Geoscience Education Research Division Officers


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.


Vice President - Chris Mead

Dr. Chris Mead is an Assistant Research Professor in the School of Earth and Space Exploration at Arizona State University. He holds a Ph.D. in Geological Sciences with a focus in Discipline Based Geoscience Education Research. In his current position, he conducts education research and performs evaluation for educational development projects. His areas of expertise include studying digital active learning techniques, such as virtual field trips and intelligent tutoring, and examining diversity, equity, and inclusion in higher education through institutional analysis.


Treasurer - Samuel Cornelius Nyarko

Dr. Samuel Cornelius Nyarko is a Postdoctoral research fellow and leader of the GeoEd research lab in the STEM Education Innovation and Research Institute (SEIRI) at Indiana University Purdue University, Indianapolis. He carries out research in geoethics education, preservice teacher education, social and community learning practices (teamwork and team learning), and diversity, equity and inclusion. He is a social constructivist and share in the philosophy that diversity in knowledge creation is the closest to achieving accurate knowledge. He holds a BS. in Geological Engineering, Kwame Nkrumah University of Science & Technology; M.Phil. in Geology, University of Ghana; and Ph.D. in Science Education - Geosciences, Western Michigan University.


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 -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.

Contact information: leilani.arthurs@colorado.edu


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