409. [DOI:10.1126/science.1229848]

Iverson, E. R. (2012). Measurement using Faculty Surveys. Commissioned White Paper presented at the AAAS Measurement of Teaching Practices Meeting. Washington DC.

Rutz, C., Condon, W., Iverson, E. R., Manduca, C.A., and Willett, G. (2012). Faculty development and student learning: What is the relationship? Change, May/June 2012, 42-49.

Iverson, E. (2012). When a Website is Part of Program Evaluation: A Three Staged Approach. Evaluation 2012: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. Minneapolis, MN.

Willett,G., E. Iverson, M. Huber, W. Condon (2011). Faculty Development within Cross-Curricular Initiatives: What Are the Effects on Student Learning? Presented at 2011 The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) Annual Meeting. San Francisco, CA.

Iverson, Ellen A., Sabra Lee, Carol J. Ormand, P.G. Feiss, Heather Macdonald, Cathryn A. Manduca, Randall M. Richardson (2011). Building Strong Geoscience Departments: Case Studies and Findings from Six Years of Programming, Abstract ED23A-0616 Poster presented at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

McConnell, David, Ellen Iverson, David Budd, Darrell Henry, Katrien J. van der Hoeven Kraft, John R. McDaris, Heather MacDonald7, Cathryn Manduca, LeeAnn Srogi, and Karen Viskupic (2011). A Preliminary Snapshot of Geoscience Teaching at US Colleges and Universities, Geological Society of America Abstracts with Programs, Vol. 43, No. 5, p. 136

Manduca, Cathryn A., Ellen A. Iverson, Roman Czujko, Heather Macdonald, David W. Mogk, Barbara J. Tewksbury, John McLaughlin, Camelia Sanford, Lija Greenseid, Michael Luxenberg (2011). Impact of the On the Cutting Edge Professional Development Program on U.S. Geoscience Faculty, Abstract ED42A-04 Presentation at 2011 Fall Meeting, AGU, San Francisco, Calif., 5-9 Dec.

Manduca, Cathryn A., David W. Mogk, Barbara Tewksbury, R. Heather Macdonald, Sean P. Fox, Ellen R. Iverson, Karin Kirk, John McDaris, Carol Ormand, and Monica Bruckner (2010). SPORE: Science Prize for Online Resources in Education: On the Cutting Edge: Teaching Help For Geoscience Faculty: Science, v. 327, no. 5969, pp. 1095-1096.

Iverson, E. and S. Lee (2010). Using Evaluation to Help Transform Departments in the Challenging Economic Environment of Higher Education. Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Kirkendall, R. Iverson, E. and M. Bruckner (2010). Integrating Website Use Analytics into a Mixed Method Evaluation of a Professional Development Website. Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX. 
Kirkendall, R. and E. Iverson (2010) Mainstreaming Evaluation into Faculty Professional Development Programs.Evaluation 2010: American Evaluation Association Annual Meeting. San Antonio, TX.

Willett, G., E.R. Iverson (2010). Researching, Supporting, and Funding Faculty Development Initiatives: A Synergistic Approach. Presented at 2010 Conference of The Association of American Colleges and Universities (AAC&U) on Faculty Roles in High-Impact Practices. Philadelphia, PA.

Iverson, E., C.A. Manduca, J.R. McDaris, and S. Lee (2009). Refining MARGINS Mini-Lessons Using Classroom Observations. Eos Trans. AGU, 90(52), Fall Meet. Suppl., Abstract ED13D-0616

McMartin, F., E. Iverson, A. Wolf, J. Morrill, G. Morgan, C. Manduca (2008). The Use of Online Digital Resources and Educational Digital Libraries in Higher Education. The International Journal on Digital Libraries Special Issue on Digital Libraries and Education. Co-Editor:Lillian Cassel,Sarah Giersch ,Mimi Recker. Springer Publications. 8(2). https://link.springer.com/article/10.1007/s00799-008-0036-y

Wolf, A., F. McMartin, E. Iverson, C. Manduca, J. Morril, and G. Morgan. (2007). Use of online digital learning materials and digital libraries: comparison by discipline. Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Digital libraries, ACM Press, New York. p 500.

McMartin, F., A. Wolf, E. Iverson, C. Manduca, J. Morril, and G. Morgan. (2007). What do faculty need and want from digital libraries? Proceedings of the 2007 conference on Digital libraries,ACM Press, New York. p 493.

McMartin, F., E. Iverson, C. Manduca, A. Wolf, G. Morgan (2006). Factors Motivating Use of Digital Libraries. Proceedings of the 6th ACM/IEEE-CS joint conference on Digital libraries, ACM Press.

Iverson, E.R., McLaughlin, J.A., Manduca, C.A. (2006). The Logic Model as Compass: Guiding Stakeholders Through the Consequences of Evaluation. Presented at American Evaluation Association 2006 Annual Conference.

Manduca, C.A., Iverson, E.R., Fox, S.P., McMartin, F. (2005). Influencing User Behavior through Digital Library Design: An Example from the Geosciences, D-Lib, vol 11(5). (Recipient of the Geoscience Information Society's Best Paper Award for 2006)

Roscoe Iverson (1994). InfoSeek: Creating a lexicon for information search engine. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin (in lieu of patent)

Roscoe Iverson, E. (1994). "Producing a Multimedia Product -- Design Phase", Proceedings for the Society for Technical Communicators

Roscoe Iverson (1993). Overlay Transparent Windows in Graphical Interface. IBM Technical Disclosure Bulletin (in lieu of patent)