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Keynote Speakers

Opening Keynote Address:
Building Partnerships with Scientists & Educators

Friday 8:30 AM, Room 135

Jay B. Labov is Senior Advisor for Education and Communication for the National Academy of Sciences (NAS) and the National Research Council (NRC). He has directed or contributed to fifteen National Academies reports focusing on teacher education, advanced study for high school students, K-8 education, and undergraduate education. He has served as Director of committees on K-12 and undergraduate science education, the National Academies’ Teacher Advisory Council, and was Deputy Director for the Academy’s Center for Education. He also directed a committee of the NAS and the Institute of Medicine that authored Science, Evolution, and Creationism (and oversees the NAS’s efforts to confront challenges to teaching evolution in the nation’s public schools. He oversees an effort at the Academy to work with professional societies and with state academies of science on education issues. He also oversees work on improving education in the life sciences under the aegis of the NRC’s Board on Life Sciences.

Dr. Labov is an organismal biologist by training. Prior to accepting his position at the Academy in 1997, he spent almost 20 years on the biology faculty at Colby College (Maine). He is a Kellogg National Fellow, a Fellow in Education of the American Association for the Advancement of Science, and a Woodrow Wilson Visiting Fellow.

Keynote Panel:
Digital Resources and Learning for the Future

Friday 4:30 PM, Room 135

Dr. Sam Donovan is a Research Associate Professor in the Department of Biological Sciences at the University of Pittsburgh, and the Director of Undergraduate Programs for the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium. He received his B.S. in Biology at Virginia Tech and M.S. in Ecology and Evolution at the University of Oregon. Teaching and curriculum development opportunities led him to two related conclusions – he really enjoyed teaching and, it would be valuable to know more about education theory and research. The next stop was a Ph.D. in Science Education from the Department of Curriculum and Instruction at the University of Wisconsin – Madison.

Dr. Donovan’s scholarship involves research on student learning, curriculum design, and faculty development projects. His learning research focuses on how students reason about evolutionary events and interpret phylogenetic diagrams. He has had a series of NSF supported curriculum and faculty development projects that focus on evolution education, integrating bioinformatics across the biology curriculum, and using networked communications and computing resources to engage students in doing science. Much of this work has been done in collaboration with the BioQUEST Curriculum Consortium, a 25-year national reform effort in biology education.

Nancy GevingNancy Geving is a high school science coach for St. Paul Public Schools. Prior to starting this position in 2007, she was a Biology and Environmental Science teacher at Central High School in St. Paul for 16 years. She enjoys the outdoors and being active which is why she enjoyed teaching the Environmental Science classes. During her tenure at Central, she led student groups on trips to Grand Cayman for scuba diving and to the Amazon Rainforest of Peru. In her current position, she is involved with teachers in all of the high schools. This has been a great experience and opportunity to see all of the good things going on in the St. Paul Public School.

Dr. Susan Gill is the Director of Education at the Stroud Water Research Center, in Avondale, PA. Her interest in the environment began when she was an undergraduate and took her first courses in ecology, geology and soils at the University of Pennsylvania. After graduation, she worked as an environmental planner, completing environmental impact statements on proposed highway projects. She quickly realized that she was on the wrong side of the process. People knew intuitively that paving open space was a bad idea, but did not have the knowledge necessary to mount an effective counter argument. After leaving the planning profession, she earned an MA in Environmental Education at Arcadia University (then Beaver College). Knowing that she needed to have strong science foundation, she then entered a Ph.D. in Geology at the University of Pennsylvania, where she did research on environmental interpretation from fossil soils. After graduation, she stayed at UPENN as the Director of Professional Programs in the Department of Earth and Environmental Science, where she directed professional Master’s programs in Environmental Studies and Applied Geoscience. Five years ago, she was offered the opportunity to move to the Stroud Water Research Center as the Director of Education, where she works with an amazing group of environmental scientists and educators. This move has allowed her to develop innovative educational applications such as Model My Watershed.

Dinner & A Movie: ‘The Making of the Fittest: Evolving Switches, Evolving Bodies’

Friday 5:45 PM, Courtyard

For more information go to:

Keynote Panel:
‘Building Pathways and Partnerships between K12 and College’

Saturday 8:45 AM, Room 135

Jim MaKinster is an Associate Professor of Science Education at Hobart and William Smith Colleges. His work focuses on science teacher professional development, curriculum development, and use of geospatial and Web 2.0 technology in educational settings. MaKinster directed the GIT Ahead project (NSF ATE) and currently directs the Crossing Boundaries project (NSF ITEST). In addition to technology-focused curriculum development, Crossing Boundaries has focused on creating a variety of opportunities for students to see scientific and environmental careers in action.

Kara Butterworth has 7 years of experience as a middle school and high school science teacher, covering courses including biology, chemistry and environmental science. She received a MS in Ecology, Evolutionary and Organismal Biology at Iowa State University where she was trained as a botanist and continued her education to earn a teaching certification, through Rio Salado College in Tempe, AZ. Currently, as a teacher at Clear Creek High School in Evergreen, CO she incorporates PlantingScience, a learning and research resource, bringing together students, plant scientists, and teachers from across the nation, into her classroom. This allows her to incorporate plant based inquiry activities into the classroom and to test and develop the future of PlantingScience. She has field tested new modules, participated in focus groups panel member and presented PlantingScience student projects at the annual Botanical Society meetings in 2011 and 2012.

Gillian Roehrig is an associate professor of science education in the STEM Education Center at the University of Minnesota. She received her PhD from the University of Arizona in 2002 and was an assistant professor in the Department of Chemistry at San Diego State University prior to moving to Minnesota in 2004. Her research focuses on professional development, STEM integration, and culturally relevant STEM education for American Indian students.

Closing Keynote Address:
Science of Life in a Changing World

Saturday 4:30 PM, Room 135

Carlos A. Botero, a Distinguished Postdoctoral Fellow in the North Carolina State University Initiative for Biological Complexity was born in Bogotá, Colombia and has a distinguished career as an evolutionary ecologist. He earned a B.S. in Biology, Magna cum Laude, and Valedictorian at the Universidad de los Andes and a Ph.D. Neurobiology and Behavior from Cornell University. He is interested in the basic principles that drive the evolution of flexibility in adaptive traits. In particular, he researches the effect of ecological drivers on the dynamics and outcome of evolution. He explores these topics using a combination of theoretical modeling, phylogenetic comparative methods, and work in the field, focusing primarily on the evolution of complex traits. His work usually involves birds, but previous and ongoing collaborations include projects on insects, mammals, and even humans. To learn more about his research, check out his page.