Rory McFadden

Science Education Associate

Science Education Resource Center - Carleton College

Jump down to: Projects | Background | Education | Selected Publications

I rejoined the SERC implementation team in the summer 2023. As a Science Education Associate, I design, conduct, collaborate on, and/or consult with projects and organizations that support effective practices in science education. I lead or support professional development events (e.g., workshops, webinars) and collaborate with project evaluators and research teams to design and conduct studies of program outcomes. I also develop ideas, build partnerships, and write grant proposals for new projects with SERC colleagues and other collaborators.


TMYN_majors page
I am a co-PI on the NSF IUSE project, The Math Your Earth Science Majors' Need, When They Need It: Improving Quantitative Skills in the Future Earth Science Workforce. The project, simplified to TMYN-Majors, is supporting quantitative skill and reasoning development in the context of Earth science problems for Earth science majors, providing professional development for faculty teaching with quantitative skills, and to learn more about Earth science majors' experience, interest, and self-efficacy related to math.


I have over 10 years of experience as a faculty member in geoscience departments in which I have conducted geoscience and geoscience education research, written grant proposals, and managed projects. In my faculty positions at Gustavus Adolphus College and Salem State University (MA) I taught numerous solid earth geoscience courses, conducted field-based structural geology and petrology research with undergraduate students, and led geoscience education projects with faculty colleagues to enhance education opportunities for diverse students. I served on the leadership team for the HHMI Inclusive Excellence Project at Gustavus, was a member of the National Geoscience Faculty Survey Research team, and co-lead the Earth Education For Sustainable Societies workshop.

I am also deeply involved with the National Association of Geoscience Teachers (NAGT). I am currently the 2nd Vice President of NAGT and serve on the Executive Committee and Professional Development Committee. I was also the inaugural chairperson for the NAGT webinar series.

In between my two faculty positions, I worked at SERC in 2016-2017. During that time, I managed multiple projects that involved large, distributed teams, across multiple institutions to improve professional development and build pathways to geoscience careers. For many of these projects, I managed budgets, analyzed data, wrote post-workshop or meeting syntheses, and created project webpages using the SERC content management system to disseminate outcomes. I managed the NAGT Traveling Workshop Program and the InTeGrate webinar series to deliver workshops and webinars for geoscience educators. I supported the INCLUDES Pilot project EarthConnections to develop community pathways to geoscience careers, and I supported, facilitated, and managed logistics for a series of two-day workshops on strengthening geoscience at Historically Black Colleges and Universities.


  • Ph.D. Earth Sciences, University of Minnesota-Twin Cities, Minneapolis, MN, 2009
  • M.S. Geology, University of Wyoming, Laramie, WY, 2004
  • B.S. Geology-Biology, University of Rochester, Rochester, NY, 2001

Selected Publications

McFadden, R.R.,Taylor, J.M., *Senjem, A., *Schroeder, H., *Johnson, I., and Seaton, N., in revision, Deformation conditions and kinematic vorticity in the Wildhorse Detachment, Pioneer Metamorphic Core Complex, Idaho, Journal of Structural Geology

Taylor, J., Teyssier, C., Whitney, D., McFadden, R.R., and Barou, F., 2023 Linked microstructural and geochemical evolution of mylonitic quartzite during exhumation of a core complex, Journal of Structural Geology

Viskupic, K., Egger, A.E., McFadden, R.R., and Schmitz, M., 2021, Comparing Desired Workforce Skills and Reported Teaching Practices to Model Students' Experiences in Undergraduate Geoscience Programs, Journal of Geoscience Education, doi:10.1080/10899995.2020.1779568. (JGE Best Paper 2022)

Gamage, K., McFadden, R.R., and Macdonald, R.H., 2021, Development of students' skills in introductory geoscience courses: A comparison of self-reported teaching practices at two-year and four-year institutions, Journal of Geoscience Education, doi: 10.1080/10899995.2020.1833655.

