Teacher Education Division Officers

President Laura Hollister

Laura Hollister is a veteran geoscience teacher of sixteen years and currently teaches A.P. Environmental Science and the Living Earth at Pitman High School in Turlock, California. Laura also has experience teaching Geoscience, Astronomy, Physics, Physical Science and Integrated Science. In 2009 Laura was named the Outstanding Earth Science Teacher for the Far West Section of the NAGT. Laura is the Co-author of 3 NAGT Far West Section Filed Guides: Geology and Climatology of the Saddlebag Lake Region, Tioga Pass, California, Fall 2012; Geology of Lava Beds National Monument, Fall 2007; and the Geology of Del Puerto Canyon, Central Diablo Range, California Fall 1998. Prior to becoming a High School Educator Laura worked as a consulting Environmental Geologist out of the San Francisco Bay Area.

Education: B. S. in Geology, California State University, Stanislaus; M. S. Geosciences, Mississippi State in progress.

Professional Experience: Making Sense of Science i3 Grant Project Teacher Leader; California Science Project Teacher Leader, Stanislaus County High Schools; NASA-ASU-AGI Triad Leadership Training at Arizona State University and Jet Propulsion Lab, 2012—2013


Vice President George Bartuska

George Bartuska teaches at Lawton Chiles Middle Academy, an IB Magnet School in Lakeland, Florida. Within the Space Foundation's Teacher Liaison program, George engages in peer-to-peer instruction. Previously, he served as Academic Advisor to USAF Civil Air Patrol and taught adult Coast Guard Auxiliary members in mandated Coastal Marine Weather and Hurricane Preparedness courses. A veteran of the U.S. Navy, he served aboard the U.S.S. John F. Kennedy. Since then, George has emphasized meteorology, oceanography, and space sciences education. In his current position, George facilitated a Sea Perch Challenge Grant through Embry Riddle Aeronautical University for 7th & 8th grade students to build and operate Remotely Operated Vehicles (ROV) underwater. He also obtained two years grant funding for High Altitude Balloon Launch from Motorola Corp. and the Polk Education Foundation, as well as a SPLASH Grant from the Southwest Water Management District to purchase an Aquifer Groundwater Model and other teaching instrumentation.


Secretary/Treasurer Peggy McNeal

Peggy McNeal is an Assistant Professor of Science Education in the Department of Physics, Astronomy and Geosciences at Towson University in Towson, Maryland. Previously, Peggy was a middle school science teacher for fourteen years after serving as an officer in the United States Navy. Her research interests include identifying cognitive processes significant to practicing and learning meteorology and characterizing the motivations of educators who teach climate change.

Education: B.S. Oceanography, United States Naval Academy; M.S. Geosciences, Mississippi State University; Ph.D. Western Michigan University, Science Education: Geosciences.

Professional Experience: Evaluator and university liaison for intern teachers, Teaching, Learning and Education Studies (TLES), Western Michigan University; Instructor, Mallinson Institute for Science Education, Western Michigan University; PolarTREC Teacher, Arctic Research Consortium of the U.S.; Science and Math Teacher, Grades 6-8, Cajon Valley Union School District, CA

Professional Service: Reviewer, Polar Record, a quarterly peer-reviewed academic journal covering all aspects of Arctic and Antarctic exploration and research; Reviewer, Science Scope, NSTA's peer-reviewed journal for middle level and junior high school science teachers.


Media Director/Past President Suzanne T. Metlay

Suzanne T. Metlay Ph.D., is full-time faculty at Western Governors University, Teachers College, preparing pre-service and of-record teachers to become middle school and high school Earth science educators with subject matter expertise in geology, oceanography, meteorology, and astronomy. Suzanne leads the Geosciences Education program, teaches graduate students as well as undergraduates, and assists students getting ready for their Praxis and state content exams nationwide. Prior to joining WGU, Suzanne was full-time astronomy faculty at Front Range Community College, Colorado; Operations Director at Secure World Foundation (private non-profit for space sustainability); Education Programs Manager at Fiske Planetarium, University of Colorado at Boulder; and a member of the Antarctic Search for Meteorites (ANSMET). Current passions include annual talks at local astronomy clubs about Pluto and other dwarf planets, active engagement in professional organizations (NAGT, GSA, NSTA), and anything Orphan Black or Doctor Who.

Education: B.A., History & Science (Geology & Soviet Studies), Harvard University; Ph.D, Geology & Planetary Science, University of Pittsburgh (PA).

Professional Experience: Western Governors University, Teachers College (2012-present; 2015 WGU Mentoring Contributions Award for peer collaboration and support); Front Range Community College (CO; 2010-2012); Secure World Foundation (CO; 2008-2011); University of Colorado at Boulder, Fiske Planetarium (2004-2008); plus more.

Professional Service: Peer reviewer, Journal of Competency Based Education (2015-present); Founded and administered Earth Education Resources for Two-Year College Faculty (EarthEd2YC; with Rusty Low, NASA Earth Forum Lead; 2014-2015); NAGT Geosciences for Two-Year Colleges (Geo2YC) executive board (archivist; 2012-2014); plus more.


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