Initial Publication Date: September 16, 2022

John McDaris

Project Specialist
Science Education Resource Center - Carleton College
Curriculum Vitae (Acrobat (PDF) 242kB Sep8 23) | ORCID

Pronouns: he/him/his

I have been a member of the Implementation Team at SERC since September 2003. Broadly writ, my work revolves around the dual foci of development of website content related to issues in geoscience and geoscience education and in supporting faculty professional development opportunities.

Jump Down To: Education | Selected Publications | Outside of Work

Web Content Development

Over the last decade plus, I have been involved in many different website development projects. Some highlights include:

InTeGrate: Increase the Diversity of your Graduates

Go to /integrate/programs/diversity/index.html
As a part of the InTeGrate project, I have researched and developed expertise in strategies that support diverse students in learning about the Earth as well as being academically successful more generally. Success in this area relies on supporting the whole student, looking at their experiences holistically and not just in terms of what happens in the classroom. These techniques also help support the success of all students, not just those from traditionally underrepresented populations.

Supporting and Advancing Geoscience Education in Two-year Colleges (SAGE 2YC)

Go to /sage2yc/index.html
Under the auspices of the SAGE 2YC project, I have developed web resources that help geoscience faculty at two-year colleges attract and support students who are interested in pursuing careers in the geosciences, either with a two-year degree or by transferring on to further study. Resources include information about the workforce and potential careers, supporting transfer students, stereotype threat and solo status, and involving 2YC students in undergraduate research experiences. I have also been involved in several other two-year college initiatives including: Economics at Two-Year Colleges, Supporting Community College Faculty Across the Disciplines

Teaching about Hazards in Geoscience

Go to /NAGTWorkshops/hazards/index.html
Beginning in 2004 and 2005 with the Indian Ocean Tsunami and the record-breaking 2005 Hurricane Season, I've been keeping abreast of the various geohazards that people are trying to teach with and about. In collaboration with TERC, I have also been able to develop part of an Earth science lab course curriculum for high school students as a part of the EarthLabs project. As a way of tying together many of the threads of work in this area, I was able to spend some time putting together the Cutting Edge module on Teaching About Hazards in Geoscience.

Workshops and Faculty Professional Development

Since 2003, I have been involved in more than 50 face-to-face, virtual, and hybrid workshops and webinars across a wide range of topics. For each of these events, I provided leadership and/or organizational and technical support. Examples include:

I have also served as the primary support for the Cutting Edge Review Process. As a part of the On the Cutting Edge project, we have coordinated a peer review of several thousand teaching activities collected from geoscience faculty over the last decade as a part of the "price of admission" for participation in Cutting Edge workshops. The results of the peer review provide guidance to users of the website about which teach activities are of highest value and utility. As of 2015, almost 1000 activities have been accepted into the Reviewed Collection and more than 400 into the prestigious Exemplary Collection.


University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Geophysics/Education, Ph.D. (in progress)

Advisor: Joshua Feinberg

University of Minnesota, Minneapolis, MN - Geophysics, M.S., 2000

Investigating Iron Germanate Spinel as a Mantle Mineral Analogue
Advisor: Shun Karato

North Carolina State University, Raleigh, NC - Physics, B.S. cum laude, 1997

Selected Publications

  • 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.
  • Orr, C.H. and McDaris, J.R. (2019). Supporting implementation of program-level changes to increase learning about Earth. In Gosselin, D.C., Egger, A., Taber, J. (Eds). Interdisciplinary Teaching About Earth and the Environment for a Sustainable Future. Springer, New York, NY.
  • McDaris, J.R., Manduca, C.A., Iverson, E.R., and Orr, C.H. (2017). Looking in the Right Places: Minority-Serving Institutions as Sources of Diverse Earth Science Learners. Journal of Geoscience Education, November 2017, Vol. 65, No. 4, pp. 407-415.
  • Williams, M.L., D.W. Mogk, and J. McDaris (2010). Research and Teaching about the Deep Earth. Eos, Vol. 91, No. 32, 10 August 2010.

Additional publications: SERC Publications | Curriculum Vitae (Acrobat (PDF) 242kB Sep8 23) | ORCID Profile

Outside of Work

Outside of work, I devote a lot of time to renovating the early 1900s era home I share with my partner, Jacob, and our dog Maggie; gardening; running; and softball. In addition, I sing professionally with a number of choral ensembles in the Twin Cities.

As of the Fall of 2018, I have dropped to half-time working at SERC, so that I can return to graduate school at the University of Minnesota to pursue my Ph.D. in Hydrogeophysics. I am thrilled to be working with Dr. Joshua Feinberg on using geophysical methods to monitor groundwater quality.