Geoscience Education Research Division Officers

Past President Kelsey Bitting

Kelsey Bitting is an Assistant Director of the Center for the Advancement of Teaching and Learning and Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Elon University. Kelsey's research interests include exploring the impact of inquiry-based learning experiences on geoscience students' understanding of the nature of science, examining conceptual learning in the context of introductory geology student exploration in virtual field environments, and understanding how faculty and teaching assistant teaching beliefs and practices develop and evolve. She served as the NAGT GER Division's Communications Committee Director from 2015 to 2018, creating the monthly newsletter. She regularly offers workshops and programs for faculty across STEM disciplines and beyond, with an emphasis on the theory and practice of inclusive teaching, evidence-based course and activity design, and intentional student mentoring.

Education: B.A. in Earth and Environmental Sciences & Anthropology, Vanderbilt University; Ph.D. in Geological Sciences and Quaternary Studies Certificate from Rutgers University.

Teaching experience: Uundergraduate-level courses in the geology and environmental science, graduate-level courses in teaching in the geosciences, K-12 science teacher Earth Science content professional development, and university faculty pedagogical professional development.

Memberships: NAGT, GSA, POD Network, CMIND

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President Emily Geraghty Ward

Emily Geraghty Ward is an Associate Professor in the Geology Program at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Her research interests are focused on how places and cultures influence the way people learn about and interpret the physical landscape. Her projects have included working with tribal college faculty, staff and students to develop methods to assess geoscience learning in higher education in the context of different places and cultures. These projects have focused on assessing learning in both formal and informal contexts through place-based instruction and research apprenticeships. Her current work looks at the design and assessment of place-based geoscience classroom interventions and course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Student research projects include investigating rockfall hazards, analyzing fracture networks, and mapping local bedrock geology.

Education: B.A. Geology, Whitman College; M.S. Geology, Washington State University; Ph.D. Geology, University of Montana

Teaching Experience: college level courses including Introductory Geology, Geomorphology, Geology of the National Parks and Monuments, Oil and Gas Geology, Geomechanics, and Geology Capstone course.

Memberships: AGU, GSA, NAGT, Geoscience Alliance (GA), Council on Undergraduate Research (CUR)

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Vice President Leilani Arthurs

Leilani Arthurs is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geological Sciences at the University of Colorado Boulder (CUB). Her research involves understanding the challenges that adult-learners who are novices to geoscience confront during instruction, particularly with respect to the cognitive and affective domains; developing and evaluating formative and summative assessments based on this understanding to facilitate learning geoscience and promote science literacy; and studying the conditions that inhibit and promote the implementation of active learning strategies during post-secondary STEM instruction. She believes that the growing community of scholars pursuing Geoscience Education Research has tremendous potential to transform geoscience education in particular and STEM education more broadly through collaborations within and outside our home disciplines.

Education: B.A. Peace & Conflict Studies, University of California at Berkeley; B.S. Geology, University of Hawai`i at Hilo; four 1-year certificates in pedagogy and Ph.D. Civil Engineering & Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame.

Teaching Experience: college STEM faculty pedagogical professional development, K-12 science teacher Earth Science content professional development, college courses in the social and learning sciences and the natural sciences.

Professional Experience: Geophysics Science Aide at the USGS Hawaiian Volcano Observatory (5 years), Science Teaching Fellow at the University of Colorado at Boulder (3 years), Assistant Professor at Georgia Southern University (1 year), Associate Editor for JGE (2012-2018). Grants: Recipient of funding through NSF-WIDER, NSF-IUSE, and Nebraska Department of Education; external evaluator or advisory member for projects funded through NASA, Space Telescope Science Institute, and NSF-IUSE.

Memberships: AAAS, ACS, AGU, GSA, NAGT, NARST.

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Treasurer Cory Forbes

Cory Forbes is an Associate Professor of Science Education, Director of the National Collaborative for Food, Energy, & Water Systems Education (NC-FEW), and Coordinator of the Science Literacy Initiative at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. His research interests focus on K-16 teaching and learning about Earth systems through the lens of the Food-Energy-Water-Nexus (FEW-Nexus). He currently leads multiple NSF- and USDA-funded projects and has over 15 years of experience teaching high school science, preservice and inservice science teachers, science education graduate students, and undergraduate STEM majors and non-majors. Forbes was awarded the Early Career Research Award by the National Association for Research in Science Teaching (2014) and is a Fulbright U.S. Scholar to Germany (2019-2020). Forbes served on the 2018 Earth Educators' Rendezvous Planning Committee and the National Geoscience Faculty Survey Research Team.

