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Nominated Office: Councilor

Affiliation: University of Maryland at College Park, Department of Astronomy

Position/title: Instructor (1985-present)

PhD institution: MS University of Illinois, Urbana (1975)

Areas of scientific interest:

  • Astronomy Education Research
  • Science Misconception Research
  • Active learning Strategies
  • STEM Diversity

AAS positions:

  • Member (1993-present)
  • AAS Education Prize (2011)
  • AAS Education Board (2002-2005)
  • Local Organizing Committee for Washington DC meetings (1998, 2002, 2006)
  • Organized AAS Special Session: The Astronomy Diagnostic Test: Development, Results, and Applications (2002)

Other relevant positions and experience:

  • Co-developer of Astronomy Diagnostic Test (ADT), supervised ADT National Project (1999-2003)
  • Undergraduate Advisor for UMD Department of Astronomy (1990-present)
  • Developer and main presenter of 2-day Teaching Assistants Workshop (UMD, Department of Astronomy, 1994-present)
  • Author "Cooperative Learning Activities for Introductory Astronomy" (1997)

Candidate Statement: During my 38 year career, I have taught astronomy in middle school, at a private college, as an adjunct professor teaching evening classes for working adults, as an adjunct part-time university instructor, and as a full time university instructor. I have had the pleasure of introducing astronomy to approximately 7500 undergraduates. I am particularly interested in improving student conceptual understanding of astronomy with the goal of allowing people to share in our discoveries. Astronomy education research has played an important role in my career. I have trained, supervised, and supported graduate students during their teaching assistantships for 28 years. I am sympathetic to the problems that graduate students encounter, and I have actively worked as an advocate for them. In my own career, I have dealt with the two-body problem and having an astronomer spouse employed in a government agency for 30 years, I am familiar with the challenges and opportunities that a non-academic career path poses. I will draw on my experiences to guide my input as a member of the Council. My location in Maryland will allow me to help to our Public Policy Committee inform our congressional representatives of the importance of astronomy.