New 2015 GER Officers

published Aug 4, 2015 12:00am

The fall 2015 officer election has concluded. Please join with us in congratulating your new NAGT officers for the 2015-16 academic year!


Nicole LaDue is an Assistant Professor in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University. She is a recent graduate of a discipline-based education research Ph.D. program where she studied spatial ability and visual representations in the geosciences. Her research incorporates methodologies from the learning sciences and education research to address geoscience-specific learning challenges. In addition to visuo-spatial processing, she has studied factors affecting the recruitment of geoscientists. Nicole hopes the newly formed Geo Ed Research Division fosters a sense of community within NAGT and extends the reach of Geoscience Education Research (GER) beyond existing disciplinary boundaries.

Education: B.S. Geology, SUNY Albany; M.A.T., Cornell University; Ph.D. in Geology, Michigan State University. Teaching Experience: 9th grade Earth Science at 2 public high schools in New York State (6 years), dual-credit physical geology through SUNY Oneonta, Global Change introductory geoscience course at MSU, science teaching methods classes at NIU. Professional Experience: 2 years as an Einstein Educator Fellow in the Directorate for Geosciences, NSF; Member of Earth Science Literacy Initiative Organizing Committee; Panel reviewer for NSF, NOAA, NEEF; Reviewer for JGE; Member of SILC (NSF Spatial Intelligence Learning Center), NSTA, NAGT, GSA.

Vice President

Dr. Todd Ellis is an Assistant Professor in the Mallinson Institute for Science Education and the Department of Geography at Western Michigan University in Kalamazoo, MI. His dissertation research was focused on energy and climate change in the atmosphere, but he now focuses on researching ways to improve weather and climate education in K-12 schools, and best practices in formal and informal education and outreach. Previously, he was an Associate Professor at SUNY Oneonta in the Department of Earth and Atmospheric Sciences, and served as the campus governance leader in 2014-2015. His teaching experience includes introductory courses in meteorology and oceanography, physical meteorology courses, research methods courses, computer data analysis courses, and interdisciplinary courses in climate change.

Education: B.S. Physics, Pennsylvania State University; B.S. Meteorology, Pennsylvania State University; M.S. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University; Ph.D. Atmospheric Science, Colorado State University. Professional Experience: He is the Education and Public Outreach lead for the NASA CloudSat mission, helping a team of specialists maintain high quality formal and informal education about clouds in general and the CloudSat mission in particular. He is the Principal Investigator for the Teaching Inquiry using NASA Earth-system Science (TINES) program funded by NASA to develop ways to support the use of real data in the K-12 classroom, and has been PI or Co-I on three other NSF Grants and multiple other externally funded programs. He has presented over 50 teaching and learning workshops and presentations around the world on clouds and scientific inquiry, and continues efforts to establish professional learning communities for teacher professional development in science. He is a member of AGU, AMS, NSTA, NARST, ASCD, and NAGT.


Kim Cheek is an assistant professor in the College of Education and Human Services at the University of North Florida in Jacksonville. She teaches courses in science methods for elementary and early childhood education majors. She is interested in how students understand both deep time and the durations of geologic processes across a range of temporal scales.

Education: BA elementary education (minor special education) Goucher College, Towson, MD; M.Ed. elementary education, Towson University, Towson, MD; MS, geoscience, Mississippi State University, Mississippi State, MS; Ph.D. education: science, Durham University, Durham, UK. Relevant teaching experience: science methods for elementary and early childhood majors, introductory earth science. Activities include: Professor in Residence at urban elementary school; text writer for Earth Science exhibit at Singapore Science Centre; curriculum consultant for Sekola Ciputra, Surabaya, Indonesia; critical stakeholder reviewer for A Framework for K-12 Science Education and NGSS; 11+ years full-time K-12 teaching experience; member SILC (Spatial Intelligence and Learning Center), GSA, NAGT, NARST, and NSTA; Phi Beta Kappa member.


Katherine Ryker is an Assistant Professor in Earth Science Education in the Department of Geography and Geology at Eastern Michigan University. She received her Ph.D. training as a member of the Geoscience Learning Process Research (GLPR) team led by David McConnell at North Carolina State University. Katherine's research interests revolve around inquiry and student learning in introductory geoscience lectures and labs, the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices, and potential implications for professional development.

Katherine has seven years of teaching experience at the high school and college levels, with teaching awards from NC State and NAGT. She enjoys putting her geoscience education research into practice through professional development opportunities. These have included a SERC Career Development Teaching webinar, the NC State Graduate Student Summer Teaching Institute, university-wide workshops on improving practices in STEM labs, and departmental seminars on Moodle and time management. At EMU, she focuses on pre-service teacher training in the earth sciences. In more informal settings, Katherine has designed and led a week-long summer camp geared toward increasing diversity in the geosciences and works regularly with local K-12 students and teachers to engage the community at large.

Education: B.S. Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University; M.S. (Sedimentology) and Ph.D. (Geoscience Education) in Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University. College teaching experience: Earth Science for Elementary Educators; Secondary Methods for Earth Science Education (Eastern Michigan University); Physical Geology lecture and lab; Geology of NC for Teachers (North Carolina State University). High school teaching experience: Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Intro to High School Math, and Algebra I for Durham Public Schools; Durham, NC. Member: GSA, IAGD (International Association for Geoscience Diversity), AEG, NAGT, NSTA, ASTE (Association for Science Teacher Education).