Education: B.S. in Ecology & Evolutionary Biology, University of Kansas; M.S. in Science Education, University of Kansas; M.S. in Natural Resource Sciences, University of Michigan; and Ph.D. in Science Education, University of Michigan.

Teaching experience: College-level (selected): Experiential Learning in Food, Energy, & Water Systems II (Grad), Water in Society (undergrad), Teaching and Learning about Water Systems (Grad), Science and Decision-Making for a Complex World (undergrad), Research Apprenticeship in Science Education (Grad), Inquiry in Science Learning Environments (Grad), Theory and Research on Curriculum Materials for Science (Grad). High school-level: Biology, Physical Science, Environmental Science for Olathe Public Schools (Kansas).


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Secretary Peggy McNeal

Peggy McNeal is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy, and Geosciences at Towson University. Peggy's research interests include understanding how students use spatial thinking to learn in fluid Earth science disciplines such as atmospheric science, oceanography, and hydrogeology. In addition to these investigations, Peggy is working with colleagues in the atmospheric science education research (ASER) community to develop high-priority research questions that address atmospheric science education, share ideas for teaching innovations in atmospheric science classes, and bring awareness of existing ASER literature to atmospheric science faculty. After teaching middle school for fourteen years, Peggy made the transition to higher education where teaching remains the foundation of her work. At Towson University, Peggy teaches physical oceanography and Earth science, the latter to pre-service teachers. In addition to preparing future teachers to be effective geoscience educators, she develops and reviews teaching materials for the National Science Teaching Association (NSTA), and strives to bring evidence-based active learning strategies into her classes. Peggy served as the NAGT-TED division secretary/treasurer from 2017 to 2020 and facilitated division events such as GSA conference sessions and multiple Earth Educators Rendezvous receptions.

Education: B.S. in Oceanography, United States Naval Academy; M.S. in Geosciences, Mississippi State University; and Ph.D. in Science Education—Geosciences from the Mallinson Institute of Science Education, Western Michigan University.

Teaching Experience: College level courses in physical science, oceanography, atmospheric science, and Earth and space science. Middle school math and science.

Memberships: GSA, NAGT, AMS, NSTA

Media Director Lauren Neitzke Adamo

Lauren Neitzke Adamo is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and the Co-Director of the Geology Museum at Rutgers University. Lauren's research interests include stable isotope stratigraphy, paleoceanography, science communication, geoscience education in K-12 classrooms and informal educational settings, and examining the use of drones in the classroom as an educational tool. She is especially interested in working with undergraduate STEAM majors to help create more meaningful and successful Undergraduate Research Experiences and developing and implementing teaching models for use in K-16 geoscience classrooms.

Teaching Experience: 12+ years College Level teaching experience in 100 to 300 level courses and seminars in variety of geoscience and natural history related topics in traditional and online courses. Over a decade of experience teaching all ages in an informal museum setting. Selected as one of 12 educators for the 2018 PolarTREC program and helped facilitate and create content for several professional development courses, including the U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office's "School of Ice".


Education: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Rutgers University

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Graduate Student Liaison Bailey Zo Kreager

Zo Kreager is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University. Zo completed an M.S. in Geology, with research that reviewed Interactive Engagement Strategies used in undergraduate science courses and created a set of Lecture Tutorials for sedimentology and stratigraphy concepts. Her Ph.D. research looks at how spatial skill impacts student performance on sequence stratigraphic diagrams and the benefit of Wheeler diagrams for sequence interpretation. While at Northern Illinois University, Zo has worked with her advisor to transform their introductory courses creating weekly activities aligned with the Predict-Observe-Explain pedagogy and using open-educational resources. As a result, Zo was awarded the NAGT Outstanding TA award in 2018. Zo has used her geoscience education research background for educational outreach activities with the Boy Scouts of America and NIU STEM Outreach program. With NIU STEM Outreach, she ran a week long summer camp in earth and space sciences for high schoolers.

Education: B.S. in Geology, Marietta College; M.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with a focus in Geoscience Education Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ph.D. (in progress) in Geology with a focus in Geoscience Education Research, Northern Illinois University

Teaching experience: Teaching assistant for Introductory to Geology Lab course (2016, 2019), Introductory to Geology Lecture (2017, 2019), Planetary geology (2016). Instructor of record: Introductory Geology Lecture (2017-2018)

Memberships: NAGT, GSA, SGE, AAPG, SEPM