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University of Colorado Denver College of Liberal Arts and Sciences

Math and Science Learning and Education
 

People


Casey Allen, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences

Casey Allen is an assistant professor in the Department of Geography and Environmental Sciences. Dr. Allen's expertise rests in three general human-environment interaction arenas: rock decay, biogeomorphology, and humanistic geography. Specifically within these broad categories, he focuses his research on rock art management, biological soil crusts, and incorporation of fieldwork into pedagogy, respectively. He has published in several journals regarding each of these topics and presents widely at professional conferences. He currently serves as the Faculty Advisor for the Department's registered student organization and the Colorado Geographic Alliance Strategic Planning Committee, and engages P-12 teachers with real world field experiences every chance he gets.

Aimee Bernard, Ph.D., Senior Instructor

Department of Integrative Biology

Although Dr. Bernard's research expertise is in immunology, specifically autoimmunity and tolerance, she routinely engages in pedagogical opportunities to enhance her practice as an educator. Dr. Bernard has facilitated at the National Academies of Sciences Mountain West Summer Institute for Undergraduate Biology Education, participated in a group presentation on 'flipped' classrooms at the American Society for Microbiology Conference for Undergraduate Educators, and recently attended an NSF-supported workshop based on a new teaching approach that seeks to transform the learning environment of undergraduate science courses to model the creativity, complexity, and excitement of the scientific process. The C.R.E.A.T.E. strategy focuses on primary literature and incorporates numerous pedagogical tools designed to increase critical thinking skills and to instill a deep appreciation of the scientific process.

Leo Bruederle, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Department of Integrative Biology

Leo P. Bruederle (Department of Integrative Biology) coordinates the Math and Science Learning and Education consortium. He is a proponent of undergraduate research as a transformative pedagogy, including peer mentoring as an instructional model. Dr. Bruederle is a member of the Council on Undergraduate Research, has directed the UC Denver Undergraduate Research Opportunity Program, and currently sponsors the local Phi Rho Chapter of Tri Beta, the National Biological Honors Society. Dr. Bruederle's scientific research interests include the evolution of species rich genera and the evolutionary mechanisms that facilitate speciation. Additional interests include: plant systematics, population genetics, and biogeography. Prior to completing his Ph.D. in botany, Dr. Bruederle taught high school biology.

Charles A. Ferguson, Ph.D., Associate Professor

Department of Integrative​ Biology

Charles A. Ferguson is an associate professor of Integrative Biology in the College of Liberal Arts and Sciences. His main area of research is the academic and non-academic issues that affect the transition of high school students to college who are interested in the STEM disciplines. He is also very involved in the prehealth advising program at UC Denver and specializes in helping non-traditional, returning students develop successful profiles for admission to graduate medical programs. Dr. Ferguson's areas of science specialty are in neuroscience and the effects of environmental toxicants on development of the nervous system.

Laurel Hartley, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Integrative Biology

Laurel Hartley is an assistant professor in the Department of Integrative Biology.
Currently, she is examining college students' use of principle-based reasoning about the carbon cycle and how teaching strategies increase student reasoning abilities. She is also working with colleagues to develop K-12 learning progressions (descriptions of how students develop understanding of a certain topic over time) for environmental literacy. Dr. Hartley was trained as an ecologist and also conducts research related to disease ecology and the effects of disturbance on communities and ecosystems. Currently, she is examining the effects of prairie dog burrowing and grazing on the establishment of non-native plant species in urban areas.

Michael Jacobson, Ph.D., Professor

Mathematical and Statistical Sciences

Michael (Mike) Jacobson is Professor and Chair of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. He is presently Co-PI with Doris Kimbrough on the NSF funded "RM-MSMSP", where he has overseen development and instruction of nine mathematics courses aimed at providing Middle School teachers with a challenging curriculum. Through this project, he has worked on providing teachers with a summer research experience in mathematics as a capstone to the teachers' training. Recently, he was awarded a $2.9M NSF funded GK12 "Transforming Experiences" grant to provide science and mathematics graduate students with the opportunity to become acquainted with K-12 education.

Heather Johnson, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

School of Education and Human Development

Heather Johnson's research investigates secondary students' quantitative reasoning.
In particular, her focus is on how students reason about rate of change before formal instruction in calculus. Results of my research include characterizations of students' informal ways of reasoning that can serve as cognitive roots for calculus. Further, she has developed representations of students' reasoning to be used with preservice and inservice teachers to facilitate attention to the richness of students' mathematical thinking.

Karen Knaus, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Chemistry

Karen Knaus teaches first-year college chemistry courses and she is interested in both the scholarship of teaching and learning and chemical education research with a special focus on the development of educational assessment materials. Educational assessment is a broad area of study involving the measurement of learning. Research in the Knaus laboratory can be characterized by 3 major themes: (1) perceptions of complexity impact the teaching and learning of chemistry; (2) participation in creative activities enhances learning in chemistry; and (3) cognitive skills can be improved through technology enhanced teaching and learning interventions.

