NAGT > Professional Development > Speakers and Topics > Distinguished Speakers Series > 2008 - 2009 Distinguished Speakers

2008 - 2009 Distinguished Speakers

Go to the online application and funding request form to submit your Distinguished Speaker request.

You can also download a flyer (Acrobat (PDF) 1.4MB Sep16 08) about the program and the speakers.


Robert Butler

Department of Physics, University of Portland, OR
Robert Butler was at the University of Arizona from 1974 through 2004 and was involved in field projects on six continents. In 2004, he moved to the University of Portland where he teaches Earth System Science; Natural Hazards of the Pacific Northwest; and Introduction to Marine Science. His scholarly work includes directing the Teachers on the Leading Edge collaborative, a K-12 Earth Science teacher professional development program, and education and outreach activities connected with the National Science Foundation's EarthScope Project.

LuAnn Dahlman

Center for Earth and Space Science Education, TERC
LuAnn Dahlman is a K-12 curriculum developer and workshop leader for inservice educators. She has served as co-PI and Project Director on several NSF projects that encourage the use of technology and data for learning. She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Geology at Arizona State University, and has been a practicing educator for more than 20 years. Recently, Ms. Dahlman worked as a member of the ANDRILL projectANtarctic geology DRILLingrecovering sedimentary rock records from beneath McMurdo Ice Shelf in Antarctica.

Susan DeBari

Geology Department and Science Education Program, Western Washington University
Susan DeBari has a joint appointment in the Geology Department and the Science Education Program at Western Washington University. Her teaching and research efforts are split between both disciplines, with active research programs in subduction zone magmatism and effective learning strategies in introductory geology courses. She is involved in a NSF Math-Science Partnership whose goal is to reform K-12 science education in northwestern Washington through teacher professional development and improved teacher preparation programs. Susan teaches geology courses for undergraduate and graduate students, and science methods classes for future teachers.

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Tracy Gregg

Department of Geology, University of Buffalo, NY
Tracy K.P. Gregg is an Associate Professor of Geology at the University at Buffalo (SUNY), and principal investigator on a number of NASA and NSF grants. She teaches a range of upper-level geology courses containing a mix of graduate and undergraduate students. She has developed innovative, hands-on laboratory and classroom exercises for introductory and advanced geoscience courses, and has co-led national workshops on enhancing undergraduate geoscience education.

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Eric Grosfils

Geology Department, Pomona College, CA
Eric Grosfils is an Associate Professor at Pomona College. Recipient of the 2001 Biggs Award from GSA, he has taught courses in planetary geology, environmental remote sensing/GIS, geomathematics, geophysics and research methods. Dedicated to the notion that students enjoy doing science more than hearing about it, he mixes research experiences into his teaching within and beyond the classroom. He also enjoys exploring how quantitative analysis and visualization can help move students beyond a basic understanding of geology and enhance their ability to explore interesting problems. His own planetary geology research explores how comparative study of Earth, Venus and Mars can be used to improve our understanding of fundamental volcanic and tectonic processes.

Bruce Herbert

Bruce Herbert

Geology & Geophysics, Texas A&M University
Bruce Herbert is Associate Professor of biogeochemistry and Associate Director of Geosciences with the Information Technology in Science (ITS) Center for Learning and Teaching at Texas A&M University. He is also currently principal investigator of an NSF-sponsored professional development program for intern STEM teachers seeking alternative certification. Dr. Herbert is addressing a number of educational issues and research topics, including the design and implementation of authentic inquiry in the classroom, restructuring curriculum to focus on model-based learning, the use of multiple representations (i.e. physical models, visualizations, and simulations) to support student understanding of complex earth and environmental systems, and programmatic design that builds synergy between scientific research and education.

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Patricia (Tricia) Kelley

University of North Carolina - Wilmington
Patricia Kelley was educated at the College of Wooster and Harvard and has held positions at University of Mississippi, NSF, University of North Dakota, and University of North Carolina Wilmington. She is a Fellow of GSA and AAAS and a past president of the Paleontological Society and the Paleontological Research Institution's Board of Trustees. She received the 2003 Outstanding Educator Award from AWG. As a specialist in mollusc evolution and wife of a Presbyterian minister, Tricia is keenly interested in teaching evolution and the evolution/creation controversy.

Stephen Pompea

National Optical Astronomy Observatory, Tucson, AZ
Stephen Pompea is enthusiastic about using creative instructional materials and innovative programs to reach new audiences in earth science and astronomy education. As Manager of Science Education and Scientist at NOAO in Tucson he is currently a PI or Co-PI on four major NSF-funded science education projects. He brings a unique perspective that reflects his work as an earth science classroom teacher and informal science educator, in industry and academia as an infrared instrument designer, and as a creator of instructional materials at all levels. He was educated at Rice University, Colorado State University, and the University of Arizona, where he received his Ph.D. in astronomy and serves as an Adjunct Associate Professor. He manages over fifteen diverse programs in science education, has received a number of teaching and invention awards, and is the co-author of three books in the UC Berkeley Lawrence Hall of Science GEMS series including Invisible Universe and The Real Reasons for the Seasons.

Wayne Powell

Brooklyn College of the City University of New York, New York, NY
Wayne Powell is an Associate Professor and Chair of Geology at Brooklyn College of the City University of New York. He focuses on the development of earth science teacher-training programs that integrate neighborhood-based learning through partnerships with non-formal education organizations such as museums and parks. Based in New York City, Wayne is particularly interested in how urban resources (cultural, natural and professional) can be best used to overcome the challenges of inner-city education. In the past five years, he has been supported in these endeavors by four grants from NSF, and four grants from the New York State Education Department. Believing that active engagement in scientific inquiry is essential for both science students and science educators, Wayne maintains an active research program which focuses on applying petrological approaches to the understanding of processes such as ore genesis and taphonomy.

Eric Pyle

Department of Geology & Environmental Science, James Madison University, VA
Eric J. Pyle has been an Associate Professor of Geology in the Department of Geology & Environmental Science at James Madison University since 2005, where he specializes in Geoscience Education issues, primarily at the secondary level. This includes extensive work with teachers of Earth science, with professional development and instructional materials as a focus. He worked as a science education specialist at WVU (1995-2004). A graduate of the UGA (science education), he worked as an Earth science teacher in North Carolina from 1986-1992, after receiving his MS from Emory University (Geology) and BS from UNC-Charlotte (Earth Science/Geology), concentrating on igneous/metamorphic petrology. A Past President of the West Virginia Science Teachers Association, he is currently the President-Elect of the Virginia Association of Science Teachers and 2nd Vice Chair of the Geoscience Education Division for GSA.

Michael Wysession

Washington University in St. Louis
Michael Wysession, Associate Professor of Earth and Planetary Sciences at Washington University in St. Louis, is a leading expert on using seismic imaging to determine the structure, composition and dynamics of Earth's mantle. He received the Presidential Faculty Fellowship and Packard Foundation Fellowship for his work. Wysession is a leader in geoscience education, as Chair of the Earth Science Literacy Initiative, Chair of Education and Outreach for the Incorporated Research Institutions for Seismology, lecturer in a 48-lecture video course on "How the Earth Works" with The Teaching Company, and author/writer of textbooks at middle school, high school, undergraduate and graduate levels.


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This year's speakers are cosponsored by Deep Earth Academy and the Consortium for Ocean Leadership.

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