Geoscience Education Research Division Officers

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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Vice President - Emily Scribner

Emily Scribner is a Lecturer in the Department of Environmental Engineering and Earth Sciences at Clemson University. Her research interests are spread between two realms: geoscience education and mineralogy. Her current geoscience education research involves assessing the effectiveness of virtual field camp exercises as an alternative for students who are unable to participate in in-person field exercises. Other geoscience education research she has conducted involved the development of a concept inventory, a validated assessment, that can be used to measure conceptual understanding of introductory mineralogy concepts. Her mineralogy research focuses on the rare-element pegmatites, specifically those that are thought to have been contaminated by their host rocks, resulting in the modification of their chemical signature and mineralogy through the introduction of chemical elements from the host rock. She is currently the State Representative for South Carolina within the Southeastern Section of NAGT.

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 - Larry Collins

Larry Collins is an Assistant Professor in the Division of Mathematics and Sciences and Director of Secondary Science Education programs at Delta State University. Larry's research interests include paleoclimate, geoscience education, and the history of geology. He is especially interested in the use of performance-based assessments as tools for fostering geological literacy. Larry earned his B.S.E. in Earth/Space Science Education from Mansfield University of Pennsylvania, M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction from the University of Scranton, M.S. in Environmental Geoscience from Mississippi State University, and PhD in Science Education from Washington State University.


Graduate Student Liaison - Kristen Foley

Kristen Foley currently works as a Graduate Student Instructor at the Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University. Kristen does research in Geology and Geoscience Education, working toward her MS (Geosciences) and PhD (Geoscience Education) at WMU. Kristen is a graduate of the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University, where she spent time as both a Teaching Assistant and a Research Assistant. Her current research interests are in the digital aspects of geosciences, virtual field trips, and how they impact student learning.


Past President - Emily Geraghty Ward

Emily Geraghty Ward is an Education & Outreach Associate at University of Colorado - Boulder (CIRES). Her expertise is in undergraduate curriculum development, discipline-based education research, and evaluation.  She focuses her research and development work on the design and assessment of place-based geoscience curricula, course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs) and field experiences.  Emily's evaluation experience includes evaluating undergraduate research experiences in formal and informal environments, broadening participation efforts, and professional conferences.

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)