NAGT > Divisions > Geoscience Education Research Division > GER Division Officers

Geoscience Education Research Division Officers

President Laura Lukes

As a member of the Geoscience Learning Process Research (GLPR) team at North Carolina State University (led by David McConnell), Laura Lukes has been actively involved in two NSF-funded collaborative, interdisciplinary geoscience education research networks (GARNET and INTEGRATE). Her current research is centered on student motivation and learning in introductory geology courses and the use of qualitative methods in geoscience education research. She regularly presents her research at GSA and currently has two articles under consideration for publication in JGE and one in preparation.

Prior to joining the team at NCSU, Laura Lukes served as an Albert Einstein Distinguished Educator Fellow at the National Science Foundation (2010-2011). While there, she served as director of the Joint Science Education Program (JSEP; a collaborative international science education program on the Greenland ice sheet for teachers and students from Greenland, the U.S., and Denmark). Laura Lukes also has over 10 years of experience teaching geoscience in a variety of learning environments (university, community college, and high school) and formats (in person, online, in the field). She has been recognized for her excellence in teaching by NAGT, GSA, Rio Salado Community College, and North Carolina State University.

Laura Lukes is actively involved in the geoscience education community. She has served as an officer in the SW section of NAGT and is currently serving as a member of the Geological Society of America's Education Committee. Additionally, she participated in the 2014 Summit on the Future of Geoscience Education and served as co-chair of the Association of Polar Early Career Scientists (APECS)'s research communication workshop at the 2014 Arctic Science Summit Week in Helsinki.

In late June, Laura Lukes will be leaving the GLPR team to start a position as Assistant Director of the Center for Teaching and Faculty Excellence at George Mason University (GMU). There, she will focus on effectively communicating education research to faculty to positively influence teaching practices and student learning experiences. She will also continue to teach geoscience, designing and implementing the first geoscience course taught in GMU's Active Learning Technology classroom.

Vice President Nicole LaDue

Nicole LaDue is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University. She is a recent graduate of a discipline-based education research Ph.D. program where she studied spatial ability and visual representations in the geosciences. Her research incorporates methodologies from the learning sciences and education research to address geoscience-specific learning challenges. In addition to visuo-spatial processing, she has studied factors affecting the recruitment of geoscientists. Nicole hopes the newly formed Geo Ed Research Division fosters a sense of community within NAGT and extends the reach of Geoscience Education Research (GER) beyond existing disciplinary boundaries.

Education: B.S. Geology, SUNY Albany; M.A.T., Cornell University; Ph.D. in Geology, Michigan State University. Teaching Experience: 9th grade Earth Science at 2 public high schools in New York State (6 years), dual-credit physical geology through SUNY Oneonta, Global Change introductory geoscience course at MSU, science teaching methods classes at NIU. Professional Experience: 2 years as an Einstein Educator Fellow in the Directorate for Geosciences, NSF; Member of Earth Science Literacy Initiative Organizing Committee; Panel reviewer for NSF, NOAA, NEEF; Reviewer for JGE; Member of SILC (NSF Spatial Intelligence Learning Center), NSTA, NAGT, GSA.

Treasurer Kim Cheek

Kim Cheek is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She teaches courses in science methods for elementary and early childhood education majors. She is interested in how students understand both deep time and the durations of geologic processes across a range of temporal scales.

Education: BA elementary education (minor special education) Goucher College, Towson, MD; M.Ed. elementary education, Towson University, Towson, MD; MS, geoscience, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS; Ph.D. education: science, Durham University, Durham, UK. Relevant teaching experience: science methods for elementary and early childhood majors, introductory earth science. Activities include: Professor in Residence at urban elementary school; text writer for Earth Science exhibit at Singapore Science Centre; curriculum consultant for Sekola Ciputra, Surabaya, Indonesia; critical stakeholder reviewer for A Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS; 11+ years full-time K-12 teaching experience; member SILC (Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center), GSA, NAGT, NARST, and NSTA; Phi Beta Kappa member.

Secretary Katherine Ryker

Katherine Ryker is an Assistant Professor in Earth Science Education in the Department of Geography and Geology at Eastern Michigan University. She received her Ph.D. training as a member of the Geoscience Learning Process Research (GLPR) team led by David McConnell at North Carolina State University. Katherine's research interests revolve around inquiry and student learning in introductory geoscience lectures and labs, the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices, and potential implications for professional development.

Katherine has seven years of teaching experience at the high school and college levels, with teaching awards from NC State and NAGT. She enjoys putting her geoscience education research into practice through professional development opportunities. These have included a SERC Career Development Teaching webinar, the NC State Graduate Student Summer Teaching Institute, university-wide workshops on improving practices in STEM labs, and departmental seminars on Moodle and time management. At EMU, she focuses on pre-service teacher training in the earth sciences. In more informal settings, Katherine has designed and led a week-long summer camp geared toward increasing diversity in the geosciences and works regularly with local K-12 students and teachers to engage the community at large.

Education: B.S. Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University; M.S. (Sedimentology) and Ph.D. (Geoscience Education) in Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University. College teaching experience: Earth Science for Elementary Educators; Secondary Methods for Earth Science Education (Eastern Michigan University); Physical Geology lecture and lab; Geology of NC for Teachers (North Carolina State University). High school teaching experience: Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Intro to High School Math, and Algebra I for Durham Public Schools; Durham, NC. Member: GSA, IAGD (International Association for Geoscience Diversity), AEG, NAGT, NSTA, ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education).



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