Michael Marlow, Ph.D., Associate Professor

School of Education and Human Development

Michael Marlow, professor of science education received a doctorate from Michigan State University in energy resource development. With over 40 years of field research in experiential learning with teachers, Marlow has led field studies in such places as Tanzania, Hawaii, Ecuador, British Columbia, and the southwestern US. He has also developed and lead numerous inquiry projects such as: The Endangered Lake (Victoria) Fish Project, which was utilized in over 110 K-12 schools to investigate authentic inquiry impacts on student science understanding. The Adventure Engineering Project in collaboration with the Colorado School of Mines developed and placed a series of science modules in over 100 Colorado classrooms. The Wyoming Como Bluff Paleontology Field Experience engaged hundreds of teachers, in authentic paleontology research over the course of five years.

Brad McLain

Brad McLain is an educational researcher and co-director of XSci at the University of Colorado Denver. XSci is the Experiential Science Education Research Collaborative and produces both projects and research based on STEM learning theory and the field of experiential learning. McLain's research focus is on science identity construction and the role of narrative (storytelling) in content understanding and personal meaning making. He is also an accomplished documentary filmmaker and multimedia designer, having been the lead for several NSF and NASA projects over the past 10 years.

Kimberly Regier, Instructor

Department of Integrative Biology

Kimberly Regier teaches in the Department of Integrative Biology and is the Undergraduate Biology Advisor at the University of Colorado Denver. She is interested in improving science literacy for the general public and their interest, attitudes and perceptions about science.

Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo, Ph.D.

School of Education and Human Development

Maria Araceli Ruiz-Primo is Director of the School of Education and Human Development Research Center. She holds a Ph.D. in educational psychology from University of California, Santa Barbara. Her research has focused on the development and evaluation of assessments in science education, and most recently, classroom assessment along with formative assessment. Dr. Ruiz-Primo believes in the instructional value of feedback that is meaningful to students' current and future professional lives. One of her goals is to support students to become critical consumers of the assessments they use.

Robert (Bud) M. Talbot III, Ph.D.

School of Education and Human Development

Robert (Bud) Talbot is an assistant professor of science education in the School of Education and Human Development. His main area of research is measurement of science teacher and student knowledge, specifically focusing on the reliability and validity of these measures. He is also interested in building programs to help recruit future science teachers while also serving to enhance the quality of undergraduate science education. Dr. Talbot's areas of science specialty are in the geological sciences and physics, and he was a high school physics teacher for seven years before pursuing his doctorate in science education.

Ron Tzur, Ph.D., Professor​​

School of Education and Human Development

Ron Tzur is Professor of Mathema​tics Education in the School of Education and Human Development. After teaching mathematics (K-16) for over 15 years, he completed his graduate work in mathematics education. His research combining qualitative and quantitative methods for studying children's number and fraction knowledge, mathematics teacher development, and the impact of assessment on student achievements and dispositions has garnered him a national and international reputation. He has served as Co-PI and PI on several, multi-million NSF-funded project, including the ongoing, Nurturing Multiplicative Reasoning in Students with Learning Disabilities project. He has developed the comprehensive reflection on activity-effect relationship framework outlined in the proposal and recently linked it to brain research.

Geeta Verma, Ph.D., Associate Professor​​

School of Education and Human Development

Geeta Verma is an associate professor of science education at University of Colorado Denver. She holds a PhD from Kent State University, a MS and BS in Zoology from University of Delhi as well as a M.Ed. from University of Delhi. Her research work, grounded in sociocultural theory, integrates equity issues in science education, curriculum discourse, and ethnic studies in immigrant communities. In particular, she is interested in finding out how pre-service and in-service teachers explore curricular, pedagogical, and instructional spaces in their classrooms to facilitate access to science. Her work has been published in various peer-reviewed journals such as Journal of Science Teacher Education; the Journal of College Science Teaching; the Journal of Curriculum, and Pedagogy; Science Scope; and Science and Children. She recently published a book titled; "Science and Society in the Classroom: Using Sociocultural Perspectives to Develop Science Education" and served as panel reviewer for the National Selection Committee (NSC) for the Presidential Awards for Excellence in Mathematics and Science Teaching (PAEMST) administered by National Science Foundation. Dr. Verma serves as the associate editor for the Electronic Journal of Science Education and on the editorial and review board of many journals.

Bryan Wee, Assistant Professor

School of Education and Human Development

Bryan Wee is from Singapore and an assistant professor of environmental science education in the Department of Geography & Environmental Sciences. He also holds a joint appointment in the School of Education & Human Development. His main area of research is the cross-cultural comparison of children's environmental ideas using visual methodology and methods. Dr. Wee also uses photography to portray people and places, to evoke emotion and nurture critical thought about human-environment interactions. He is currently engaged in projects focused on environmental literacy and the application of visual methods in geography.

Diana White, Ph.D., Assistant Professor

Department of Mathematical & Statistical Sciences

Diana White is an assistant professor of mathematics and mathematics education in the Department of Mathematical and Statistical Sciences. Her background is in pure mathematics - specifically, commutative algebra. However, her current scholarly focus is on teacher preparation and professional development. She is the Principal Investigator and Program Director of the Rocky Mountain Noyce Scholars Program, a 5-year NSF grant aimed at recruiting and offering scholarships to undergraduates interested in becoming secondary math teachers in high-needs settings. She also is the Program Director of the Rocky Mountain Math Teachers' Circle, an outreach and professional development program for middle-level math teachers focused on mathematical problem solving. This is a local chapter of a national network of Math Teachers' Circles, loosely organized by the American Institute of Mathematics. She is engaged in research and evaluation of various aspects of this national program.