McFadden, R.R., Viskupic, K., and Egger, A.E., 2019, Faculty self-reported use of quantitative and data analysis skills in undergraduate geoscience courses: Journal of Geoscience Education,

Viskupic, K., Ryker, K., Teasdale, R., Manduca, C., Iverson, E., Farthing, D., Bruckner, M.Z., and McFadden, R., 2019, Classroom observations indicate the positive impacts of discipline-based professional development, Journal of STEM Education Research,

McFadden, R.R.,Teyssier, C., Siddoway, C.S., Cosca, M.A., and Fanning, C.M., 2015, Mid-Cretaceous oblique rifting of West Antarctica: Emplacement and rapid cooling of the Fosdick Mountains migmatite-cored gneiss dome: Lithos, 232, 306–218. Doi: 10.1016/j.lithos.2015.07.005

McFadden, R.R., Mulch, A., Teyssier, C., and Heizler, M., 2015, Eocene extension and meteoric fluid flow in the Wildhorse Detachment, Pioneer metamorphic core complex, Idaho: Lithosphere, doi: 10.1130/L429.1.

Saito, S., Brown, M., Korhonen, F.J., McFadden, R.R., and Siddoway, C.S., 2013, Petrogenesis of Cretaceous mafic intrusive rocks, Fosdick Mountains, West Antarctica: Melting of the sub-continental arc mantle along the Gondwana margin, Gondwana Research, 23, 1567–1580.

Yakymchuk, C., Siddoway, C.S., Fanning, C.M., McFadden, R.R., Korhonen, F.J., and Brown, M., 2013, Anatectic reworking and differentiation of continental crust along the active margin of Gondwana: a zircon Hf-O perspective from West Antarctica, Geol. Soc. London Spec. Publ.

Montes, C., Cardona, A., McFadden, R., Moron, S.E., Silva, C.A., Restrepo-Moreno, S., Ramirez, D.A., Hoyos, N., Wilson, J., Farris, D., Bayona, G.A., Jaramillo, C.A., Valencia, V., Bryan, J., and Flores, J.A., 2012, Evidence for middle Eocene and younger land emergence in central Panama: Implications for Isthmus closure, Geological Society of America Bulletin, doi: 10.1130/B30528.

Whattam, S.A., Montes, C., McFadden, R.R., Cardona, A., Ramirez, D., and Valencia, V., 2012, Age and origin of earliest adakitic-like magmatism in Panama: Implications for the tectonic evolution of the Panamanian magmatic arc system, Lithos, 142–143, 226–244.

McFadden, R.R., Siddoway, C.S., Teyssier, C., and Fanning, C.M., 2010, Cretaceous oblique extensional deformation and magma accumulation in the Fosdick Mountains migmatite-cored gneiss dome, West Antarctica: Tectonics, doi: 10.1029/2009TC002492.

McFadden, R.R., Teyssier, C., Siddoway, C.S., Whitney, D.L., and Fanning, C.M., 2010, Oblique dilation, melt transfer, and gneiss dome emplacement: Geology, 375–378, doi: 10.1130/G30493.1.

McFadden, R., Siddoway, C.S., Teyssier, C., Fanning, C.M., and Kruckenberg, S.C., 2007, Cretaceous oblique detachment tectonics in the Fosdick Mountains, Marie Byrd Land, Antarctica, in Antarctica: A Keystone in a changing World – Online Proceedings of the 10th ISAES, edited by A.K. Cooper abd C.R. Raymond et al., USGS Open-File Report 2007-1047, Short Research Paper 046, 6 p.; doi: 10.3133/0f2007-1047.srp046.

McFadden, R.R., Snoke, A.W., and Barnes, C.G., 2006, Structural and petrologic evolution of the Bear Peak intrusive complex, Klamath Mountains, California, in Snoke, A.W., and Barnes, C.G., eds., Geologic studies in the Klamath Mountains province, California and Oregon. GSA Special Paper 410, p. 333–355, doi: 10.1130/2006.2410(16).

Barnes, C.G., Snoke, A.W., Harper, G.D., Frost, C.D, McFadden, R.R., Bushey, J.C., Barnes, M.W., 2006, Arc plutonism following regional thrusting: Petrology and geochemistry of syn- and post-Nevadan plutons in the Siskiyou Mountains, Klamath Mountains province, California, in Snoke, A.W., and Barnes, C.G., eds., Geologic studies in the Klamath Mountains province, California and Oregon, GSA Special Paper 410, p. 357–376, doi: 10.1130/2006.2410 (17).