2019 GER Elections

published May 30, 2019 7:54am

It is time to vote for officers of the Geoscience Education Research Division of NAGT. The ballot includes Past President, President, Vice President, Treasurer, and Graduate Student Liaison. Voting begins on May 30 and ends on July 1, 2019.

Officer Candidate Biographies

Past President

Katherine Ryker is an Assistant Professor in the School of Earth, Ocean, and Environment at the University of South Carolina. Katherine's research interests revolve around inquiry and student learning in introductory geoscience lectures and labs, the relationship between teachers' beliefs and practices, and implications for professional development. Katherine has more than ten years of high school and college teaching experience, with teaching awards from NAGT, NC State and Eastern Michigan University. She enjoys putting her geoscience education research into practice in her own classes, as well as through professional development opportunities like the Earth Educators' Rendezvous and university-wide workshops on improving practices in STEM lectures and labs. At her previous institution, Katherine's teaching focused on pre-service teacher training in the Earth sciences. She has served as the NAGT GER Secretary from 2014 to 2017 (overseeing the creation of the monthly newsletter and other division communications), and as Vice President and President from 2017-2019 (leading GSA sessions on GER research methods, coordinating business and social meetings at the EER and GSA, and representing the division at geology and education meetings).

Education: B.S. in Earth and Ocean Sciences, Duke University; M.S. in Sedimentology and Ph.D. in Geoscience Education from the Department of Marine, Earth, and Atmospheric Sciences, North Carolina State University.

Teaching experience: College-level: Methods for Geoscience Education Research; Physical Geology; Earth Science for Elementary Educators; Essentials of the Geosphere for Elementary Teachers; Secondary Methods for Earth Science Education; Nature of Science; Nature of Science for Elementary Teachers; Geology of NC for Teachers. High school-level: Biology, AP Biology, Earth Science, Astronomy, Intro to High School Math, and Algebra I for Durham Public Schools (Durham, NC).

Memberships: NAGT, GSA, IAGD, NSTA.


Kelsey Bitting is the Associate Director for the Center for Advancing Teaching and Learning Through Research at Northeastern University in Boston, Massachusetts. Her research has investigated the effects of active learning techniques on conceptual geoscience knowledge and skillsets such as critical thinking and writing, student and instructor perceptions active learning implementation in introductory geoscience courses, and the dynamic landscape evolution of the Delaware River Valley in the context postglacial climate change. Since 2015, she has developed and facilitated workshops on a variety of topics, mentored faculty and students conducting Scholarship of Teaching and Learning (SoTL) projects, and consulted with faculty on all aspects of their teaching practice and broader impacts design and assessment. Her current areas of specialization include STEM teaching and course transformation, contemplative pedagogy for deep learning and transfer, and project-based learning. Previously, Dr. Bitting was a Postdoctoral Teaching Fellow for Course Redesign in the Geology Department at the University of Kansas, where she helped faculty implement active, student-centered teaching methods into their large introductory courses, provided professional development in pedagogy for graduate and undergraduate teaching assistants, and mentored undergraduate researchers conducting geoscience education projects.

She is a long-term contributor to the Geoscience Education Research Division through leadership of the Communications Committee from 2015-2018, where she produced a monthly newsletter highlighting GER-related funding opportunities, relevant research publications, and other opportunities. As Interim Secretary of the division in 2017 and Vice-President in 2018-2019, she has played an active role in facilitating division events such as the annual GSA conference session and the Earth Educators Rendezvous reception, and supported the division awards and long-range planning processes.

Education: B.A. in anthropology and Earth and environmental sciences, Vanderbilt University; Ph.D. in geoscience, Rutgers University.

Vice President

Emily Geraghty Ward is an Associate Professor in the Geology Program at Rocky Mountain College in Billings, Montana. Her research interests are focused on how places and cultures influence the way people learn about and interpret the physical landscape. Her past projects include working with tribal college faculty, staff and students to develop methods to assess geoscience learning in higher education in the context of different places and cultures. These projects have focused on assessing learning in both formal and informal contexts through place-based instruction and research apprenticeships. Her current work looks at the design and assessment of place-based geoscience classroom interventions and course-based undergraduate research experiences (CUREs). Student research projects include investigating rockfall hazards, analyzing fracture networks, and mapping local bedrock geology. Emily is currently serving as the media director for the GER division.

