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

Geoscience Education Research Division Officers

Past 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.

President Todd Ellis

Todd Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Mallinson Institute for Science Education and Department of Geography at Western Michigan University. He moved to Western in 2015 to further pursue discipline-based education research in the atmospheric and climate sciences. Previously, he studied atmospheric energy balance and its impacts on the changing hydrologic cycle. He was an Associate Professor at SUNY Oneonta, teaching major and non-major classes in physical meteorology and pursuing a research agenda studying the use of data and observations in the K-12 classroom. He continues this work at Western and additionally is studying ways to incorporate learner observations and data analysis as part of teacher candidate preparation, as well as understanding the unique teaching and learning challenges associated with the study of the atmosphere for K-16 learners. He also continues to work with NASA supporting public outreach and engagement with the NASA CloudSat mission, and is a GLOBE Partner and scientist.

Education: B.S. Physics, Penn State University - University Park; B.S. Meteorology, Penn State University - University Park; M.S. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University - Fort Collins; Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University - Fort Collins. Teaching Experience: SUNY Oneonta: Introduction to Meteorology, Introduction to Oceanography, Global Climate Change, Computer Data Analysis in Meteorology, Atmospheric Thermodynamics, Atmospheric Radiative Transfer, Remote Sensing of the Atmosphere, Senior Research Seminar; K-12 and Public Outreach: NASA CloudSat Mission and GLOBE Program since 2008. Professional Experience: PI, NSF CCLI Program on Computer Usage in Undergraduate Meteorology, 2009-2012; PI, NASA EPOESS Grant for Teaching Inquiry using NASA Earth-System Science (TINES) 2011-2015; Co-PI NSF Geo-Ed Grant on the SUNY Oneonta ESOP Dual-Enrollment Program (2010-2013); Co-PI NSF Noyce Scholars Program at SUNY Oneonta (2009-2015); Panel Reviewer for NASA, NSF; Member, NSTA, NAGT, GSA, AGU, AMS.

Treasurer Anne Gold

Anne Gold is Associate Scientist and geoeducation specialist with the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences (CIRES)'s Education and Outreach group. She has conducted climate science research for 6 years and taught many college-level classes, including field-camps and advised M.S. students. She is serving as a lead on a summer research project for community college students in Colorado, on curriculum development projects and on a research project about the importance of spatial thinking in Geoscience education. She is the PI of an ITEST project in which students develop short videos about how climate change affects their communities and lives. She previously developed the CLEAN peer-review process for educational resources. She conducts program evaluation and educational research around climate topics. Her projects translate research into educational resources.

Vice President Karen McNeal

Karen McNeal is an Associate Professor in the Department Geosciences at Auburn University. Her research is best characterized by the geoscience education and geocognition research fields where the study of peoples' understanding, engagement, and perceptions of complex earth systems is emphasized. She ties together the affective and cognitive domains of learning through both qualitative and quantitative methods in the context of climate change and Earth System Science phenomena. Where she specifically, focuses on student's conceptual model development of complex environmental systems; assessing the affective (value and belief) influences on people's climate knowledge and perceptions; measuring participant engagement and attention through psychomotor (e.g., eye-tracking and skin conductance) responses to climate information and testing differences between expert and novice learners; and the development and testing of programs, classroom activities and pedagogies that enhance scientific literacy, recruitment of students to the geosciences, and the communication of the geosciences, especially those approaches which are student-centered in active learning settings (e.g., flipped classrooms).

Karen hopes to continue to foster the community the Geo Ed Research Division has established both within the disciplinary boundaries and beyond.

Education: B.S. Marine Science, Eckerd College; M.S. Oceanography, Texas A&M University; Ph.D. Geology, Texas A&M University. Teaching Experience: Earth System Science, Global Change, Introduction to Physical Geology, Ocean Science, Climate Change Literact and Communication, Biogeochemical Cycles, Environmental Geology, Principles of Pedagogical Design in STEM, Geoscience Education: Theory, Research and Practice Professional Experience: Assistant and Associate Professor at Mississippi State University (6 years); Associate Professor at North Carolina State University (3 years); Associate Professor at Auburn University (Present); Co-PI, PI or external evaluator on over 28 external grants with funding from the NSF, NOAA, EPA, and NASA totaling over $14M; ~40 peer-reviewed publications; Editor for Research of JGE (2010-2014) and Associate Editor of JGE (2014-present); Panel Reviewer for NOAA, NSF; Member, NAGT, GSA, AGU.

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 ten years of teaching experience at the high school and college levels, with teaching awards from NAGT, NC State and Eastern Michigan University. She enjoys putting her geoscience education research into practice through professional development opportunities. These have included a SERC Career Development Teaching webinar, university-wide workshops on improving practices in STEM lectures and labs, and departmental seminars course 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: Physical Geology lecture and lab; Earth Science for Elementary Educators; Essentials of the Geosphere for Elementary Teachers; Secondary Methods for Earth Science Education; Nature of Science; Nature of Science for Elementary Teachers; Geology of NC for Teachers (Eastern Michigan University, 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).