2021 GER Elections

published May 31, 2021 4:17pm

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 June 1 and ends on July 1, 2021.

Officer Candidate Biographies

Past 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 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 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 President 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)


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.


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.

"I am interested in the Vice President position because I am passionate about promoting geoscience education research and want to help grow the geoscience education research community while fostering a collaborative and inclusive environment for our members. Through my interactions with the division thus far, I have witnessed the importance of this community to the advancement of geoscience education research, facilitation of professional development, and dissemination and exchange of resources and ideas. I hope to assist the division with these ventures as well as create new opportunities for collaboration both within the division and with the broader geoscience community. Through my position as the State Representative for South Carolina in the Southeastern Section of NAGT, I have become familiar with NAGT and have had the opportunity to work with many members of the geoscience education research community. As Vice President, I hope to continue to build these relationships and help to grow the community."

Media Director

Larry Collins is an Instructor 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 (anticipated in 2021) from Washington State University.

"As Media Director, I would be able to leverage my expertise in social media and my abilities to communicate with others to help promote our Division's events and priorities with our members and broader community. I have also held a similar role as a graduate student with the Geoscience Education Division of GSA where I ran our social media account and worked with our Board to communicate events and happenings in the Geo. Ed. Division with members of our Division."

Graduate Student Liaison

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.

"I'm relatively new to NAGT, but I think being in this role will help me learn about the organization while helping my graduate student peers when I can. I've been in grad school for a few years now and I'd like to be the person for others that I wish I had when I first started out. Zo Kreager and I have been working together in the NAGT Graduate Student writing group for about a month now and she helped me see that I'd be a good fit for the role. As a concurrent MS and PhD student in the geosciences and geoscience education, I'm in a unique position to assist graduate students and undergraduate students alike. I've been the instructor of record for earth and atmospheric science courses that are designed for pre-service teachers at Western Michigan University for 3 years now (and counting), and I love what I do! My research is in virtual field trips in the geosciences, a topic I'm very passionate about for widening accessibility to the geosciences."