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)

Vice President

Lauren Neitzke Adamo is an Assistant Teaching Professor in the Department of Earth and Planetary Sciences, and the Co-Director of the Geology Museum at Rutgers University. Lauren's research interests include stable isotope stratigraphy, paleoceanography, science communication, and geoscience education in K-12 classrooms and informal educational settings. She is especially interested in working with undergraduate STEAM majors to help create more meaningful and successful Undergraduate Research Experiences and developing and implementing teaching models for use in K-16 geoscience classrooms. Lauren was selected as one of 12 educators for the 2018 PolarTREC program, where she worked with researchers and educators across the country to communicate science, conduct outreach, and develop lesson plans and products based on a scientific expedition focusing on polar science, climate change, and glaciers. She has helped facilitate and create content for several professional development courses, including the U.S. Ice Drilling Program Office's "School of Ice". Lauren has served the GER community by participating in committees, like the GSA's Education Committee, and chairing program sessions at GSA and AGU on educational research.

Education: B.S., M.S., and Ph.D. in Geological Sciences from Rutgers University


Cory Forbes is an Associate Professor of Science Education in the School of Natural Resources and College of 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). 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.

Graduate Student Liaison

Larry Collins is a doctoral candidate at Washington State University. Larry's research interests are in characteristics of effective professional development for both practicing teachers and graduate students. He is specifically interested in the opportunities they provide for students to engage in authentic science practices and in how they influence students' views of science. Larry recently published some of his work in the Journal of Science Teacher Education and has presented at peer-reviewed conferences at the local (WSU), national (SABER), and international (ESERA, GSA) level. Larry has been nominated for and received many awards related to his teaching and research, including two outstanding interdisciplinary teaching awards from the Virginia Council on Economic Education, the AASE Graduate Student Award, Outstanding Graduate Student Research Award, and several Elling Travel Grant Awards from Washington State University. Larry further serves the science education community by providing professional development opportunities for graduate students and K-12 teachers and has been asked to review abstracts for several conferences and academic journals. He is eager to continue actively contributing to the Geoscience Education Research community by presenting at the 2019 Rendezvous.

Education: B.S.E. in Earth/Space Science Education, Mansfield University; M.S. in Curriculum and Instruction, University of Scranton; Educational Specialist, Northcentral University; M.S. in Environmental Geoscience (Mississippi State University, In Progress); PhD in Science Education (Washington State University, In Progress)

Teaching experience: College-level: Physical Science I and II labs, Science and Scientific Thinking. High school-level: Earth Science, Ecology, Biology, Chemistry, AP Environmental Science


Graduate Student Liaison

Bailey Zo Kreager is a Ph.D. Candidate in the Department of Geology and Environmental Geosciences at Northern Illinois University. Zo completed an M.S. in Geology, with research that reviewed Interactive Engagement Strategies used in undergraduate science courses and created a set of Lecture Tutorials for sedimentology and stratigraphy concepts. Her Ph.D. research looks at how spatial skill impacts student performance on sequence stratigraphic diagrams and the benefit of Wheeler diagrams for sequence interpretation. While at Northern Illinois University, Zo has worked with her advisor to transform their introductory courses creating weekly activities aligned with the Predict-Observe-Explain pedagogy and using open-educational resources. As a result, Zo was awarded the NAGT Outstanding TA award in 2018. Zo has used her geoscience education research background for educational outreach activities with the Boy Scouts of America and NIU STEM Outreach program. With NIU STEM Outreach, she ran a week long summer camp in earth and space sciences for high schoolers.

Education: B.S. in Geology, Marietta College; M.S. in Earth and Atmospheric Sciences with a focus in Geoscience Education Research, University of Nebraska-Lincoln; Ph.D. (in progress) in Geology with a focus in Geoscience Education Research, Northern Illinois University

Teaching experience: Teaching assistant for Introductory to Geology Lab course (2016, 2019), Introductory to Geology Lecture (2017), Planetary geology (2016). Instructor of record: Introductory Geology Lecture (2017-2018)

Memberships: NAGT, GSA, SGE, AAPG

Graduate Student Liaison

Susan Meabh Kelly has nearly two decades of experience teaching secondary-level Earth Science and Physics. Throughout this experience Susan has participated in teacher-scientist partnerships—both agency-established programs (e.g. NASA/GISS (NYCRI) and NASA/JPL (NITARP)), as well as independently-initiated partnerships with university and agency scientists. Susan has pursued these experiences in order to provide more equitable access to authentic science research opportunities for the students in her school and surrounding community. Susan is eager to identify ways secondary science teachers can support university and agency broader impact efforts, particularly those that can advance diversity and inclusion initiatives. She recently pursued a PhD in Curriculum and Instruction in order to further inform this work.

Education: BA, Columbia University; MA, Queens College; MS, University of Maryland, Eastern Shore; PhD student, University of Connecticut, Storrs

Teaching Experience: Secondary-level Earth Science, Physics, and Research in New York and Connecticut