New 2015 National Officers

published Aug 4, 2015 12:00am

The fall 2015 officer election has concluded. The new officers will begin their terms at the NAGT business meetings at the GSA Annual Meeting in Baltimore this fall. Please join with us in congratulating your new NAGT officers for the 2015-16 academic year!

New Officer Biographies

Vice President

Don Duggan-Haas is the Director of Teacher Programs at the Paleontological Research Institution (PRI), its Museum of the Earth and its Cayuga Nature Center. He has taught middle school and high school science, and teacher education at the undergraduate and graduate level, with a focus on science education. His work is now focused on informal education, teacher professional development, and curriculum materials development, with special attention to technology-rich place-based geoscience education, climate and energy, and to the teaching of controversial issues. As part of the PRI's Marcellus Shale team, Don co-authored the book, The Science Beneath the Surface: A Very Short Guide to the Marcellus Shale, and has given many public presentations on hydraulic fracturing (a.k.a., "fracking"), providing scientific information about unconventional drilling in the Marcellus Shale and contextualizing it in the larger energy system.

Education: BA Physics SUNY Geneseo, MS Earth Science Education SUNY Cortland, PhD Curriculum, Teaching and Educational Policy, Michigan State University

Teaching and Professional Experience: Science Teacher, Norwich High School (1987 - 1994); Visiting Assistant Professor, Kalamazoo College (1999-2001); Visiting Assistant Professor, Cornell University (2001-2003); Assistant Professor, Colgate University (2003-2007); Senior Research Associate, then Director of Teacher Programs, The Paleontological Research Institution (2008-Present).

Service: Distinguished Service Award, New York Earth Science Teachers' Association (2015); PI or co_PI of three NSF grants in education; First Vice Chair, Chair, and Past Chair, GSA Geoscience Education Division (2011-2014); Co-organizer of several GSA short courses; Earth & Space Science Design Team for NRC's Framework for K-12 Science Education (2010); New York Statewide Leadership Team for NGSS (2013-present); International Representative, National Science and Engineering Research Council of Canada Promoscience Committee (2013 - present); NSTA Science Education Research Committee, (2003-2006).

Secretary Treasurer

Aida Awad has been the Science Department Chair for Maine East High School in Park Ridge, IL since 2003 and an adjunct at Oakton Community College since 2010. She is the current Past President on NAGT. Her focus is on the implementation of the Next Generation Science Standards and the Framework for K-12 Science Education, specifically focusing on Earth and Space Science, and on teacher professional development in K-12 science education. Aida was a co-convener of the NAGT AGI NGSS Summit in April 2015. She continues to be an active member of the InTeGrate Assessment Team.


Mike Phillips is a Geology Professor at Illinois Valley Community College. Mike teaches courses in physical, environmental, and historical geology as well as oceanography, natural disasters, and environmental science. He recently completed a two-year term as the president of the college's faculty union local. He develops geoscience curriculum and has taught professional courses in classroom assessment techniques. He has served on his local school board for 12 years and assists local communities with environmental issues. He is particularly interested in developing an awareness of and appreciation for earth processes and their interactions with humans.

Education: BS and MS Geology, Southern Illinois University at Carbondale.

Teaching and Professional Experience: adjunct faculty at College of DuPage, John A. Logan College, and Shawnee Community College in Illinois; currently full-time faculty at Illinois Valley Community College in Oglesby, IL and adjunct faculty at Illinois State University in Normal, IL. Teaching experience in physical geology, environmental geology, historical geology, natural disasters, oceanography, environmental science, and introductory GIS.

Service: faculty union president and vice president, Teaching & Learning Committee, Assessment Committee, Educational Excellence Council, all at Illinois Valley Community College; GSA Geology & Public Policy Committee, GSA NC Section Board


Leilani Arthurs is an Assistant Professor of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences at the University of Nebraska-Lincoln. She worked with the USGS-HVO for ~5 years prior to entering the University of Notre Dame's graduate school, where she earned a PhD in Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences as well as four certificates in pedagogy. With formal training in the social sciences, natural sciences, and STEM education research, Arthurs' interdisciplinary scholarly pursuits converge in the area of discipline-based education research at the college level. In particular, she currently studies the challenges that novices confront in developing expertise in environmental and Earth sciences; applies knowledge of research-based instructional strategies to the development and evaluation of locally-, state-, and nationally-supported teacher professional development programs for Earth science instruction; and advises informal education activities to teach the public about Earth and space science.

Education: Certificate Japan in Today's World, Kyushu University; BA Peace and Conflict Studies, University of California at Berkeley; BS Geology, University of Hawaii at Hilo; 4 Certificates Excellence in Teaching, University of Notre Dame; PhD Civil Engineering and Geological Sciences, University of Notre Dame.

Teaching and Professional Experience: Department of Geology Instructor, University of Hawaii at Hilo (2002); Center for Social Concern Instructor, University of Notre Dame (2006-2007); Department of Geological Sciences Science Teaching Fellow, University of Colorado at Boulder (2007-2010); Department of Geology and Geography Assistant Professor (2010-2011); Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences Assistant Professor (2011-present).

Service: Reviewer and Associate Editor for Journal of Geoscience Education (2012-present); Reviewer for Journal of Women and Minorities in Science and Engineering (2014-present); Pedagogy Consultant for Trinity College Dublin, Ireland (2014-present); Designer and Facilitator of Earth Science Teacher Professional Development workshops in Nebraska, USA (2014-present); Designer and Facilitator of STEM Faculty Professional Development workshops in USA and overseas (2007-present).